Monday, February 22, 2010

Can Hawaii Work?

It shouldn't be a secret that living in a tent in Hawaii is preferable to living in a crowded shelter -- usually with poor ventilation, etc. In fact, a tent may be the optimal structure for housing in Hawaii -- and not the many poorly designed structures people have been forced into.

"Homelessness" means having no home, and not that one prefers a tent to live in, or likes only having all that they can carry on them, or don't care that it gets stolen because they scavenge most of it in the first place.

There's always been a nomadic tradition among human populations, and in Hawaii, minimal requirements for housing because of its hospitable climate.

Even now, prefabricated housing, trailers, and a lot of cheap alternatives are banned so that union construction workers can maintain artificially high salaries and make the many housing alternatives unthinkable.

The housing problem in Hawaii is greatly due to the lack of true options -- forcing everybody into the limited choices.

Create separate areas for alternative housing (tents) -- and alternative communities where people solve their problems instead of denying they exist, so that they have a place to go to besides the parks and valuable resources. Obviously, ignoring the problem and hoping they'll just go away is not working.

There is no "positive" alternative -- but just the usual punishments if they don't get in line with the limited pre-existing choices, that are unattractive and they've probably tried them before.

But that doesn't mean people can't create working communities -- and communities that do work. Such places don't have to be desolate unstructured, lawless no-man's lands. They could be communal living arrangements -- like hostels, co-housing, extended family rather than nuclear family arrangements, etc.

They can make up rules for a society based on common agreement -- and not just be regarded as bands of outlaws whose lives have to be made more difficult until they conform properly.

The primary purpose and function of government is to produce a meaningful and positive culture and society -- and not as it has become in Hawaii, just a means to reward one's own ohana -- and too bad about everybody else. And that's why you have all these problems. That was the meaning of the persecution of the majority Shiites by the minority Sunnis in Iraq -- to which the legislature of Hawaii highly approved and admired, and sent their fondest Alohas to Saddam.

It's a matter of record. And so the fact that large segments of the population are treated badly and ignored while a favored few are rewarded lifetime tenures and sinecures have always resulted in this kind of misery for an increasingly many before the people finally revolt and start something different.

That's how even great civilizations rise and fall -- as a response to the challenge of their times. When they can no longer respond effectively to any challenges, then something new must replace it.

Otherwise you have another Haiti, Micronesia, Nauru, Taliban, Easter Island in the making -- rather than the Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealands. That's how the world works.


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