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Letters 02/08

What our readers have to say




The December issue of Hawaii Business contained a “Talk Story” with Bill Kaneko, President of HIPA, on the 2050 Sustainability Plan. There was also a Leadership Lessons by Former Governor George Ariyoshi “Hawaii 2050 Can Work”.

Reading the two pieces, I could not help being deeply disturbed. First, sustainability implies stasis — keeping everything the same.

This is certainly not what is wanted. The American Dream is still alive. We want our children to be smarter, happier, healthier, more prosperous, etc. than we are. And they want the same for their kids. We are not going to get that practicing stasis.

“We want our children to be smarter, happier, healthier, more prosperous … than we are.”

Then George Ariyoshi says with respect to the 1978 Hawaii State Plan that the 2050 plan will be even more important.“The reason is that our population has grown and life has become more congested, yet the resources of our islands are the same.”

Hold it Governor! We have vastly more people obviously living a much more prosperous life but the same resources? The same cars, ships, airplanes, computers and other technology? That makes no sense. And the reason is simple but very profound.

The ultimate, best, resource is the creative human brain. And the more of those we have (and use) the better off we are and will be. We now have lots more of those than we did in 1978 and hopefully, we will have even more in 2050. Yet, the 2050 plan, just like the 1978 one, gave human ingenuity and the personal freedom that it depends upon, little if any attention.

In other words, policies that allow freedom for people to create, excel or fail will move us toward a prosperous 2050. To provide and ensure such policies are about all government can or should do.

Otherwise plans are useless — or worse — particularly if followed.

Thank God they mostly aren’t.

Richard O. Rowland
President, Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
Honolulu, Hawaii
Via email



HB 2007 cover

The perfect issue (What School You Went?, December 2007) for newcomers and for those who are wandering around scratching their heads trying to figure out why they can’t make any inroads into the local culture. A must read issue!

Having been a DJ on the radio in a previous life, I too had a similar experience as yours. [Editor Kelli Abe Trifonovitch’s column, “What School Did You Attend?”] When listeners would meet me for the first time after hearing me on the radio, if they were local, they’d say, “Ho, I tot you was one haole guy!” A compliment of sorts. My mom must have talked to your mom.

I’m going to recommend any new mainland friends pick up this issue or read it online. Excellent!

Michael Shishido
COO, Director of Programming
The Ocean Network
Via email


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