I just watched the season finale of "Game of Thrones" on HBO, and I'm on the third book in the series on my Kindle, so forgive me for applying a Middle Ages analogy to the Foodland flap in Hawaii Kai.
Tenants hate landlords in Hawaii. Residential tenants say landlords never do the repairs they promise, and if you pressure them to do the work, they then raise the rent. Commercial tenants say landlords seem to think tenants can come across with any amount they want, and if the tenant folds or moves away, and the property is empty for months or years, landlords never blame themselves.
The guy who owns the local Jack-in-the-Box franchises closed his unit at McCully and Kalakaua years ago because the landlords wanted a huge increase in the rent, and the property did indeed remain unused for most of the past couple years. I know a retailer in Kailua who is closing his pet supply store forever because of a big increase in the rent. Now we have the Foodland slated to close at Koko Marina Center because a drug store chain offered better terms for the same space. Unless community pressure reverses the decision, Hawaii Kai residents will have two nearby grocery choices, where they had four just a couple years ago.
I was thinking how we always refer to "the business community," but there is a big difference between the business of being a landlord and the business of doing almost anything else. That's when the "Games of Thrones" analogy popped into my head.
The HBO series closely hews to a series of novels under the imprimatur "Fire & Ice" which describe a fantasy world of warring kings. Though the world, its geography and its animal species are invented, most of the story seems set in an alternative universe Dark Ages. The kingdom of Westeros is really seven kingdoms loosely held together, and sometimes torn asunder, by wars, alliances, arranged marriages, backstabbing, and commerce. Each component kingdom is its own economy, with the regional king taxing his people. The king can be an army general or a judge dispending justice, but mostly, it seems to me, he is a landlord, and his fiefs owe allegiance and must pay what he demands.
In the modern world, the landlord is the king, and businesses that make things or sell services are subjects. Most of the differences involve our being more civilized now, but not all: in the real Dark Ages as well as "Game of Thrones," kings considered themselves special and sometimes would be good, as evidence of this. Landlords regard themselves as business people, and if they do something good it would be difficult for them not to regard themselves as chumps.
Having an army of warriors made a difference in those days, of course, and in a sense that hasn't changed much; today it helps to have an army... of lawyers.