The Grassroot Institute's executive vice president spent time with students in Kate Zhou's political science class at HPU
Kent says two types of corruption fuel cronyism in Hawaii — illegal and legal
FROM GRASSROOT INSTITUTE, NOVEMBER, 2023
Students in professor Kate Zhou 's political science class at Hawaii Pacific University were treated last week to two presentations by Grassroot Institute's Joe Kent — the first on cronyism in Hawaii and the second on Hawaii's financial status.
Kent said Hawaii's cronyism is fueled by two types of corruption — illegal and legal.
He said Hawaii's illegal corruption has been highlighted in recent years by the convictions of politicians, bureaucrats and business people caught in bribery schemes.
Legal corruption, on the other hand, comes in the form of special interest groups currying favor from politicians to pass laws that narrowly benefit just them. This would apply to laws such as the Jones Act, occupational licensing laws, certificate-of-need laws and the Honolulu rail project.
On Hawaii's finances, Kent said the situation is looking worse than ever because of likely billions of dollars in unfunded government liabilities resulting from the recent Maui fires, rising insurance costs and renewable energy mandates.
During the Q&A session, students asked Kent if he had any hope that Hawaii could ever become an affordable place to live. Regarding housing in particular, one student asked whether it is possible Hawaii will ever allow multi-family homes in areas zoned for single-family housing.
Kent answered yes to both questions, and said young people can make a big difference by supporting policies that expand economic freedom and opportunities.