Hawaii is NOT an Amusement Park

Hawaii is NOT an Amusement Park

Set up Special Corporate Fee to Fund Universal Basic Income for All Hawaii Residents


Opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the staff at Hawaii Ocean News


"Weeeeeee . . . we're going to Hawaii!"  The excitement was palpable as John and Jane Q Public, and their kid, Little Johnny, from somewhere, planet Earth, made their last minute preparations to board a plane for the Hawaiian Islands.  They'd already been to Disneyland, Walt Disney World Resort, Magic Kingdom Park, Hershey Park, Universal Orlando Resort (a little bit like Hawaii, the trees anyway), Knotts Berry Farm, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Holiday World and Spllashin' Safari, and a host of other amusement parks, too numerous to list here.  And Hawaii was next on the list.  "I wonder how Hawaii will amuse us? asked Jane Q to her husband who was busily packing, laying out his choices of socks on their king-size bed.  "Let it be a surprise, Sweets . . . we're paying big bucks so I expect we'll be treated like royalty there . . .  maybe the people who live there will bow to us . . .  ha ha.  Honey, I have no idea . . .  my guess is that it could be better than Waterworld."

Visitor interest in our community here in Hawaii surely accounts for the incomes of many of our island residents.  Hawaii's leadership would have us believe that corporate interest in catering to visitors is more important than the day-to-day quality of life of the people who actually live here.   Yes, there's big bucks in tourism . . . but are we selling our soul for the shiny baubles?

The Hawaii that we all grew up in is quickly disappearing.  Big money is having its way and the plan is to make our home into one big Club Med for the Wealthy.  Whatever residents are still left, when they're all done with us, will make very willing servants, eagerly kowtowing to every corporate whim.

We grew up here, started ohanas, formed deep, lasting relationships, and are firmly rooted in the community.  Why are we considered a minor player in the grand scheme of things as envisioned by the very same people that we've elected to leadership?

It has become increasingly apparent that Hawaii's leadership has become a willing, and not necessarily an unwitting, dupe of big money interests, more and more out of touch with the people our leaders were elected to serve.  Small indicators are surfacing in abundance now. 

Two prolific California developers have donated some $100,000 to Kirk Cauldwell's campaign, and Ikaika Anderson and Stanley Chang, city council members, were recipients, as well as most other city councilors, in smaller donation amounts.  And, not surprisingly, with seemingly little thought to the burden on our infrastructure, the Honolulu City Council continues to approve permitting for still more high-rise buildings in the area between the city center and Waikiki, with variances being considered for requests for building heights of more than four hundred feet, buildings capable of housing thousands of people.  Those who are complaining about traffic now, should be prepared to sell their car in the near future.  Frighteningly, the justification for the new buildings is that they are "along the new train route", and, as such, are envisioned to not exacerbate the traffic problem appreciably.  One wonders what the city council members are smoking during their breaks . . .  and are we really this stupid that we keep electing these people into leadership positions?

One disturbing bellwether is just how out of touch politicians and appointed officials have become.  For example, Kirk Cauldwell, Mayor of Honolulu,  had the decades-old showers down at the foot of the cliff at Diamond Head beach destroyed at the behest of whiny wealthy interests up on the side of the hill there. While this appears to be an insignificant example compared to blessing dozens of high-rise condos for the rich, it turns out to be very prophetic when you look at the fine print.   Cauldwell, clueless as to the impact on our community, had no idea that the fifty year old shower at Diamond Head was not just a place to wash down, it was a meeting place for the ocean recreation community --  a place where new friendships were formed, new ohanas started, new businesses talked about, board designs discussed and surfing knowledge shared -- a place to meet and talk story.   He said he destroyed the showers in order to dissuade the homeless population there, but, in actual fact, the decision was made to mollify some of the wealthy people who owned expensive homes up on the side of Diamond Head.  Ironically, but not surprisingly, the end result of this action resulted in an explosion of homeless activity in the area.  Before the shower was destroyed, surfers there reported seeing "one or two homeless" -- there was simply too much surfer and beach-goer activity up and down the hill which resulted in discouraging homeless activity, as the homeless were uncomfortable with all of that exposure.  Now, Diamond Head is virtually a multilevel homeless encampment by the sea -- the beach-level shower area, now destroyed, once reserved for surfers and beach goers, has been transformed by the homeless into a thriving encampment of makeshift structures. 

Cauldwell has moved on to other groveling-like activity, and when confronted about this latter faux pax, has suddenly morphed into an Alfred E. Neuman, "What Me Worry?" kind of guy.  Our opinion, we think that Cauldwell, like so many of our politicians in Hawaii, is a Red wolf in Blue sheepskin.  In other words, he gets elected by a majority Blue (Democratic) voter population, and, when elected, immediately caters to the interests of the conservative wealthy, just like any other Red groveler.

Many more examples abound, too many for a discussion here.  But clearly, the leadership that we are electing to office these days definitely does not have the community's best interests at heart.  Most of our leaders are finding it easier to sell out than to preserve our culture and quality of life here.

Here's a challenge to our current leaders and a chance for them to step up to the plate with sincere mea culpas:  have all corporations doing business in the State of Hawaii pay into a special fund, separate from taxes, a fund for one exclusive use only;  a monthly Universal Basic Income for the people of Hawaii.  The purpose of Hawaii's new Universal Basic Income is to lessen the impact on the lives of the residents here as our leaders empower the wealthy and private financial self interests that drive up rents, food and other costs en route to padding their own coffers.  And yes, of course, restrictions could be put into place to restrict the Universal Basic Income to those with ten contiguous years of residence in Hawaii, and similar safeguards to prevent the inevitable avalanche of freeloaders descending upon our state.

This kind of proposal takes guts -- something which seems to be in short supply in our Hawaii leadership.   We're not holding our breath.


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