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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Friday, May 24, 2002

Island Voices
Forbes didn't look at what we have

Lee Hiromoto, originally from Wahiawa, will be a sophomore at Yale University in the fall.

As a recently transplanted Hawai'i expatriate, I found myself paying special attention to the recent fury surrounding the article in Forbes magazine denouncing Hawai'i's economic climate.

In the article, Lynn J. Cook makes reference to a number of governmental policies that hinder the economic development of our Islands.

She also points to various economic indicators and other sets of numbers in an attempt to show how horribly despotic our state's government is.

Although I do not dispute her claim that our state is not the most business-friendly in the nation, she is most definitely wrong when she passes judgment on our state based solely on spreadsheets of statistics and fat books of regulations.

On the contrary, our special island lifestyle and serenely beautiful surroundings more than redeem Hawai'i for the fiscal faults that Ms. Cook cites in her article.

One, especially one who does not possess the intimate acquaintance with Hawai'i that its residents do, should not even try to evaluate our state without taking the overall contentment of the people into account.

The best measures of our state's success are the smiles across the exuberant faces of children frolicking in the waves at Kailua Beach or the many happy families roaming through Pearlridge.

It is most certainly not a set of numbers processed and analyzed on the Mainland.

I know my homeland will be an expensive place to come home to, but that does not deter me. The panoramic beauty, amiable people and the generally much more relaxed pace of life are worth the added financial expense of returning home after finishing college.

Money may buy quite a few material possessions, but even the vastest quantities of "things" cannot and will not replace the tropical paradise that I call home.

There will always be those in this world for whom monetary wealth and economic efficiency are the great ends in life, the ultimate goals beyond all others.

These money-minded individuals' opinions should not disturb the tranquility of our island home.