I became familiar with American Samoa when asked to administer wage hearings there in 2001. At the time I was a Chief Economist with the U.S. Department of Labor and interested in promoting increased wages for the impoverished population of this South Pacific U.S. Territory.
Although that was eight years ago the memory and plight of American Samoans have stayed with me. In fact, the beauty of this tropical island and its unique culture made it ideal as the colorful backdrop for my new novel, ISLAND OF BETRAYAL (Gauthier/April 2010). Hopefully, the novel’s depiction of American Samoa’s problems will call attention to the need for remedial action.
In the meantime, when the tsunami hit the Samoas, I thought it an appropriate time to remind policy makers that Samoans face many fundamental problems, such as inadequate education and health care that should be addressed in addition to tsunami relief. The piece was quickly accepted by The Honolulu Advertiser, Hawaii’s largest circulated daily. Since Hawaii is geographically the closest U.S. State to the Samoas and the home of many Samoan natives, the Advertiser was an ideal newspaper for the column.
As a bonus, at the article's conclusion, the Advertiser credited me with my latest non-fiction book, SELLING OUT AMERICA’S DEMOCRACY: HOW LOBBYISTS, SPECIAL INTERESTS, AND CAMPAIGN FINANCING DENY THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE as well as my upcoming novel, ISLAND OF BETRAYAL.
For a copy of my Op Ed, see the EVENTS section of my website, www.alanlmoss.com.