This recent piece by John Sutter at CNN had some interesting tidbits that relate to Populations with heterogeneous preferences (i.e. Preference Externalities). As some economists are finally starting to take a look at how populations with heterogeneous preferences can affect sub-populations within the larger group simply due to the cumulative effects of economic activity (cf. Economies of Agglomeration) it can be instructive to take a look at States, such as Hawaii, which have a very diverse heterogeneous population.
Hawaiians are Citizens of the US, obviously, but seem to have a different sense of the history the United States that just doesn’t always lie harmoniously with the sense of their history of Hawaii as a former Sovereign Monarchy. In many ways, views of history held by American Indians are similar with respects to what can sometimes be considered an invading power.
Here are a couple select quotes from the piece to illustrate this viewpoint. This viewpoint is simply one set of many given reasons in the piece for the low voter in the state of Hawaii.
I met people like Nani Teruya, a fiery 51-year-old who throws her head back like Kermit the Frog when she laughs. She says the U.S. is illegally occupying Hawaii, and she doesn’t vote on principle.
“We have nothing in common: language, culture,” said Tama Kaleleiki, whom I met after a church service on Maui where the hymns are sung in Hawaiian and accompanied by a ukulele. The U.S. and Hawaii, he said, are like “apples and bananas.”
Image: “Kalaniōpu`u, King of Owyhee bringing Presents to Captain Cook,” ca. 1781-83. Pen, ink wash, watercolor, by John Webber, artist aboard Cook’s ship.