Monday, January 21, 2008


Hawaii's quest to remain a third-world country: "We don't do maintenance"

by Larry Geller

I seem to recall that Hawaii was supposed to be the high-tech center of the Pacific, or something like that. The Governor wants us to have an innovation economy, whatever that is. These are vague concepts that have not yet been defined. They just keep a small army of public and private people employed chasing a dream (at public expense, of course).

But first, don't you think we should learn to fix something? That's very concrete. It's a basic requirement for building anything on, whether it is better education or a better economy. Keep what you have in good working order.

John Pritchett's letter in today's Star-Bulletin says it:

In Hawaii, we build it, but we don't fix it

Dear Coach Jones: We are sad to see you go. We know you were not happy that your requests for improved facilities and maintenance were rejected. However, we could have told you from the beginning, we don't do facilities and maintenance. We don't maintain our roads. We don't maintain our sewers. We don't maintain the restrooms at our parks. We don't maintain our streams and storm drains. We just don't do maintenance. Sorry, Coach.

One could easily add to John's list. We don't inspect dams. We don't keep emergency sirens running. We don't have enough inspectors to enforce health laws. We don't enforce traffic laws. We let schools rot around our children. The stadium is still rusting. Hamilton Library's roof is still leaking.

I'm sure you have your favorite list also.

A high-tech economy is impossible in a place where we haven't even mastered low-tech. Like fixing pipes, leaky roofs, decaying facilities of all kinds.

Where's the outrage?


Apart from the fact that your "third world country" comment smacks of racism, I wonder - have you been to the mainland lately? Life there isn't all that great in this first-world nation. Traffic, violence, sexual predators, and the cost-of-living make the first world less than appealing to many folks who live in the Islands. Maybe not for you city people, but at least for many of us who do not live on Oahu.

So, when people refer to Hawaii as a "third world country" I think this sounds preferable to me! That's life in the slow lane buddy! Perhaps you should take your elitism back to the mainland!

Post a Comment

Requiring those Captcha codes at least temporarily, in the hopes that it quells the flood of comment spam I've been receiving.

<< Home


page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Newer›  ‹Older