Editor’s Note: This article is part of a series by participants in a free, public forum on Monday Feb. 28 at the University of Hawaii, bringing together authors from The Price of Paradise books from the 1990s and The Value of Hawaii collection of essays from last year. Learn more.
Read related articles:Susan Chandler David Callies
The largest differences I see between 1992 and 2010 have to do with demographics, technological change, the structure of government programs and a more mature globalization:
1) Both locally and nationally, as we age there are fewer workers contributing to the economy and a growing percentage of older people, who make large demands on healthcare and pension programs. We see increasing examples of how difficult it is to maintain effective taxation rates to support public service including education, healthcare etc.
2) Technology change is having staggering effects on education at all levels, especially when these institutions are unable to keep abreast of it. Nationally, proprietary for-profit, employment-focused education institutions are the fast growing segment of education. Many consequences ensue, but the cost of education keeps rising in part driven by technology, and at the higher education level governments support it less–students end up with massive loan obligations, and