How did we get here? Three-and-a-half-day school weeks. Prisoners farmed out to the mainland. Tent camps for the migratory homeless. A blinkered dependence on tourism and the military for virtually all economic activity. The steady degradation of already degraded land. Contempt for anyone employed in education, health, and social service. An almost theological belief in the evil of taxes. At a time when new leaders will be elected, and new solutions need to be found, the contributors toThe Value of Hawai'ioutline the causes of our current state and offer points of departure for a Hawai'i-wide debate on our future. The brief essays address a wide range of topics-education, the environment, Hawaiian issues, media, tourism, political culture, law, labor, economic planning, government, transportation, poverty-but the contributors share a belief that taking stock of where we are right now, what we need to change, and what we need to remember is a challenge that all of us must meet. Written for a general audience,The Value of Hawai'iprovides a cluster of starting points for a larger community discussion of Hawai'i that should extend beyond the choices of the ballot box this year.
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