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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?

“So-called charity, with its implicit assumptions of high and low, is no remedy to injustice, but its willing accomplice. Charity allows the privileged the opportunity to buy the silence of their consciences for a few coins (with the added bonus of much to-do being made of their philanthropy)–rather than wrestle with why, in a world of plenty, they wallow in pampered luxury through no particular virtue of their own, while most of the world is in rags, starving, and living in shacks. Jesus advised the rich man to sell everything he had and give it to the poor. The numerous charities operating under his name ever since have set a significantly lower standard.”

Peter Kropotkin, narrater in “The Watch” by Dennis Danvers

  And the rail looms

a Frankenstein lurking

over everything yanking

feet from under us wanking

   its way along dumping

     wasted lumps into an

        apocalyptic

            revelation

                    sea.

The beast arises.

And the rail ends.

© 2017 David W. Jones

P.S. And happy birthday to Dancing Treefrog blog!