Sunday, March 1, 2020

All our eggs are in the tourism basket: WTF?

Doesn't anyone else see that we must diversify our economy NOW!

"Back in day" as they say Hawaii had an economy that was diversified, depending upon several sectors for income including the military and agricultural in the mix.  The coronavirus has put the spotlight on Hawaii's single tourism  income economy depending solely upon tourism as source of income.  It is obvious that when something like this disease occurs our whole single income society is disrupted.

Back in the day, it was pineapples and sugar that hugely contributed to us all making our economy more viable. Today some of our political leaders are saying that what we have to do is replace the visitors we lose that come from countries compromised with the Covid19 virus with visitors from elsewhere to replace the income we will surely lose from the present crisis. No way.  This is a global crisis.

To my way of thinking that is just whistling almost literally past the graveyard.  We need to diversify our economy and embrace sectors that earn an income from activities that don't depend strictly upon one activity, the "visitor industry."

There are suggestions others have put forward as alternate activities that might enhance our ability to survive in this modern world as viable.  Here are a couple of suggestions:
1.)  Increase agricultural activity, for example, making Hawaii a hub for producing marijuana and industrial hemp of high quality suitable for the production of recreational and medical products including CBD and other emerging products.  We have plentiful sunshine making it easy to use photovoltaic energy for hothouses and also is suitable for outside farming of plants.
2.) Pharmaceutical Manufacturing has come under notice during the present coronavirus crisis due to the broken supply chain with China.  Presently China supplies much of our medical pharmaceutical products and observers have noticed that some supplies will be unobtainable due to the broken supply chain.  This is a light manufacturing industry again suitable for use with our readily available sunlight and could go suitably hand in hand with Industrial Hemp production.
3. Others that have been mentioned are; Software development, Specialized Health Care Research, and high tech manufacturing and research are others.

Problems with development of alternate industry in Hawaii begin and end in my opinion with land acquisition and availability.  We have few large landowners in Hawaii the big companies which are the owners and inheritors of the plantation system that hold our destiny in their grasp.  If we can deal with the cost of land without prostituting ourselves to a predatory visitor industry we will be able to escape from this problem.  Remember that we lost billions during the previous SARS crisis.
Otherwise we will be stuck with things the way they are today with our leaders dedicated to overbuilding and overpopulation and a lame old style visitor industry population!

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