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A recent study from the Cato Institute revealed that Hawaii leads the nation in making welfare more attractive than work.  The Cato white paper, entitled “The Work Versus Welfare Trade-off” notes that:

  • Hawaii ranks first among the fifty states in several categories which produce a disincentive for welfare recipients to leave welfare or reduce their benefits for employment.
  • An average Hawaii welfare recipient would need to earn $60,590 in pre-tax wages in order to earn the equivalent of his or her welfare benefits.
  • Hawaii also ranked first in the hourly wage equivalent of welfare benefits per recipient with an average of $29.13.

As the revelations have sent shock waves through the state, Grassroot President Keli’i Akina has stressed that the report pinpoints the economic problems created by rewarding people for not working.  With Hawaii’s economic woes and unfunded liabilities, we should be looking at how to spur job growth and get as many people working as possible.  In this interview with Hawaii Public Radio, Dr. Akina expands on the problems inherent with incentivizing welfare dependency.