Monday, July 15, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Monday, October 6, 2014
Cost of Living: Will Hawaii Take Heed of Warning Signs?
By John Engle @ 7:25 PM :: 5657 Views :: Hawaii Statistics, Cost of Living

Cost of Living: Will Hawaii Take Heed of Warning Signs?

by John Engle, Grassroot Institute

A recent study by the State of Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC) is the latest to report it is excruciatingly expensive to live in Hawaii. According to its findings, Hawaii tops the list of expensive states to live in comfortably.

To understand what is meant by “living comfortably” we can turn to a useful definition, which states that $75,000 is the national benchmark by which people can be said to live comfortable, financially secure lives. “At this income level,” according to USA Today, “ you are said to have reached the point where you really don’t need any more money to thrive.”

Yet in Hawaii, that benchmark is far higher, thanks to exceptionally high costs of living. In fact, it costs around $122,000 per year to live comfortably in Hawaii. When we consider that Hawaii’s median household income hovers around $64,000, we can see a worrying fact about life in Hawaii: while the government purports to build an egalitarian paradise, it has instead created a society in which the majority of people are struggling.

The sad fact is that people in Hawaii have a very hard time getting by. It is sometimes hard to see that when even the local media assaults us with paradisiacal images of community and prosperity. Yet the citizens of Hawaii are continually forced to pay premium prices for substandard public services, from weak schools to incompetent and overly complex bureaucracy,

Take education for example. According to the most recent census data, the amount of money spent per student in Hawaii is $12,054, which is about $1,500 above the national average, yet this additional outlay has produced substandard performance. Hawaii places a meager 35th in a recent recent educational ranking. Compare that to Texas, which spends only $8,261 and still places 12th in the national school rankings.

Will Hawaii take heed of these warning signs before it is too late?

A real risk is that young people, particularly the well-educated, who already have a proclivity for leaving Hawaii for opportunities elsewhere, will leave in even greater droves as the cost of living continues to rise. Further still is the concerning fact that as the cost of living rises with no attendant improvement in public services, even more of the people who do leave will not return. Who wants to relocate from the mainland to a place where they will be paying far more for far less?

The answer to the problem is multi-faceted and extremely complex. But there are definitely some things that could be done quickly. Streamlining public administration and cutting down on the state’s sweeping bureaucracy would likely improve public services while at the same time allowing the government to reduce taxes and spending. Cut bureaucrats and administrators and we will see improved results at reduced cost. In so doing the state might allow ordinary citizens the firm financial footing from which they may begin the climb to true prosperity. Hawaii's cost of living will always be somewhat higher than in much of the rest of the United States, thanks to its geographic isolation, but that does not mean it cannot be brought down to something approaching a reasonable level.



TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii Military History

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Together


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

July 4 in Hawaii

Land and Power in Hawaii

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

NRA-ILA Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

School Choice in Hawaii

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii