industry, even to the extent of funding a "booster club" (the Hawai'i Visitors Bureau) whose television and radio propaganda tells locals 'the more you give' to tourism 'the more you get’" (Trask 3). The industry and state government relies heavily on the Bureau's research. Thus, the powerful serve the powerful by regulating tourism and its discourse. Therefore, imperialism continues in the form tourism. Native Hawaiians, such as Haunani-Kay Trask, have little power over tourism in their own homeland.
Haunani-Kay Trask is a descendant of the Pi’ilanli line of Maui and the Kahakumakaliua line of Kaua'i. She is an accomplished professor, author, poet, and activist. Trask is a member of Ka Lahui Hawai'i, the native organization for self- government. She teaches Hawaiian Studies at the Univeristy of Hawai'i and is the recipient of numerous awards. Along with her sister, she leads protest movements and is an extremely influential Hawaiian public figure.Beyond economists' tables and charts, Haunani-Kay Trask provides figures of a very different story. The lifestyle of native Hawaiians is "neither soft nor kind" (Trask 137). While tourism is portrayed as an economic savior by providing thousands of jobs, the charts do not indicate the uneven distribution of wealth produced by the tourist industry. Tourism is a "labor intensive" industry that relies on low wages by considering the work "unskilled" or "natural". Trask points out that while profits boast millions ofdollars, natives who work in the tourist industry as dancers, waiters, singers, valets, gardeners, housekeepers, bartenders, and even some managers earn only 10,000 to 25,000 dollars a year. This is an impossible salary for families. In fact, Hawai’i has the worst ratio of average family income to average family costs. Fifty-two percent of families' gross income is spent on housing. From the early nineteen seventies to the early nineteen eighties, Hawai’i's residents' income increased only one percent while the tourist industry was booming. Forced off their land and given poorly paid jobs, native Hawaiians have been crowded into urban areas and rural slums. About one-fifth of Hawai’i's residents live in poverty and over 29, 000 families are on Hawaiian trust lands list, waiting for housing, pastoral, or agricultural lots. For instance, in the 1970s Sand Island Beach village was home to about 138 families, mostly native Hawaiians. Already forced off their land due to tourist developments, these families lived in lumber and cardboard constructed houses. In 1980 arrests were made
when the entire village was evicted and made into a park. Extravagant living costs have made renting or buying housing impossible. Today, the average cost of a home on the most populated island, O'ahu, is approximately 350,000 dollars. The extraordinary living expenses coupled with poorly paid jobs have caused many natives to leave their ancestral land. Today, native Hawaiians only comprise twenty percent of the resident population. Some studies show that more Hawaiians live on the West Coast of the United States than in Hawai'i. In a place where tourists outnumber natives 30 to 1, Trask shows that the effects of tourism on native life are devastating.
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