Letter to the Editor: Hawai‘i Economy Must Diversify

April 12, 2020, 4:30 PM HST (Updated April 12, 2020, 3:36 PM)
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The following is a letter to the editor. The opinions within are not necessarily those of Big Island Now or Pacific Media Group. The letter has not been edited for content. 

“I hope one of the outcomes of this pandemic will result in a real and honest discussion to lessen our dependence on tourism as a primary economic driver for Hawai‘i. We need to have a real discussion on ways to diversify our economy away from being dangerously dependent on the latter.

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Hawai‘i’s other economic drivers are construction/real estate, along with the military. These industries are too cyclical and staked to the ebb and flow of world events.

There aren’t a lot of well-paying jobs here aside from tourism. This has resulted in a population decline due to more and more people moving to the US mainland. This won’t change unless we all look in the mirror and decide what kind of future we really want. The first step is to stop saying no to every new project or industry that wants to start operations here.

The local government can’t be a savior forever, as they’re saddled with unfunded retirement benefits owed to ex-government employees. I am deeply concerned about where this state is headed. The future looks very bleak unless changes are made.”

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