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Economy

Hawaii can thrive despite one-party dominance

Photo by Charley Myers While voters across the nation settled in to await the final results of their state elections, in Hawaii it wasn’t hard to predict that the outcome would be a victory for the status quo. After all, that is what happens when yours is virtually a one-party

Read More →

Can Hawaii’s lockdowns be overturned in court?

Many groups nationwide have filed lawsuits against the coronavirus emergency orders declared by their governors. Some have been successful. Others not, including at least two so far in Hawaii, in both state and federal court. Can Hawaii’s seemingly interminable state lockdown, first ordered in March, ever be overturned in court? On Friday,

Read More →

How to diversify Hawaii’s economy

We’ve heard the mantra for many decades: Hawaii’s economy needs to diversify. But lately we’re hearing it even more, thanks to the collapse of our state’s biggest industry, tourism, due to the coronavirus lockdowns implemented in March that continue to this day. The idea of diversification, of course, has merit. It’s

Read More →

Great Lockdown Crash of 2020 is wake-up call for Hawaii lawmakers

This commentary was originally published, without the footnotes, in The Garden Island on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020. _____________ Warren Buffett once said, “You only learn who has been swimming naked when the tide goes out.”[1] That includes states, and now that the tide has receded, it’s easy to see that

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Pollyanna approach to Hawaii’s economic woes not working

At the beginning of the year, our governor boasted about his efforts to put the state on a “sound financial footing.” What a difference a few months can make. That quote from Gov. David Ige’s State of the State address in January was a reference to the plan to pay down the

Read More →

It’s not too late for real, substantive change

Nobody likes to hear, “We told you so,” but … For years, the Grassroot Institute had been warning state and county policymakers that their approach to spending and taxation was unsustainable, and that Hawaii was unprepared for a major crisis, whether economic or natural. Well, that crisis finally came, and

Read More →

Lockdown was last straw for Hawaii economy

During “normal” years, late summer is when I usually talk about what Hawaii needs to do to improve its economy relative to other states. But this is not an ordinary year. This was brought home to me when I looked at the newest edition of “Rich States, Poor States,” the

Read More →

Maui needs a ‘road map to prosperity’ — and here it is

This commentary was published originally in The Maui News on June 23, 2020. ______________ Maui is slowly getting back to business after the COVID-19 lockdown, but for residents who are surveying the economic damage, there is a serious question to be addressed. Can the economy be “restarted” effectively? After all,

Read More →

Prosperity is possible if we follow the ‘road map’

Some of our ideas might be considered unrealistic in normal times, but these are not normal times Those of you who have been supporting us at the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii know we have been warning for six years that the state was spending too much during the good years, and

Read More →

COVID-19 crisis a wake-up call for policymakers

After over two months of compulsory lockdowns, Hawaii’s state and county governments in May finally started reopening the economy. At the time, Hawaii had among the lowest number of total coronavirus infections and fatalities nationwide, and it still does. The state’s public health status appeared to be mostly in the

Read More →

Hawaii can thrive despite one-party dominance

Photo by Charley Myers While voters across the nation settled in to await the final results of their state elections, in Hawaii it wasn’t hard to predict that the outcome would be a victory for the status quo. After all, that is what happens when yours is virtually a one-party

Read More →

Can Hawaii’s lockdowns be overturned in court?

Many groups nationwide have filed lawsuits against the coronavirus emergency orders declared by their governors. Some have been successful. Others not, including at least two so far in Hawaii, in both state and federal court. Can Hawaii’s seemingly interminable state lockdown, first ordered in March, ever be overturned in court? On Friday,

Read More →

How to diversify Hawaii’s economy

We’ve heard the mantra for many decades: Hawaii’s economy needs to diversify. But lately we’re hearing it even more, thanks to the collapse of our state’s biggest industry, tourism, due to the coronavirus lockdowns implemented in March that continue to this day. The idea of diversification, of course, has merit. It’s

Read More →

Great Lockdown Crash of 2020 is wake-up call for Hawaii lawmakers

This commentary was originally published, without the footnotes, in The Garden Island on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020. _____________ Warren Buffett once said, “You only learn who has been swimming naked when the tide goes out.”[1] That includes states, and now that the tide has receded, it’s easy to see that

Read More →

Pollyanna approach to Hawaii’s economic woes not working

At the beginning of the year, our governor boasted about his efforts to put the state on a “sound financial footing.” What a difference a few months can make. That quote from Gov. David Ige’s State of the State address in January was a reference to the plan to pay down the

Read More →

It’s not too late for real, substantive change

Nobody likes to hear, “We told you so,” but … For years, the Grassroot Institute had been warning state and county policymakers that their approach to spending and taxation was unsustainable, and that Hawaii was unprepared for a major crisis, whether economic or natural. Well, that crisis finally came, and

Read More →

Lockdown was last straw for Hawaii economy

During “normal” years, late summer is when I usually talk about what Hawaii needs to do to improve its economy relative to other states. But this is not an ordinary year. This was brought home to me when I looked at the newest edition of “Rich States, Poor States,” the

Read More →

Maui needs a ‘road map to prosperity’ — and here it is

This commentary was published originally in The Maui News on June 23, 2020. ______________ Maui is slowly getting back to business after the COVID-19 lockdown, but for residents who are surveying the economic damage, there is a serious question to be addressed. Can the economy be “restarted” effectively? After all,

Read More →

Prosperity is possible if we follow the ‘road map’

Some of our ideas might be considered unrealistic in normal times, but these are not normal times Those of you who have been supporting us at the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii know we have been warning for six years that the state was spending too much during the good years, and

Read More →

COVID-19 crisis a wake-up call for policymakers

After over two months of compulsory lockdowns, Hawaii’s state and county governments in May finally started reopening the economy. At the time, Hawaii had among the lowest number of total coronavirus infections and fatalities nationwide, and it still does. The state’s public health status appeared to be mostly in the

Read More →