Local Connection: Sale of Lanai

By Rick Blangiardi

It's easy to think of Larry Ellison's purchase of Lanai as a story straight out of e-news-daily.

Ellison is the next richest american after Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.

He flies his own planes, he owned the boat that won the 2010 America's cup.

But his willingness to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in Hawaii is deeply significant.

For years, Hawaii economists have noted that Hawaii is home to great wealth.

But much of that wealth is invested on the mainland.

It's as if we think something can't be a good investment unless it's far away.

In recent years we've seen fine exceptions to the rule.

Steve Case and Pierre Omidyar, a Kama'aina and a transplant, have each invested heavily in Hawaii.

Our land is valuable, but not only our land.

Our universities, our start-ups, our enterprises are also worthy of local investment dollars.

Hawaii benefits when its capitalization comes from locals and from people from other places who have a deep appreciation for what Hawaii is.

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