Wednesday, April 08, 2020
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Tuesday, October 07, 2014
Free Markets and Jones Act Reform at Union Meeting?
By Grassroot Institute @ 9:57 PM :: 3387 Views :: Jones Act, Labor

Free Markets and Jones Act Reform at Union Meeting?

by Keli'i Akina, President/CEO, Grassroot Institute

This week I addressed a conference sponsored by two maritime unions at the Pier 19 warehouse auditorium at Honolulu Harbor.  I spoke about the free-market value of an inter-island ferry system and how it could produce jobs, economic vitality and competition between the islands.  While my comments were general, Michael Hansen, Grassroot Institute’s chief policy advisor on the Jones Act and president of Hawaii Shippers Council, presented a specific proposal on how to bring down the costs of such a ferry system.  Hansen proposed a single exemption to the way the Jones Act is applied in Hawaii in order to allow the purchase of less expensive but more efficient foreign-built ferries.

Free markets and Jones Act reform at a meeting of union leaders and workers?  Strange bedfellows?

Yes, there are issues that must be addressed.  Some in the conversation believe that any and all jobs related to an inter-island ferry system should be exclusively union jobs.  Others in the conversation believe that extraordinary, time-consuming and costly measures to protect the environment should be taken.  But, the bottom-line is that Grassroot Institute, as your independent free-market think tank, is now IN the conversation too.

Ideas matter.  At Grassroot, we’re working hard to show that the State of Hawaii simply can’t afford to go on spending recklessly given our unfunded liabilities (over $40 billion now), declining State revenues, and skyrocketing costs of the Fixed Rail project.

But we’re also showing how we can move forward with solutions like the one presented at the union conference:  a specific exemption to the Jones Act won’t threaten union jobs one bit, but would allow tax-payers to save potentially tens of millions of dollars on a ferry system that would help revitalize our local economy.

I also shared with the audience, something we like to say at Grassroot Institute, “E hana kakou,” which means “Let’s work together.”  That’s what we do at Grassroot - we bring differing viewpoints together to find free-market, liberty promoting solutions many can agree upon.

For example, as a follow-up to our Jones Act exemption proposal for a ferry system, Grassroot Institute will bring together experts in legal, shipping, governmental, and environmental matters as a Think Tank group to develop the proposal further.

I’m especially excited that this group will be the first Think Tank group to meet in our brand new downtown Honolulu office and conference space, which we have just moved into.

It’s an exciting time as Grassroot is growing.  And our staff team is growing. Our office is growing.  But most importantly, our influence in Hawaii is growing.


GRIH: KITV Interview


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940


ACA Signups Hawaii



Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii



Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust 

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

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 Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube


Hump Day Report

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


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

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


National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

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


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

School Choice in Hawaii

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii