Tuesday, February 7, 2023
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Sunday, February 5, 2017
Don’t mug taxpayers to pay for Hawaii’s high cost of living
By Grassroot Institute @ 10:01 AM :: 3741 Views :: Taxes

Don’t mug taxpayers to pay for Hawaii’s high cost of living

by Joe Kent, Grassroot Institute, Feb 2, 2017

Hawaii has the highest cost of living in the United States, and government union leaders are calling for higher salaries to pay for the price of paradise. But Hawaii’s taxpayers shouldn’t be mugged to pay for it.

All locals deal with Hawaii’s high prices, so it doesn’t make sense to “fix” the problem by taxing everybody more to pay for government workers. This would only make Hawaii’s cost of living even worse for everyone.

In addition, private workers make much less than government employees in Hawaii, so increasing taxes to pay for higher wages for government workers seems unfair.

Public unions are correct in recognizing that it’s difficult to attract and retain new talent with Hawaii’s low wages and high prices, but this doesn’t tell the whole story.

Hawaii also has other advantages that could attract new talent. For example, Hawaii is one of the most beautiful places in the world to live, with high rankings in health and happiness.

In addition, most locals accept that a mainland-style, two-story house with a big yard and white picket fence is simply out of reach. Trying to even out Hawaii’s cost of living by giving more money to public unions so they can afford mainland-sized houses would mean hiking government salaries to millionaire  levels.

Before boosting salaries to pay for Hawaii’s high prices, we must recognize that there are many ways to deal with rising prices.

Consumers are not helpless when the price of something goes up. Smart shoppers look for alternatives, and entrepreneurs are continually inventing new ways to bridge the gap for islanders to find mainland prices.

Online stores like Amazon, Best Buy, and Target offer free shipping to Hawaii at bargain-bin prices. Amazon even ships grocery items for free, via Amazon Prime Pantry, although a trip to the grocery store might offer fresher food.

Akamai locals also know that Costco is one of the best island hacks for dealing with Hawaii’s high cost of living. Locals often get sticker shock at how low Costco prices are compared to regular grocery stores.

In addition, Hawaii residents get a big discount on something that is expensive for everyone else in the world: namely, a free trip to Hawaii.

It’s true that Hawaii residents still deal with high prices for groceries and gas, but much of that is due to government taxes and regulations.

The general excise tax, for example, raises Hawaii’s cost of living more than most people realize, as it pyramids and much of it is hidden from the consumer. Government regulations on commerce and shipping also add enormously to Hawaii’s high cost of living.

Hawaii’s government could do a lot to give everyone a pay raise. Instead of raising taxes, it could lower or eliminate various taxes and regulations. This would go a long way toward boosting take-home pay for everyone in the islands.

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

ACA Signups Hawaii

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Back da Blue Hawaii

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

ChinaTownWatch.com

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

HIEC.Coop

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT