Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Inherit the Perfect Storm

A lot of people in Hawaii think that winning elections is all there is to politics -- and not that one ever has to make any hard decisions -- as to where the money is coming from. They think the federal government will always have plenty to give them -- and there is no competition for those treasured dollars from anywhere else.

But even if one is successful at obtaining such government grants, one should spend it on the most pressing and worthwhile priorities of that society, and not just in the most frivolous ways possible. Then, those expenditures will have done some good and provided some usefulness, instead of just spending money with no great return that thereafter pays succeeding generations -- rather than simply needing more money each year.

That part, Hawaii never mastered in the ages of affluence -- having built its vaunted reputation on such conspicuous and needless consumption. Then one day, all that money dries up -- and nobody knows how to do anything but demand that somebody give them some (more) -- while expecting nothing in return.

In times of plenty, such demands may be met with indulgence, but when times are difficult and money is hard to come by for everyone, the underlying values are revealed. One can no longer get something for nothing. At such times, money is not everything, and may be the least significant of all considerations because it is not money one is ultimately after, but the value one can get in return for it.

Many in Hawaii, have never learned such values -- as it has always been their “entitlement.” It was always expected, that everybody in the world would want to live here -- in paradise, and money was no object to do so. Money is not the object -- but exchanging value for value, which requires being able to create something of value, and not just to demand it.

That’s a whole other way of living, thinking, and sense of values -- that people who have had difficult times learn because they had to. One seldom learns it otherwise, when everything is given to them -- by the generous hand of some benefactors, who may have been misguided in thinking to prevent them from that contact with reality.

But when they are gone, or are no longer around to ensure that carefree paradise, then the people, all at once, learn the difficulties of providing for their own livelihood, peace, freedom and prosperity. Then they have no choice, because nobody has the luxury to give it to another.


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