More Than a Decade After Condemnation, Hawaii Department of Transportation Still Owns Cherished Homes on Ancient Hawaiian Fish Pond
Just over a decade ago, Tad Hara, 84, lived in his dream home, which was a simple two-story wooden house built over a vibrant ancient Hawaiian fishpond, just steps from the stunning beach in East Oahu’s Niu community... (more)
December 15, 2009--A new poll of registered Hawaii voters, conducted by Zogby International, has found that a majority of those surveyed oppose the Akaka Bill, while 76 percent oppose higher taxes to pay for the nation-tribe proposed in the bill. The poll was sponsored by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii and conducted from November 18 to 23, 2009 (more)
The Grassroot Institute's public education efforts concerning the Akaka Bill have earned a mention by the Wall Street Journal. The editorial cites the Grassroot Institute and Beacon Hill Institute's study on the economic impact of the bill, which could result in up to $689.7 million in lost state tax and land lease revenue annually. The exact amount would depend on the percentage of public land ceded. (more)
Jonathan Gullible’s Odyssey Continues: A Nigerian Free Market Play, Smuggling In & Out of Cuba, a Hundred Thousand CD’s, and the Finland Internet
A free market play was written and produced by Adedayo Thomas [below left] and Paul Ugbede and directed by Dr. Sam Kafewo [below right]. This production was based on my book, The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible: A Free Market Odyssey (aka JG) which was first published by Sam Slom and Smart Business Hawaii twenty years ago. With an acting cast of 22, the play was performed August 13 to 15, 2009 at the Drama Village of Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria. (more)
The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii is calling out Kanu Hawaii, a self-branded community organization, on its petition entreating the state to preserve children's education. Among its demands are raiding the Hurricane Fund, raiding the Rainy Day Fund, and raising taxes, all of which would come at the detriment of all Hawaii citizens. (more)
Help Hawaii's Education System by Identifying Waste and Inefficiencies
Like the rest of the state during the current economic challenges, the Department of Education (DOE) needs to go on a diet! The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii (GRIH) and Smart Business Hawaii (SBH) announced today a new contest to help the employees of the DOE do just that by identifying ways to trim the Department’s budget and possibly remove the need for job furloughs. (more)
Akaka Tribe Bill Back in the News
The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009 (S1011/ HR2314) begins movement in the US Congress. (more)
The Power of Eminent Domain to Redistribute Land Ownership
The recent news has been filled with the term 'redistribution of wealth', but in Hawaii and elsewhere the power of the state to confiscate private property under the guise of economic development has never been more popular. The recent Supreme Court case Kelo v. City of New London in 2005 involving the use of eminent domain to transfer land from one private owner to another to further economic development is one example. In a 5-4 decision the Court held the state using eminent domain to redistribute property for redevelopment was permissible "public use" under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment because the community derived "economic benefits". (more)
The DOE Deserves No New Funding
The Honolulu Advertiser recently reported that the Hawaii Department of Education (DOE) may receive federal stimulus monies after all. Governor Lingle has previously said she planned to use those funds to balance looming budget deficits, in lieu of less appealing options such as raising taxes. Education is rightly one of the highest priorities of modern society. (more)
Citizens commit to Oppose and Vote Against Tax Increases
Hawaii's taxpayers have had enough and are ready to do something to let their voices be heard. The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, The Hawaii Republican Assembly, Studio Ryan, Mac Mouse, Admor HVAC and Joe the Builder Inc. have teamed up to sponsor the first annual Hawaii Tax Day Tea Party on April 15th from 4-7pm at the Hawaii state capitol. (more)
International Climate Change Conference 2009
During the Heartland Institute’s recent International Climate Change Conference in New York City (co-sponsored by GRIH), Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus declared that the true plans and ambitions of climate change alarmists are “to stop economic development, and return mankind centuries back.” (more)
Is Environmentalism Collectivism?
Recently Larry Kudlow wrote that "Obama has declared war on investors, entrepreneurs, small businesses, large corporations, and private equity and venture-capital funds." Kudlow’s famous expertise in economics cuts through the fuzzy euphemisms concealing the true agenda of President Obama’s confiscatory tax plans. He also notes that nations which tax their citizens more produce less, and nations which tax less produce more. When a nation produces more, there's also more prosperity, more jobs at higher wages, and more innovation. No nation has ever taxed its way to prosperity. (more)
A Free Market Case Against The Akaka Bill And More Government
A top New Year's resolution for many elected officials in Hawaii's local government is to see passage of the Native Hawaiian Government Act. The Act seeks to create what The Honolulu Advertiser characterized in a recent editorial as "a pathway for establishing Hawaii's indigenous people as a political entity, enabling their reconstitution as a 'state within a state' government." It has been argued that without a native government, the Hawaiian people can never succeed and never attain their highest dreams. In truth, for not just the Hawaiian people but all residents of the State of Hawaii, government is not the solution to our problems, it is our problem. Hawaii's existing government has already proven its inability to provide quality education, promote a healthy economy, and sustain a job market that keeps people employed and tax revenues flowing – are we really to believe that another government can magically create prosperity for Native Hawaiians? (more)
Hawaii's Government Employees' Retirement System
As a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, I know almost everything taxpayers are told about the Hawaii Government Employees' Retirement System is false.
One lie is that employee benefits depend on, or are affected by, the $10 billion of assets earmarked by the state for their payment. In truth, the benefits are legally guaranteed by the taxpayers' full faith and credit. Losing the entire $10 billion would not cost any employee or retiree a single penny of benefits already earned, or a single penny of future retiree cost of living allowances (COLAs). The Unions even claim current employees would retain the right to earn more benefits under the current formula for life, and the Attorney General's silence blesses that claim. Instead, taxpayers would make up every lost dollar, continue annual contributions for new benefits as they are earned, and even make up any amount by which future earnings fall short of 8 percent thereafter. (more)
Correcting historical revisionism and misconceptions promoted by the Akaka Bill.
How Fast Does The State Government Spend Your Money?