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President’s Corner

How to win the housing permitting game

I’ve been playing a new online game, but no matter what I do, I can’t seem to win. It’s a real-life simulation about getting authorized to build a house for your family. But I keep getting tripped up by Honolulu’s permitting process. The creative folks at Honolulu Civil Beat have

Read More →

Short-term rental ban deserves short life

You probably have heard that if you want less of something, all you need to do is tax and regulate it. Politicians are aware of this idea, which is why we have taxes and regulations on things such as alcohol, e-cigarettes and other products they consider “sinful,” unhealthy or a

Read More →

Hawaii’s biggest barrier to more housing is politics

Usually, when we say that “government” is responsible for the high price of housing in Hawaii, we are talking about bureaucracy: the rules, regulations, permits and barriers in general that make it difficult, time-consuming and expensive to build homes. But there is another side to the government’s role in the housing

Read More →

Do the right thing for Maui housing, not just ‘something’

“Do something,” goes the popular political call to action. But perhaps it would be better if politicians added a line from the medical field: “First, do no harm.” In the case of housing, the urge to “do something” too often means expanding the role of government, which research shows is

Read More →

Putting a human face on Hawaii’s doctor shortage

The greatest takeaway from three forums last week about Hawaii’s doctor shortage was the realization that we are dealing with an undeniable human tragedy. Sponsored by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, the forums on Maui, Oahu and Hawaii island made it clear that the state’s acute shortage of physicians —

Read More →

Will we have to beg for a waiver too?

Watching the controversy unfold over the delivery of fuel to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico has been especially poignant to those of us who live in Hawaii. It’s hard not to look at the delay, political gamesmanship and dueling press statements and wonder how long it will be until Hawaii is in

Read More →

Getting by with a little help from our friends

Greetings from 35,000 feet! Through the clouds below me, the Great Plains are rolling by. This bird’s-eye view of our nation is a metaphor for how my colleagues and I at the Grassroot Institute have spent the past week. Over the last several days, we have been meeting with members

Read More →

Looking for housing in all the wrong places?

Many people in Hawaii believe the best way to “solve” the state’s housing crisis is through greater government involvement. They believe this even though studies upon studies overwhelmingly show that such involvement is the primary cause of the crisis in the first place. The University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization,

Read More →

Top-down energy plans not going down easy

We all know that Hawaii has the highest cost of living in the country. We also know about the many factors that contribute to those high costs, such as high taxation, too many regulations, not enough homes and the protectionist federal maritime law known as the Jones Act. What is less well

Read More →

Will more bureaucracy solve permit delays?

Hawaii’s high cost of housing has multiple causes, one of which is the time it takes to obtain a building permit, whether that be for a new home, a whole bunch of new homes or even a simple home improvement project. As the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization noted

Read More →

How to win the housing permitting game

I’ve been playing a new online game, but no matter what I do, I can’t seem to win. It’s a real-life simulation about getting authorized to build a house for your family. But I keep getting tripped up by Honolulu’s permitting process. The creative folks at Honolulu Civil Beat have

Read More →

Short-term rental ban deserves short life

You probably have heard that if you want less of something, all you need to do is tax and regulate it. Politicians are aware of this idea, which is why we have taxes and regulations on things such as alcohol, e-cigarettes and other products they consider “sinful,” unhealthy or a

Read More →

Hawaii’s biggest barrier to more housing is politics

Usually, when we say that “government” is responsible for the high price of housing in Hawaii, we are talking about bureaucracy: the rules, regulations, permits and barriers in general that make it difficult, time-consuming and expensive to build homes. But there is another side to the government’s role in the housing

Read More →

Do the right thing for Maui housing, not just ‘something’

“Do something,” goes the popular political call to action. But perhaps it would be better if politicians added a line from the medical field: “First, do no harm.” In the case of housing, the urge to “do something” too often means expanding the role of government, which research shows is

Read More →

Putting a human face on Hawaii’s doctor shortage

The greatest takeaway from three forums last week about Hawaii’s doctor shortage was the realization that we are dealing with an undeniable human tragedy. Sponsored by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, the forums on Maui, Oahu and Hawaii island made it clear that the state’s acute shortage of physicians —

Read More →

Will we have to beg for a waiver too?

Watching the controversy unfold over the delivery of fuel to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico has been especially poignant to those of us who live in Hawaii. It’s hard not to look at the delay, political gamesmanship and dueling press statements and wonder how long it will be until Hawaii is in

Read More →

Getting by with a little help from our friends

Greetings from 35,000 feet! Through the clouds below me, the Great Plains are rolling by. This bird’s-eye view of our nation is a metaphor for how my colleagues and I at the Grassroot Institute have spent the past week. Over the last several days, we have been meeting with members

Read More →

Looking for housing in all the wrong places?

Many people in Hawaii believe the best way to “solve” the state’s housing crisis is through greater government involvement. They believe this even though studies upon studies overwhelmingly show that such involvement is the primary cause of the crisis in the first place. The University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization,

Read More →

Top-down energy plans not going down easy

We all know that Hawaii has the highest cost of living in the country. We also know about the many factors that contribute to those high costs, such as high taxation, too many regulations, not enough homes and the protectionist federal maritime law known as the Jones Act. What is less well

Read More →

Will more bureaucracy solve permit delays?

Hawaii’s high cost of housing has multiple causes, one of which is the time it takes to obtain a building permit, whether that be for a new home, a whole bunch of new homes or even a simple home improvement project. As the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization noted

Read More →