Many people dismiss independence for Hawaiʻi with unsupported arguments that it is too small (in terms of population and economically),that a monarchy is an archaic form of government, or that the need for a military is an insurmountable one. None of these arguments have really been scrutinized – I do so here:
1. According to Wolfram Alpha, at $75.24 Billion, Hawaiʻi would be the 67th largest GDP out of 204 countries (there would be 205). Ironically, Cuba would be the next largest GDP at $66 Billion, but they have almost exactly ten times the population of Hawaiʻi (11 million). Of course, Hawaiʻi’s GDP would likely go down, but it is so much larger than the smallest economies, it is still quite possible that quality of life could be high. Tonga, for example, has about a $200 million economy, yet has no homelessness or starvation.
2. Monarchy is one of the most common forms of government in the world. Many countries that we think of as “democracies” (i.e., not monarchies, because the two must be incompatible) actually have monarchs: the UK (which includes Australia, New Zealand and Canada), Belgium, Japan (emperor), Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Thailand.
3. In today’s security environment, a military is not entirely necessary – or so say Haiti, Mauritius, Panama, and the Federated States of Micronesia. Admittedly, these all have security arrangements, but Costa Rica does not.
4. Epeli Hauʻofa’s concept of the Pacific as a “sea of islands” challenged the prevailing idea of Pacific smallness. Hawaiʻi is relatively huge (both in population and land mass) compared to Tonga, an independent country. Hawaiʻi’s population is larger than the following countries: Bahrain, Estonia, Mauritius, East Timor, Cyprus, Fiji, Bhutan, Montenegro, Solomon Islands, Malta, Brunei.
5. And more than 1 million larger than: Bahamas, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu, Barbados, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Cook Islands. This is significant, because of the 1.3 million current residents in Hawaiʻi, one million are not native Hawaiian (this does not count descendants of the roughly 2000 non-native Hawaiian citizens of the Kingdom). Nearly another 200,000 native Hawaiians live on the US continent.
6. One final fun population fact: Hilo is bigger than Monaco.