Home Commentary Open forum TURNBULL — HACK OR HERO?



Dear Source:
Last month DLCA Commissioner Andrew Rutnik confirmed a new DLCA crackdown on heretofore unlicensed workers in many fields.
From now on, if you pound a nail at a construction site, you need a carpenter's license…if you prune a tree or cut guinea grass, you need a landscaper's license…if you clean someone's house or iron their clothes, you need a domestic's license…to dig a ditch or carry lumber requires a construction worker's license.
Other than electricians and plumbers, however, it was made clear that, while a license is now required, DLCA does not attest to the skills or abilities of these workers.
So…now the government is simply charging private citizens for the right to work. Why "on the backs of" certain occupations and not others? Why laborers and not shop clerks…legal secretaries…gas jockeys… janitors and all others who work without cushy government benefits or holidays?
All this in the name of "revenue enhancement" (read: new taxes, charges and a huge increase in the cost of doing business!). "We are pro-business," they say. Riiiight!
How dare union bosses claim the budget is "being balanced only on the backs of government workers." But, then…why shouldn't it be? After all, who caused the government to be in its present wasteful, inefficient and bankrupt condition? Duh! It's caused by the people who work for the government! For decades they have been the "takers"…it is now time for them to be "givers." "Ask not…!"
Our government's sad and deplorable condition was certainly not caused by workers in the private sector! And yet Gov. Turnbull has just announced huge increases in the cost of private-sector licenses.
What do these licensed workers get in return for this additional money charged? More nails in the coffin of entrepreneurship!
So, Gov. Turnbull, in the spirit of fairness and level playing fields, let me strongly suggest another class of business license: A government worker's license.
The following fee categories will apply:
— Basic license to work for the government, $100.
The following surcharges are to be added as applicable:
— To earn over $45,000 per year, $250
— To earn over $64,999 per year, $2,000
— To have or drive a government vehicle, $1,750
— To hold an outside job while full-time with government, $1,500
— To have an "assistant" if you are an "assistant," $ 225
— For each non-federal holiday taken with pay, $15
— To shop or have hair done on government time, $350
— To bring children to office after school for daycare, $ 200
— To have "Solitaire" installed on your office computer, $75
— To appoint an unqualified friend or relative to a job, $ 20,000.
The basic license fee alone will bring in $1,300,000 per year in "revenue enhancement" (13,000 x $ 100). Imagine the "enhancement" from the car pool!
It is essential for all the "revenue enhancers" out there to keep this fact in mind: The private sector is the engine that drives this economy. The government produces nothing!
The answer is NOT to increase revenues to meet ridiculous, wasteful and greedy government expenditures. The government MUST BE CUT…massively, thoughtfully and thoroughly! And those lucky enough to retain their jobs must work harder, longer and more efficiently…and be grateful to remain public servants. Be helpful! Be nice!
If government workers are expected to migrate to the private sector with dignity and fairness, the private sector must be enhanced and profitability encouraged so workers will be attracted by the same or better benefits as they now receive from the government.
Any benefits, such as medical and retirement insurance availability negotiated for the government, must also be negotiated for the private sector…bills for private services must be paid…the maddening and interminable bureaucracy for doing business must be done away with…QUIT BEING THE BIGGEST OBSTACLE TO SMALL BUSINESS!
When a private vendor isn't paid, it is truly a "payless payday"! The unpaid vendor cannot issue bonds to pay his bills…pay his taxes…or feed his family!
Don't bury us in debt! Don't mortgage Virgin Islands children's futures! Listen to the economists, not the political hacks…NO MORE BORROWING!
You have two choices, Gov. Turnbull:
1) Continue to avoid unpopular and painful decisions in hopes of getting re-elected…continue the fish-fry politics…hire more cronies! Stomp on the private sector! Cave in to the unions! Increase debt! And the problems will continue to eat you alive! The Feds will come! You will take all the blame!
2) Do the right thing…the hard thing. Accept the fact that you may only be a one-term governor…but realize that history and decades of school children will remember you as the wise and courageous hero who saved and turned the Virgin Islands around.
Your choice, Governor – hack…or hero?
Dale E. Hamilton
St. Thomas


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