Have you seen any of these videos yet on your social media platforms?
from Grassroot Institute, May, 2023
Educational videos produced by the Institute regularly reach tens of thousands of viewers on YouTube, Instagram and TikTok
Joe Kent is no stranger to going viral on social media.
As the host of a series of educational videos posted on a variety of social media platforms, the Grassroot Institute executive vice president is increasingly being recognized as a voice for those who want lower housing prices, a lower cost of living in general and greater economic opportunities in Hawaii.
Check out these recent offerings by title and post date and see how many views they have amassed as of Wednesday between TikTok, Instagram and Youtube:
>> “Simpsons in Hawaii,” May 5, 653,901 views.
>> “Why Hawaii's doctor shortage is about to see some signs of relief,” May 15, 1,494 views.
>> “Tell Hawaii, lockdown is over,” May 23; 17,595 views.
>> “Dude, where's my refund?,” May 22, 6,518 views.
>> “Honolulu zoning restrictions,” May 17; 8,538 views.
>> “Aaand the surplus is gone,” May 16, 84,346 views.
>> “Cutting by spending more,” May 15, 8,874 views.
>> “So much for spending limits,” May 8, 9,681 views.
>> “Bad things from the Legislature,” May 4, 26,360 views.
>> “Hawaii Tourism Authority defunded,” May 3, 12,310 views.
>> “Good things from the Legislature,” May 2, 15,069 views.
>> “Doctors bill passes Legislature,” May 1, 45,600 views.
>> “Why can Oprah easily build a home in Hawaii? (Why Iam Tongi had to leave his Hawaii home),” April 13, 17,545 views.
Quick hits …
>> In an editorial urging county lawmakers to "consider an empty homes tax," the Honolulu Star-Advertiser editorial board mentioned the Grassroot Institute's new study on the topic: "A new Grassroot Institute of Hawaii study on a vacant properties tax, while not supportive, found that it could well result in an increase in rental availabilities, along with increased tax revenue. Sounds good."
>> A news report last Friday in Honolulu Civil Beat, titled "Vacant homes would be taxed at a higher rate under possible city plan," also mentioned the Institute's new empty homes study. Reporter Kirstin Downey wrote that "while the proposed surtax might boost revenue, it would likely have little effect on the island’s available housing stock or home prices." She quoted Keli‘i Akina, Institute president and CEO, as saying such a tax would not have the desired effect, and that instead, the city should ease regulatory barriers to housing, which would lead to increased construction.
>> Akina was also quoted in Sunday's Honolulu Star-Advertiser about the 2023 Legislature's approval of a budget that well exceeds the state's legal spending limit. In an article titled "Legislature criticized for 'wild spending binge," reporter Andrew Gomes wrote: "Keli‘i Akina, president and CEO of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, recently criticized what the public policy think tank called a 'wild spending binge.' “The state’s expenditure ceiling was designed as a brake on runaway spending,” Akina said in a statement. “But lawmakers appear to be ignoring it, which bodes poorly for the public’s trust.”
>> On the Jones Act front, a new video was released this week that Grassroot Scholar and Cato Institute trade policy analyst Colin Grabow called "well done" and "easily the best JA explainer out there." Posted by PolyMatter, which has 1.83 million subscribers, the 22-minute video is titled "The Obscure Law that Killed U.S. Maritime Shipping" and in five days has already been viewed more than 222,000 times. A list of the video's sources includes research produced by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. The beautiful opening shots of the video are of the cattle-producing Parker Ranch on Hawaii Island. Hawaii, a primary victim of the protectionist Jones Act, has additional cameos in the video as well.