Thursday, July 09, 2020
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Sunday, March 17, 2013
Key to Hawaii’s Future is Business Climate
By Lowell L Kalapa @ 6:11 AM :: 6402 Views :: Economy, Small Business, Tax Credits, Taxes

Key to Hawaii’s Future is Business Climate

by Lowell L. Kalapa, Tax Foundation of Hawaii

With the loss of seniority in Hawaii’s Congressional delegation and sequestration setting in, the visitor industry will be Hawaii’s economic life line for the foreseeable future. Much as lawmakers have singled out this or that industry for its blessings of tax incentives, what we have known all along is that we, mere mortals, cannot predict what the prize industry of the future will be.

Although officials have assured local leaders that the military will continue to be focused on the Pacific theater, everyone is well aware that the overall size of the nation’s defense forces will be downsized in an effort to contain spending and reduce the nation’s overall deficit. There will be less civilian positions supporting the defense effort which will mean that federal payrolls in Hawaii will probably shrink which, in turn, will affect those businesses that are dependent on defense workers and military personnel. There is even the possibility that non-defense related federal workers will be affected by the sequestration orders, but probably not on the same scale as the military downsizing as defense spending was targeted to take the greatest hit.

No longer will Hawaii be able to depend on the federal spending security blanket for its economic well being and local policymakers will be faced with the same challenges that other states on the mainland have had to address for years, that is, how to foster economic prosperity. When one reviews Hawaii’s track record, it has not been a very business friendly state. In fact, at every twist and turn public policy has taken its due out of the entrepreneurial environment so important to economic well being. And there are numerous examples from which to choose.

Looking back, lawmakers thwarted industries left and right beginning with sugar and pineapple which had been the economic foundation of the territory and later the state. When federal support for the price of sugar disappeared, the industry struggled reaching out for help from the state legislature in the form of support for its research arm which had a world renown reputation for its cutting edge research. And while help did come, it came with all kinds of strings attached.

Then there was the dream of making Hawaii energy independent by building Hawaii’s own refinery. The dream became a reality but not without all sorts of regulatory mandates. And when the cost of the product started to go through the roof, lawmakers attempted to slap a cap on the price of the product believing that constituents were being “ripped off” without really understanding the forces of the market and supplies of the raw materials which were totally out of the control of the local refinery.

Now that there is the prospect that the refinery may close down or be sold, local officials, including union leaders, bemoan the fact and have even suggested that the state take over the operation. Heaven forbid! If it is taken over by government, everyone acknowledges that it would be a disaster and doomed for failure given government’s track record starting with the Kohala Task Force in the early 1970’s.

Then, just last week investors in Hawaii’s visitor plant reportedly bemoaned the fact that it takes so long to get government approval for new construction or renovation of facilities citing the fact that it has taken as long as ten years to secure approval of projects. And this not the first time the problem of securing approval for such projects has been reported. While some larger developments and projects have taken as much as twenty or twenty-five years to get off the drawing board, it is not unusual to hear stories of the approval taking anywhere from three to five years for a small cluster of single-family homes.

In fact, it is rather disingenuous to hear of lawmakers bemoaning the lack of affordable housing when it is the state and local government bureaucracy that has strangled the process to bring those affordable units on line. Until now there has been great interest in developing new housing and commercial projects, but the horrendous maze of government is a major reason why entrepreneurs become disenchanted and go elsewhere to invest.

If Hawaii is to prosper economically in the future, then it needs to support business. And before some public official says it is not his or her fault, they should look again at the rules and laws that have been enacted that make investment in Hawaii so difficult and costly. The key to economic prosperity is creating a nurturing business climate and that includes mitigating the regulatory stranglehold created by excessive laws that make absolutely no sense. If lawmakers persist in layering more bureaucracy, then they should also shoulder the blame for a poor economic outlook.

- 30 -

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940

ABCDEFG Blog

ACA Signups Hawaii

ACCE

ALEC

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii

AMVETS-Hawaii

AntiPlanner

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

ChinaTownWatch.com

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DeedySupport.com

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii

FIRE

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

Habele.org

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 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

HIEC.Coop 

HiFiCo

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

HPACC

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

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

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

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT