Monday, January 25, 2021
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Friday, March 29, 2013
Report: Hawaii 47th in Freedom
By News Release @ 8:44 AM :: 4094 Views :: Hawaii Statistics

Freedom in the 50 States

From Mercatus Center

Now in its third edition, Freedom in the 50 States presents a completely revised and updated ranking of the American states based on how their policies promote freedom in the fiscal, regulatory, and personal realms.

This edition employs an enhanced methodology that makes it an even more comprehensive index than in past editions. Improving on their previous attempts to measure freedom, authors William P. Ruger and Jason Sorens use far more variables in this edition, including new variables related to economic freedom. In fact, more than 200 policy variables and their sources are now available to the public on this website. Scholars, policy makers, and concerned citizens can re-weigh every policy and create customized indices of freedom or download the data for their own analyses.

In the 2013 edition, the authors have updated their findings to:

  • include a new technique for aggregating policies into a freedom index based on “freedom value” (the estimated dollar value of each freedom affected to those who enjoy it);
  • improve and expand measures of business regulation, including new variables for land-use, professional, and insurance regulations; and
  • present results for more sophisticated statistical analyses of freedom's effects on migration and growth than those in previous editions.

In addition to providing the latest rankings for 2011, the 2013 edition builds on the data and rankings from previous editions for 2007 and 2009 and, for the first time, also includes data and rankings for 2001, highlighting changes in economic and personal freedom over the past decade.

  *   *   *   *   *

Hawaii Analysis: Hawaii has much room to improve. It scores poorly on all three dimensions of freedom.

On the spending side, the state is highly fiscally centralized due to its unique statewide school system. The tax burden is one of the highest in the country, at 11.3 percent of income. Sales, utilities, individual income, and motor vehicle license taxes are especially high.

In the regulatory policy dimension, the state government is interventionist, with strict workers’ compensation requirements, mandatory short-term disability insurance, and no right-to-work law. Land use is a politicized issue in Hawaii, and the state has the strictest zoning regulations in the country, while eminent domain abuse remains totally unchecked. The state is surprisingly laissez-faire about health insurance, with no community rating, even in small group markets; limited use of “prior approval” for premiums; and fewer mandates than average. Property/casualty insurance markets, on the other hand, are tightly regulated. Occupational freedom is restricted, with abnormally onerous education/experience, examination, and fees requirements. The court system is somewhat worse than average.

Gun control laws are among the most restrictive in the country—carrying a handgun is banned for everyone but police and security guards, and purchasing either a long gun or a handgun requires a permit and 14-day waiting period—but marijuana laws are relatively liberal. Hawaii has the ninth strictest gambling laws in the country: the only type of gaming permitted is social. Smoking bans apply to restaurants, bars, and workplaces without any exceptions. The cigarette tax, at $3.20 per pack, is one of the highest in the nation after being raised $1.20 in 2009—10. On the other side of the ledger, limited same-sex domestic partnerships are recognized (they have been upgraded to civil unions after the closing date for this study), and the crime-adjusted incarceration rate and drug arrest rate are much lower than average.

Policy Recommendations

  • Cut the taxes mentioned in the fiscal policy paragraph above, offsetting the change by reducing spending, particularly on personnel, in areas that are abnormally high, such as airports, public buildings, hospitals, sanitation and sewerage, and miscellaneous commercial activities.
  • Reform the tort system to discourage frivolous lawsuits and decrease the cost of the process. Even an average court system would have raised Hawaii five places on regulatory policy.
  • Legalize some form of gambling. Hawaii’s political culture seems to be opposed to large-scale, casino-style gaming, but there are alternative models that promote smaller-scale, competitive markets. One example is excluding games with an element of skill, such as poker and blackjack, from the gambling statute.

Read … Hawaii Analysis

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

ACA Signups Hawaii

ALEC

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

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

ChinaTownWatch.com

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

DeedySupport.com

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

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 Advocates

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 March for Life

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

Heritage Foundation

HIEC.Coop

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

KeyWiki

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

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii

NARTH

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Hawaiian

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Pacific Aviation Museum

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

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

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

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