Foreign Policy

U.S. out of Okinawa!

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Hooray! American troops are leaving Okinawa, only a half-century too late. Oh wait:

So long ago that the world was still black and white

The plan…includes transferring 8,000 Marines now stationed on Okinawa — roughly half the Marines who are there — to Guam. When the House Armed Services Committee drew up its fiscal 2010 defense authorization bill last month, however, Democrat Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii added a provision to require that wages paid to construction workers on Guam preparing for the Marines' arrival be based not on the local scale but on wage rates in Hawaii, which are two-and-a-half times higher. Abercrombie says his provision is needed to bring skilled U.S. workers to the island, particularly unemployed Hawaiians. However, the Congressional Budget Office estimates it would add about $10 billion to the transfer's cost.

CQ Politics link via The Weekly Standard's blog.

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  1. Wow…there’s a bone at the taxpayers expense.

    Abercrombie – you’re a fucking ignorant retard with respect to economics. If there are insufficient workers on Guam to get the job done, the employers / contractors will need to raise wages to attract sufficient numbers. They’ll do it of their own accord, you don’t need to legislate it. Besides – that balance point is almost certainly a hell of a lot less than 2 1/2 times the local rate.

    1. Hey No Name Guy…
      you are right on one point..that there are not enough qulified construction workers on Guam…I know this becasue I live here on Guam…however the contractor will not recuit from Hawaii or the states if they are required to pay anything over minimum wage…they will simply bring in korean,Filipino and Chinese workers…the money that is paid to these contractors by US taxpayers will be sent and taken back to these Asian countries…I hate when the government screws with the free market however Ambercromie is trying to protect taxpayer $ and US workers…so think about it a little longer before you skunk up the place with you ignorance
      thanks luke

  2. Throwing a $10 billion bone to people in a state with a relatively low 7.4% unemployment rate seems rather reckless, don’t you think?

  3. Abercrombie says his provision is needed to bring skilled U.S. workers to the island, particularly unemployed Hawaiians.

    Why not let the, you know, market determine what pay is necessary to bring workers to Guam?

    This idiot probably believes that, if Congress doesn’t mandate a pay scale, then the contractors will just sit around with nobody on the job.

  4. I’ve never been to Okinawa and only seen pictures and heard stories of Guam, but moving to Guam has to suck for the Jarheads. One has to believe that living on a large island with a large civilian population has got to be better than being stuck on a small island in the middle of fucking nowhere.

    1. Whats worse is living on the beautiful island of Guam..as I do..and having to live with military fucks..or jarheads..it’s so funny seeing them all sunburnt…This island would be better off if they left..

  5. Couldn’t be worse than being stuck on an aircraft carrier, right?

  6. I wonder what the rape rate in Okinawa will be after this.

  7. So essentially Abercrombie wants to screw the relatively poor locals who would otherwise get jobs out of this in favor of his relatively wealthy constituents. And he wants to do all this by stealing $10 billion from the rest of us.

  8. And, the kicker is, Abercrombie is the least economically clueless member of Hawaii’s four person congressional delegation.

  9. When is Obama going to bring the troops home from Korea and Europe?

    I won’t hold my breath.

  10. I just watched “The Teahouse of The August Moon”, which is about the post-WWII occupation of Okinawa. Brando really sucks ass in this film.

  11. So…fuck the Guamanians who could be getting jobs out of this? The hell?

  12. Look guys, the work was going to be done on a prevailing wage dictated by the government regardless as all federal government projects are.

    Perhaps they should have used Guam’s prevailing wage rates as opposed to Hawaii’s. But the market was never going to have anything to do with it.

  13. I learned everything I know about Okinawa from The Karate Kid II.

  14. Perhaps they should have used Guam’s prevailing wage rates as opposed to Hawaii’s. But the market was never going to have anything to do with it.

    So what? Clearly the “prevailing rate” in Guam is much much closer to the true market rate in Guam than is the prevailing rate in Hawaii. Sure, the fact that some prevailing rate was going to be used is bad enough from a market perspective, but that doesn’t mean the choice is irrelevant by any means. And more importantly, it doesn’t change the more egregious fact that the douchebag congressman is using that as a tool to screw the poor in favor of the rich and send us the bill.

  15. I have a better idea, shut down the base in Guam as well since the only purpose of those troops is to defend Japan, Korea, Taiwan, etc. It is no longer 1945 or 1950 anymore, these countries are rich and they should defend themselves

  16. The side effect of the U.S. military pulling out of Okinawa will be all that pristine jungle that the U.S. military now controls as a place to train in jungle warfare will be razed and turned into golf courses and resorts. That has been the real source of friction between the U.S. military and Okinawans for the paste 20 years.

  17. The side effect of the U.S. military pulling out of Okinawa will be all that pristine jungle that the U.S. military now controls as a place to train in jungle warfare will be razed and turned into golf courses and resorts.

    If any enviros are bright enough to catch on to this, it will undoubtedly cause their heads to explode.

    Marines bad! Marines leaving good!

    Pristine jungle good! Development bad!

    Marines leave, jungle developed, uh, uh, [BOOM].

  18. Just Marines? So the Air Force still keeps Kadena AFB?

  19. “John-David | July 20, 2009, 4:10pm | #
    I learned everything I know about Okinawa from The Karate Kid II.”

    She is the most lovely asian woman ever.

    (if i’m remembering the right movie)

  20. That’s the fiscal responsibility we were promised during the 2008 POTUS campaign in action.

  21. When is Obama going to bring the troops home from Korea and Europe?

    I’d settle for bring them home from Afghanistan and Iraq. You know, where they are getting killed.

  22. Uh, the real bone of contention between Okinawa and the bases have more to do with the land, most of which were built by a bulldoze/bayonet policy during the post-war period, and especially, that 75% of Japan’s military bases are on one island with the local government having very little control (Tokyo has even removed governors who spoke out of line with their views). Although Guam is smaller than Okinawa Island, its still pretty damn small, about roughly the size of New York City by itself.

    While it is true that many of the jungles have been preserved (mostly due to them being needed to simulate jungle warfare) and that Tokyo (not the US) is paying the land owners rent now, those who refuse to lease their land to the base are always ignored. Furthermore, several of the largest bases are right in the middle of the city. If you ever lived there like I did, commute times are horrible because to drive from one end to the other end you have to go around the entire base, and you have to deal with constantly low flying aircraft (which in the past have crashed into schools), and economic development of the island is severely limited as alternatives to the base income cannot be planned with them occupying so much land in the urban areas.

    if Tokyo wants the bases so much (and they really do) they should offer a more spacious area of Japan other than concentrating them on a small island that’s got a high population density.

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