Time doesn't stand still and neither can Hawaii
IT IS natural for people to reminisce about the old days. I'm only 25 years old, and I already feel nostalgic about the good times of the past.
That's totally OK when you're sitting alone at home or when talking story to longtime friends.
However, some people use nostalgia as an excuse to oppose any development, whether it's a condo building, a neighborhood or a Wal-Mart being built.
Many of these opponents grew up in Hawaii in the 1950s and 1960s, and they want Hawaii to stay the way they remember it.
How ironic, since when they were children, the adults (who grew up in the 1920s) already wished things were the way they were when they were young.
People just assume that the way things were when they grew up was how it was before they were born.
If those people were living in caveman times, they would oppose the idea of building homes outside of caves, not to mention basic sanitation, electric systems and other things we take for granted today.
THINGS CHANGE, and it happens everywhere.
Whenever a new building goes up in city or suburb, opponents call it the "mainland-ization" of Hawaii. But is the mainland the same as it was in the 1960s? Is Japan the same as it was in the 1960s? Is Mexico the same? Is France? The answer, obviously, is no! But some people want Hawaii to be exempt from the passage of time.
When a new condominium is built in Kakaako, or a new neighborhood is built near Kona, opponents promote the fear of the Big, Bad, White Mainlanders who are coming to take over Hawaii and drive up property values. But as mentioned in a recent newspaper article, Hawaii people are more likely to move to the mainland, than mainlanders are to move to Hawaii.
Most of the population increase in Hawaii is due to: 1) babies born to Hawaii residents and 2) foreign immigration, mostly from Asia, Micronesia and the South Pacific.
IT'S IRONIC that the anti- development folks complain about both suburban and urban development, yet they have the nerve to complain about the high cost of housing. If they had their way, housing would be even more expensive because there would be even fewer houses. It's basic supply and demand: When the supply of homes goes down, the demand goes up and the remaining supply of houses becomes more expensive. Then more Hawaii residents must choose between homelessness or moving to the mainland.
What this means is that the anti-development agenda is a bigger threat to Hawaii residents today than the Big, Bad, White Mainlander.
DON'T GET me wrong, I still want to see forests in Hawaii. But I also understand that people need places to live, so we either have more suburban development or more condominiums in urban areas. I prefer more condominiums so that more people can enjoy the urban life of Honolulu without wasting their time in long commutes from other parts of Oahu.
One last thing: I am not a Big, Bad, White Mainlander; I am a Medium-Sized, Brown-Skinned, Hawaii-Born-and-Raised Guy who grew up in a low-income section of urban Honolulu.
But I still think fearing development and Big, Bad, White Mainlanders is ridiculous!
Pablo Wegesend lives in Honolulu.