The state of Hawaii is in real trouble. This is not just because of the COVID-19 shutdown, but because of decades of one-party rule and bad fiscal choices. The Libertarian Party has been talking about the unfunded liabilities of the State Employee Retirement fund and the medical insurance component of that fund for the last few years. Finally, the general voting public is starting to understand the magnitude of this problem moving forward. Now our economy is in shambles. Tax revenues have dried up. If there was ever a situation that begged for the fiscal responsibility and free-market advocacy of the libertarian movement now would be the time. We are going to have to cut spending, reevaluate our relationship to government employee unions, and allow for new profitable businesses to grow and thrive here.
The Gaming Industry
There are few things as likely to create an economic boost to Hawaii as the gaming industry. Unlike so many of the ideas floated by politicians to “diversify” our economy, this one would require no tax subsidies or special favors to grow and prosper. It would increase the amount of money left in Hawaii per visitor. How and wherein the state casinos and other aspects of this change might occur would develop in time.
The fear of cannabis continues to outweigh the respect for individual rights and choices in our state. As a result, Hawaii’s most valuable cash crop remains illegal. Considering the number of voters concerned with keeping agricultural land from being developed you’d think this situation would change. Looking at the economics Hawaii has gone from a net exporter of cannabis products in the 1980s to a net importer today. Our known brands such as “Maui Wowie” and “Kona Gold” still have fans outside our state. All we need to do is remove the legal barriers to kick start our economy. We need to have a dispassionate and open-minded approach to this and all other issues. America and Hawaii suffer many problems related to the use of highly addictive and unhealthy drugs. These include high levels of theft that make many of us, who have no connection to drugs, victims. High levels of expensive incarceration, policing, and the taxes we pay for them have added costs. The long term decline in law enforcement’s ability to focus on and solve all other crimes is also well documented. We have high levels of addiction that do not seem to have changed much over many years of fighting a war on drugs. The health problems of addicts are worsened by the use of illegal and often impure street drugs. If we compare the problems of today with those in 1900, when heroin and cocaine were legal, the overall negative effect of the criminal model becomes obvious. So we ask for you to consider this question: “What is your priority; keeping addicts from getting their hands on drugs, or keeping addicts from getting their hands on your property?
We should try to eliminate the number of people incarcerated. In addition to repealing the crimes of gambling and marijuana, we should do a thorough review to eliminate the criminalization of acts of consenting adults. This would add drug policy reform and decriminalizing prostitution to the list. But we need not stop there. There are many ways we can improve our current criminal justice system from policing and incarceration to the bail system and plea bargaining. We should get rid of qualified immunity so police are responsible for their actions and close the loopholes in Hawaii’s transparency laws to allow for all police records to be handed over.
It’s time to eliminate the Jones Act. This outdated law has tortured our island for 100 years. It bogs our supply lines and increases the cost of everything here. We can do better. State lawmakers should send a powerful message to Congress that we don’t pay for higher shipping prices any longer.
The right to bear arms shall not be infringed upon on my watch. Guns are tools for defense and should be treated with respect at all times.
The only legitimate use of force is in defense of individual rights — life, liberty, and justly acquired property — against aggression. This right inheres in the individual, who may agree to be aided by any other individual or group. We affirm the individual right recognized by the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms and oppose the prosecution of individuals for exercising their rights of self-defense. We oppose all laws at any level of government requiring registration of or restricting, the ownership, manufacture, or transfer or sale of firearms or ammunition.
I believe in unions. Unions allow employees to assemble and negotiate with employers to come up with practical solutions without the need for government intervention.
As a principled Libertarian, I do not support any tax. Taxes, combined with the cost of living in Hawaii is high already. If someone manages an exemption, I say let them have it.
When you pay taxes, do you do so voluntarily? Or do you do so because you are forced to do so?
If you don’t pay your taxes, what will happen? Will you be fined further? Harassed by the IRS or other government entities? Jailed?
The Libertarian Party is fundamentally opposed to the use of force to coerce people into doing anything. We think it is inherently wrong and should have no role in a civilized society.
Thus we think that government forcing people to pay taxes is inherently wrong.
Libertarians advocate for voluntary exchange, where people are free to make their own choices about what to do with their lives, their time, their bodies, their livelihood, and their dollars.
If Americans want to give money to the government for one reason or another, they should be free to do so. If Americans prefer to spend their money on other things, then they should be free to do that also.
The climate is changing, and Hawaii should adapt, not through government mandates, but through individual choices. Energy renewable portfolio standards are unrealistic and will make cars, airplanes, and ships illegal. Hawaii’s public utility commission has locked the state in old energy systems which are inflexible with more environmentally-friendly alternatives.