Federal aid is not the cure
From Grassroot Institute, November 12, 2020
It all depends on what you mean by 'help'
The headline in Monday's Honolulu Star-Advertiser was encouraging, so far as it went: "Kai Kahele and Ed Case vow to work together to help Hawaii in U.S. Congress."
But what did the writer mean by saying "help Hawaii"? The lead sentence of the news article fleshed it out more: "U.S. Congressman Ed Case and Congressman-Elect Kai Kahele on Monday morning vowed to work together to help Hawaii receive the federal funding it critically needs in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic."
So "helping Hawaii" in this context means rustling up more money at the federal level to bail out Hawaii's politicians at the local level, who have been doing little during our prolonged coronavirus lockdowns to trim the state's extravagant spending, despite the collapse of the state's private sector and evaporation of its tax stream.
Undoubtedly such "helicopter money" could provide short-term relief for some — when it's not being squandered on pet projects that help virtually no one. But in the long run it will only prolong the agony of our damaging and constitutionally suspect public health restrictions locally, while creating massive debt and fueling inflation at the federal level, hastening the day when it will cost hundreds of dollars to buy a candy bar or pair of socks.
Perhaps Case would do better to encourage Kahele to support his Jones Act reform efforts. As Case well knows, the protectionist federal maritime law costs Hawaii an estimated $1.2 billion a year, including about $1,800 per family and 9,100 lost jobs. He could remind Kahele that Jones Act reform was once supported by all of Hawaii's leading Democrats, including the iconic U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye. Case and Kahele working together to reform the Jones Act would be an excellent and actually effective way to "help Hawaii."
'In reality, the economy is each of us making independent choices that benefit our lives'
Influential policy innovator Connor Boyack of Utah shares his ideas with Keli'i Akina about what Hawaii needs to recover and even thrive
If the goal of Hawaii lawmakers is to diversify the state's economy, they should avoid trying to achieve it via government programs, says Connor Boyack, who was interviewed Monday on Keli'i Akina's "Hawaii Together" program on the ThinkTech Hawaii network.
Boyack is president of the Libertas Institute in Utah, where he was recently named one of the most politically influential people in the state by the Salt Lake Tribune. He also has written 20 books, the best known of which feature the “Tuttle Twins,” written, he said, to "help children understand adult ideas."
The children's series, he said, is about "the way the world works, so we do get into economics and politics and social issues, like the golden rule. Our goal is to help kids understand these big ideas about what makes a thriving, healthy, functioning society, and this is content that is not typically taught in textbooks or by teachers."
Boyack said that "when asked about what the age range is for our books, I always say it's 5 to 11, and then members of Congress."
As for diversifying Hawaii's economy, Boyack urged that Hawaii avoid relying on the government to pick winners and losers.
"Central planning rarely works," he said. "Typically, when economies are centrally planned, there are a lot of unintended consequences that people who are well-intentioned sitting in a conference room cannot anticipate. It's very important to actually facilitate the decentralized approach, where innovators and entrepreneurs … don't have those barriers to entry, [and] they can go experiment and try things out and are empowered to go solve the problem, rather than people coming up with a plan and … saying what it should be."
Hear more of this terrific interview by clicking >>> BOYACK INTERVIEW <<<