The economic anxiety has been profound during this time of crisis. Understandably, many people want things to go back to “normal.”
The governor’s own economic recovery plan as of now is to essentially rebuild the tourism industry and go from there.
The governor’s own task force is composed mostly of corporate talking heads and some from academe. It did not represent a broader range of the community and basically underlined the message that we have to return to “normal.”
That’s is exactly where the problem lies. What we had prior to March was always not sustainable, particularly for the working class, women, and for Native Hawaiians.
We had gotten so used to colonial clichés like “aloha spirit,” “Lucky you live Hawaii” and “the paradise tax” that too many accepted that “it is what it is.”
To be clear, what was left behind in March in terms of the economy and its social impact was one where:
> unemployment was low due to, among other reasons, the fact that people were working two or more jobs and the state was not keeping track of underemployment;
the houseless population was among the highest in the U.S.;
luxury condos were being built faster than […]