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Freedom in Hawaii is having a moment

The Fourth of July is just around the corner, and the freedoms that all Americans enjoy are well worth celebrating.

Of course, Hawaii tends not to be known for enjoying great amounts of economic freedom — at least not compared to most other states in the U.S. But it appears that finally we might be on the cusp of change.

This year especially, our freedoms were expanded with the passage by our state lawmakers of important legislation. Those expansions covered taxes, housing and healthcare — and I’m hoping that won’t be the end of it as we move forward.

The importance of freedom is that it is the key to both personal and economic fulfillment. Whether you want to be an artist, homebuilder, truck driver, farmer, doctor, professor, athlete, inventor or whatever, freedom is what allows you to follow your path.

The more freedom we have, the more we can be ourselves, whether as individuals or as members of our families and broader communities.

This is why I focus so much on trying to get our legislators and other policymakers to appreciate the wonders and benefits of freedom, whether it is about lowering our taxes, making it easier to build homes, or even loosening regulations on beekeeping, cottage foods or other small business activities throughout the islands.

It has been gratifying to see signs of change in Hawaii. Freedom is having a moment.

But that moment can easily slip away.

That is why I urge all of us to keep the momentum going. Together, we must encourage our lawmakers to continue adopting policies that will expand our freedoms.

As economic research has shown again and again, the people of states and nations do best when their governments embrace greater economic freedom — lower taxes and fewer regulations.

This Fourth of July, I hope that you will join me and raise a glass — or a hot dog or a sparkler — in celebration of greater freedom in Hawaii.
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This commentary was Keli‘i Akina’s weekly “President’s Corner” column for June 29, 2024. If you would like to have his columns emailed to you on a regular basis, please call 808-864-1776 or email info@grassrootinstitute.org.

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