You Don’t Have to be Psychic

Though that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t help.

Guessing about the future is the essence of politics.  You guess that your policies will help, others prognosticate their miserable failure, and you both stake your political fortunes on the outcome.  It may seem like a game, but the stakes are higher than anyone realizes.  This is, after all, a version of roulette that stakes our economic, social, and cultural health on who’s right and who’s wrong.

With all that said, as any poker player could tell you–well, any successful poker player that is–there are ways to limit how much of a risk you’re actually taking.  You can look at history, trends, and so on and make an educated guess about the potential pitfalls ahead.  And that’s why we in Hawaii should be interested in the situation of other federally recognized tribes.   After all, if the Akaka Bill is passed, we will have a new Native Hawaiian government and a lot of changes.  So a look at American Indian Tribes, the government, and the law is probably a good idea.

And that’s what you’ll find with the first two installments of our new series on possible unintended consequences of Akaka.  The first looks at the possible impact of the bill on children and families in light of the Indian Child Welfare Act, a federal law meant to give recognized tribes a say in the custody of children that could have profound consequences if applied in Hawaii.  And the second considers the problem of casino gaming–while Akaka’s supporters claim that this issue has been put to rest, there are plenty of reasons to feel less than sanguine about it.

Of course, these are just questions and possibilities . . . factors to consider, not ironclad prognostication.  But shouldn’t someone be raising these questions before we find ourselves trying to wade through the unintended consequences of another political gamble?

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