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HART frustrates state audit

The Honolulu rail project is attracting new adjectives. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser recently dubbed it “troubled,” Honolulu Civil Beat called it “beleaguered,” and one of its own overseers, Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) board member John Henry Felix, alluded to the project as being “flawed.” Given the lack of transparency

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Free speech beats ‘free rider’

In a month that has seen several controversial Supreme Court decisions, the Justices may have saved the biggest one for last. On Wednesday, the Court handed down its decision in Janus v. AFSCME, which challenged the constitutionality of requiring government employees to pay dues to a public employees union. Mark

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Brave new world for taxis

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Tuesday (June 19) vetoed a bill that would have capped surge pricing for ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft. And kudos to the mayor for that. The City Council has until July 19 to override the veto, but at the moment economic common sense

Read More →

‘Audit the rail’ still a good idea

The state of Honolulu’s rail project has become so problematic that even a board member for Honolulu Area Rapid Transportation (HART) is asking to press the pause button. But that’s not all. The Grassroot Institute recently obtained a letter (see full letter here) written by HART board member John Henry

Read More →

At least we’re not as bad as California …

This week I am writing to you from Dallas and the Economic Freedom of North America (EFNA) conference. Every year I join with leaders of policy think tanks from other U.S. states, plus from Canada and Mexico, to meet with economists who measure and study ways to advance economic freedom

Read More →

Blowing the whistle on HART

It’s difficult to protect workplace whistleblowers if intimidation is present in the very place where they would blow their proverbial whistles. But that is what appears to be happening at the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART), which has been undergoing an audit on behalf of the Hawaii state Legislature.

Read More →

Pension risk includes lava

How is a volcano like a dip in the stock market? That’s not a riddle, though I’m sure our witty members could come up with some clever responses. Rather, it is a different perspective on how the Kilauea eruption might have a long-term effect on the state’s unfunded public pension

Read More →

Holding the state accountable

I’m delighted to let you know that The Wall Street Journal has just published exclusive research by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. Our story on how the Hawaii state government encouraged the building of homes in the currently erupting lava zones has now gone national! This is an example of

Read More →

Good intentions pave road to homelessness

We are all aware of Hawaii’s “pay to play” culture and “friends and family” cronyism, but the high cost of housing does not appear to be the result of widespread corruption. It is more a case of good intentions gone awry. That was the message of David Callies, law professor at the

Read More →

Ditch minimum wage; help the poor

Hawaii’s Legislature did not approve a higher minimum wage this year, and that’s a good thing, if you want to help the poor. In 2010, researchers from the National Bureau of Economic Research and the Federal Reserve Board compiled the results of 53 scholarly studies into a book, “Minimum Wages”

Read More →

HART frustrates state audit

The Honolulu rail project is attracting new adjectives. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser recently dubbed it “troubled,” Honolulu Civil Beat called it “beleaguered,” and one of its own overseers, Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) board member John Henry Felix, alluded to the project as being “flawed.” Given the lack of transparency

Read More →

Free speech beats ‘free rider’

In a month that has seen several controversial Supreme Court decisions, the Justices may have saved the biggest one for last. On Wednesday, the Court handed down its decision in Janus v. AFSCME, which challenged the constitutionality of requiring government employees to pay dues to a public employees union. Mark

Read More →

Brave new world for taxis

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Tuesday (June 19) vetoed a bill that would have capped surge pricing for ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft. And kudos to the mayor for that. The City Council has until July 19 to override the veto, but at the moment economic common sense

Read More →

‘Audit the rail’ still a good idea

The state of Honolulu’s rail project has become so problematic that even a board member for Honolulu Area Rapid Transportation (HART) is asking to press the pause button. But that’s not all. The Grassroot Institute recently obtained a letter (see full letter here) written by HART board member John Henry

Read More →

At least we’re not as bad as California …

This week I am writing to you from Dallas and the Economic Freedom of North America (EFNA) conference. Every year I join with leaders of policy think tanks from other U.S. states, plus from Canada and Mexico, to meet with economists who measure and study ways to advance economic freedom

Read More →

Blowing the whistle on HART

It’s difficult to protect workplace whistleblowers if intimidation is present in the very place where they would blow their proverbial whistles. But that is what appears to be happening at the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART), which has been undergoing an audit on behalf of the Hawaii state Legislature.

Read More →

Pension risk includes lava

How is a volcano like a dip in the stock market? That’s not a riddle, though I’m sure our witty members could come up with some clever responses. Rather, it is a different perspective on how the Kilauea eruption might have a long-term effect on the state’s unfunded public pension

Read More →

Holding the state accountable

I’m delighted to let you know that The Wall Street Journal has just published exclusive research by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. Our story on how the Hawaii state government encouraged the building of homes in the currently erupting lava zones has now gone national! This is an example of

Read More →

Good intentions pave road to homelessness

We are all aware of Hawaii’s “pay to play” culture and “friends and family” cronyism, but the high cost of housing does not appear to be the result of widespread corruption. It is more a case of good intentions gone awry. That was the message of David Callies, law professor at the

Read More →

Ditch minimum wage; help the poor

Hawaii’s Legislature did not approve a higher minimum wage this year, and that’s a good thing, if you want to help the poor. In 2010, researchers from the National Bureau of Economic Research and the Federal Reserve Board compiled the results of 53 scholarly studies into a book, “Minimum Wages”

Read More →