Saturday, March 24, 2018
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Friday, April 28, 2017
And the Winner is—Not Hawaii
By Keli'i Akina PhD @ 2:57 PM :: 1634 Views :: Economy, Hawaii Statistics, Taxes

And the Winner is—Not Hawaii

by Kelii Akina, President, Grassroot Institute, April 28, 2017

The most recent version of Rich States, Poor States has been released, and once again, Hawaii ends up on the wrong end of that title.

The annual ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index measures economic growth and ranks the economic outlook of all 50 states based on based on 15 different policy variables, from tax rates to labor and regulation.

As a general rule, states that spend less and tax less (especially productive activities like investment and work) will rank higher in economic outlook.

In 2017, Hawaii slid even further toward the bottom, coming in at 43 overall.

Though the state reached a personal best of 36 overall in 2014, Hawaii has been regressing ever since. This year's ranking is one lower than last year and the worst since 2012.

Unsurprisingly, our tax and labor policies were the biggest drag on the ranking. Hawaii's Sales Tax burden ranked worst in the country, accounting for $47.43 per $1,000 of personal income. The top marginal personal income tax rate ranked 42, and while the property tax ranking remains good (10th overall), the remaining tax burden was a dismal 46, accounting for $27.99 per $1,000 of personal income.

Of course, we don't have to continue the downward trajectory of the last several years. When ALEC released Rich States, Poor States, the report was accompanied by quote after quote from politicians across the country. All of them testified to the fact that they depend on the guidance of surveys like this to formulate policies that will make their state more competitive.

Unfortunately, our policymakers seem slow to catch on. This year's legislative session featured a proposal to increase the minimum wage by more than a third (we're ranked 38 as it is). Not to mention numerous tax increases ... including one that would put a property tax directly in the Constitution.

There is no mystery about what we have to do to increase our state's economic competitiveness. The first step is to stop the downward trend by putting an end to tax-and-spend governance. After righting the ship, we can cut taxes and encourage growth by reducing red tape and creating a business-friendly environment.

All around the country, states are using this report as a guide for how to move from a "poor state" to a "rich" one. Hawaii can make that change as well, if only we have the fortitude to enact the right policies.

E hana kakou (Let's work together!),

Keli'i Akina, Ph.D.


Related: Rich States-Poor States: Hawaii Ranks 43rd


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940


ACA Signups Hawaii



Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Conservative Alliance

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii



Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A'ole Eradication

A Place for Women in Waipio

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust

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

Conservative Forum for Hawaii

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

Friends of Lanai

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 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 Open Budget

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 Senate Informer

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Hawaii Votes

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling


Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu TEA Party

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube


Hump Day Report

Hunting, Farming and Fishing Assoc.

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

Judgepedia Hawaii

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

No Hawaii Beverage Tax

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii

OHA Lies

Ohana Policy Group

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

Salvage The Rail

Save the Plastic Bag

School Choice in Hawaii

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

TEA Party Maui

TFB Micronesia

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

United Veterans Hawaii

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

YAL UH Hilo 





Maui TEA Party
Maui TEA Party