What Has APEC Ever Done for Anyone?

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BY GEORGE BERISH —In Smart Business Hawaii’s weekly report, Sen. Sam Slom writes about”Hawaii Occupied by APEC.”

Can you imagine Gov. Palin, or the Fairbanks Mayor, paying spoiled jet-setting members of the political-class to party in Alaska at their constituents’ expense?  I can’t.  Yet that’s what Hawaii’s politicians have done.


Why?  These partygoers are not business women and men who take risk to assemble capital, labor and natural resources into a profit making enterprise.  They are people who enjoy never-ending taxpayer-funded resort travel with their hands out, e.g. being exempt from Hawaii’s Hotel Room Tax.

Please remember.  “For-profit enterprises” produce things whose value is greater than the value of the capital, labor and natural resources they consume.  Producing more than is consumed increases our standard of living and employment.

“Government and government-subsidized enterprises” produce things whose value is less than the value of capital, labor and natural resources they consume.  Producing less than is consumed reduces standard of living and employment. [Even before they go belly-up after squandering billions of loans the Administration guaranteed Americans will now repay for them.]

So it’s this simple.  Hawaii’s isolation (by an expensive-to-cross ocean, and Waikiki’s Ala Wai moat) holds great value for a jet-setting political-class plagued by professional “occupiers”, and other rabble, who perennially show up to rain on their parties.  On the Mainland, and in Europe, it’s materially cheaper and easier to assemble a critical mass of such hecklers.  Here it’s too expensive and difficult.  Therefore, intelligent people who earn the money they spend – i.e. run producing, not consuming, enterprises — would logically charge APEC extra for Hawaii’s extra value.

Instead Hawaii’s politicians (that spends money we, not they, earn) are paying APEC’s political class members to use Hawaii.  Perhaps for them it’s worth the price we pay to be able to bask in the national media coverage attracted by APEC’s bigger political fish.  But it’s not to me.  You?

Seriously.  Do you believe travel agents anywhere are encouraging their best (i.e. most profitable) clients to visit Hawaii this week, or recommending they go elsewhere?  I know it’s the latter, because my wife and I stayed at a Waikiki luxury hotel this weekend.  We received a great Kamaaina discount and noon check-in.  Upon arrival we received an unrequested and wonderful room upgraded.  Then we were asked if we’d like to delay check out till 4PM.  And then we found APEC’s repellent effect on regular room-tax paying guests left more of the normally more-than-adequate staff free to make our stay doubly enjoyable.  Finally we learned some small shop owners will shut down this week, because sealing off Waikiki for APEC’s elite tribe also sealed out their regular customers.


George L. Berish is with The American Political Party