Tuesday, December 5, 2023
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Friday, May 31, 2019
Why people are leaving ‘paradise’
By Grassroot Institute @ 7:50 PM :: 5225 Views :: Honolulu County, Cost of Living

Why people are leaving ‘paradise’

From Grassroot Institute, May 31, 2019

The exodus continues.

According to new figures from the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of urban Honolulu declined in 2018 for the second year in a row, to 347,397, almost 1.3 percent less than the 2016 count of 351,883.

People aren’t just leaving Honolulu. Hawaii’s population statewide also declined over the past two years. According to the census, statewide population loss was about 3,700 between July 2017 and July 2018, the fifth most in the country.

Earlier this week, I was on KSSK radio host Michael W. Perry’s “Perry & and The Posse” show to talk about the issue.

“We hear large numbers of our local residents are leaving,” said Perry. “”Why would anybody be moving?”

It’s a question that everybody asks. But despite Hawaii being “paradise,” there’s no mystery here.

On the Grassroot Institute Facebook page, we’ve been running a series of posts that explore the reasons people leave. Called “Why We Left Hawaii,” the series shares stories from former Hawaii residents who felt they had to leave for the mainland. Their stories might differ in particulars, but there are three themes that come up over and over again: the cost of living, better opportunities, and homesickness.

I’d like to share a few excerpts with you:

“I'd love to come back home, but the economy in Hawaii was killing us financially. Milk here is $1.25 a gallon. My son, who is now 15, is excelling in the high school military academy that he's been at for two years now. The opportunities and resources available to him would never have been available in Hawaii. … I am heartbroken every day because I want to come home, but reality reminds me why I cannot.” (Dawn Leihuanani Hutchinson, Utah)

“After struggling for six years, living in a run-down studio with my six-year-old and husband, being unable to save, and my husband and I decided to move to Florida because he’s from there and everything is cheaper. I miss home and it breaks my heart that my son won't get to grow up in the same culture I did and have May Days at school … but we couldn't survive. We weren't even living paycheck to paycheck; we were living paycheck to the following Monday.” (Natasha Luciano, Florida)

“The only way that I would return to Hawaii is if I hit the lottery here and could make enough to move my family and retire. However, that seems almost impossible with how the government is run, and with just how much more everything costs on the islands.” (Michael Hernandez, Texas)

This is not a quick-fix problem. Lowering the cost of living, creating affordable housing and generating better employment opportunities cannot be accomplished in a few simple steps.

What we need is a complete reappraisal of the policies that have brought us to this point. We need to reduce the endless taxes and fees that make living in this state a case of “death by a thousand cuts.” We need to increase the supply of affordable housing by making more land available for development and streamlining the bureaucratic process so those houses get built.

Finally, we need to grow the economy. This means getting rid of the onerous regulatory schemes and high taxes that discourage investment and entrepreneurship in our state.

There’s no mystery to why people are leaving Hawaii. If we want to stop the exodus, we need to embrace policies that generate opportunity, not taxes.

Keli'i Akina, Ph.D.

President/CEO

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Back da Blue Hawaii

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

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 ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

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

HIEC.Coop

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Moms for Liberty

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

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