New Year’s Day 2014

Jan. 1 may be the most optimistic day of the year.

As each new year begins, there is hope that comes from a deep-down feeling that the world has been given a clean slate. Yes, some of the same old problems remain, but there is a belief that new solutions will be found, new coalitions will be forged and that the indomitable human spirit will triumph.

Of course, all of that will go away on Jan. 2.

But let’s pretend there is, indeed, a clean slate for 2014. What should be written on that slate for an agenda for the county, state, country and world?

All those entities share one large goal – the creation and stabilization of a healthy economy.

On a county and state level, steps need to be taken to keep the resurgence in the visitor industry going and expand it to other sectors. County government has become markedly more proactive in helping businesses thrive and survive. All of the Friday events that are flourishing around Maui island were joined by a very successful Fourth of July and Halloween in Lahaina.

The Arakawa administration is doing its best to let the business community know it realizes the economic engine is driven by successful entrepreneurs.

State government, too, needs to demonstrate its willingness to promote business. The most obvious way to show that willingness is to be very careful about imposing more – or increasing – taxes and fees.

Washington, D.C., should set an example for the world by getting its financial house in order. The best thing we can do for the struggling economies of Europe is to show them we are tackling our problems – not “kicking the can down the road.”

While the new slate seems to be centered on the economy, that’s as it should be. People here, on the Mainland and around the world need good jobs. We need government at all levels acting responsibly to create an environment for business success and job creation.

(A version of this editorial has appeared previously in The Maui News.)

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.