Hawaii citizens see it as a mark of distinction that they have a high cost of living — because every justification and demand for a wage increase is not based on merit or increased productivity, but on the cost of living and the cost of living adjustment based on the rate of inflation.

Therefore, it is desired that the rate of inflation be as high as possible, not realizing that wage increases fueling inflation may decrease their buying power, and value they receive for their exchanges. The highest inflation is when all the money in the world gets one nothing of value in return — which makes the cost of living go to infinite. The $100,000 heart surgery in such a world, would be a scratch on the chest with a paper clip. But at least the patient can say, “he had a choice;” he could have spent his money on the downpayment for a pocket calculator, in the world of hyperinflation.

Meanwhile in another part of the universe, people don’t care about raises because the prices for everything drop each year because of the wonderfully innovative and productive people in the community. At the rate they are going, soon there will be no need for money, as everbone always receives far more than they had reason to expect. There was always plenty for all because everyone shared what they had, and always gave more than they got.

Meanwhile, back in Hawaii, they were hiring more people to supervise the one guy doing any work anymore. Such a top-heavy bureaucracy ensured that there would be plenty of high-paying jobs doing it did not matter what.

They could tear out all the plants and plant new ones, and then tear those out, etc. There was plenty of work to do, because nothing ever got done, but needed twice as many people to that job as the year before to do half as much, and half as well. The people thought they were much better off because the cost of living kept going up — along with their salaries.

Their favorite pastime was relating each other about the escalating cost of everything — for which they believed, they deserved to get even more — and especially, more than the next guy. In fact, every rank and file government worker, thought they deserved as much as the governor — but of course, for doing less, without risk, and with guaranteed job security. That guarantee was that they could not be fired for doing nothing; they could only be fired for gross negligence — so no one took a chance and did anything, to be on the safe side.

In the world of the kahuna and menehunes, doing nothing while receiving top of the scale was the highest achievement. Double-dipping was similarly admired and strived for. The person who would do something — threatened to upset the apple cart and the pecking order. “What would happen to our jobs, if we eliminated the problems and actually solved anything?”

”’Mike Hu, a resident of Honolulu, Hawaii, can be reached via email at”’mailto:humikhu@aol.com