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observations

Big difference between the islands and much of the mainland: We don’t have an economy outside of tourism.

The military is the next big chunk here, but it’s not rushing to fill the gap. Much of the military economy here is skilled labor (technicians, specialists), with very few opportunities for out-of-work restaurant servers and hotel staff.

Our politicians are too much in the pockets of the tourist industry, in my opinion. That’s why we get a smattering of affordable housing with a larding of luxury high rises aimed at rich corporations and non-residents.

I think this would have been a good opportunity to balance things better. Tourism is an addictive drug; for decades it has been easy money, crowding out investment in anything else. Why risk investing in healthcare, green infrastructure, manufacturing, IT or even high-end farming (gourmet coffee or chocolate), when you could build or renovate a Waikiki hotel and start making millions right off the bat?

The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-10, New International Version)

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 “Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 “Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 “Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

KHNL: People keep leaving Hawaii in droves and this year was no exceptlon:

http://m.hawaiinewsnow.com/hawaiinewsnow/db/330510/content/L9UvhHGG

It isn’t because of Hawaii’s high cost of living. Other places are expensive to live in, too.

It’s because of the massive gap between our cost of living and the pathetic excuse for pay in Hawaii.

When I worked here as a technical writer, Hawaii pay for same experience/same work was half what it was on the mainland.

Also, our disgusting – and (in my opinion) criminal and blatently discriminatory – minimum (aka starvation) wage means people have to work two fulltime jobs if they want to eat regularly and live anywhere except on the streets.

(Our continued building of housing for billionaires and corporations instead of real people who live here just makes it worse.)

So, if you had a choice of slaving away for practically nothing, or moving elsewhere with decent pay – what would you do?