Star-Bulletin Features

Sunday, May 6, 2001


Globalization in Hawaii
began with the arrival
of Capt. Cook


"Public Policy and Globalization in Hawaii"
Edited by Ibrahim Aoude
(University of Hawaii Press, 2001, $17)

Review by Robert Kamahalu Kasher

Special to the Star-Bulletin

That this rather daunting tome on the political economy of Hawaii will not gather a wide reading beyond the few specialists interested in pursuing the subject is unfortunate. In part this is due to the language of academe, which confuses in the name of attempting clarity. However, if you can get past that, there is much for patient readers to glean from this book.

As editor Ibrahim Aoude points out in his introduction, Hawaii has been uniquely affected by the growing forces of globalization throughout our history, starting with the greatest globalizer of all, Capt. James Cook.

More specifically, the book -- which is Volume 40 of the "Social Process in Hawaii" series -- focuses on the challenges ahead for the Hawaii economy as it confronts the New Economy.

One line struck me as particularly relevant in this year of educational strikes: "The state's claim that it cannot afford funding those demands (public-sector wage increases) is in part due to the loss of revenues experienced because of the tax-break package it has granted to the business sector."

This in order to become more competitive in the changing global economy!

Yet contradictorily, according to this book, training and education are also the keys to our ability to compete in the New Economy and attract new businesses to Hawaii.

Some sobering contradictions to consider as we enter this new millennium.

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