Government & Civics

Hawaii’s Tech Industry After Act 221

Watching the death of Act 221 was like watching the Superferry ordeal unravel all over again,” says attorney Jay Fidell, president of ThinkTech Hawaii. “Why this state continues to oppose progress and kill measures that so many people and businesses will benefit from…

Hurry up and Wait on Taxes

Businesses must pay GET earlier, but state takes longer to cash checks For decades, the state has taken weeks on average – even months – to cash taxpayers’ checks. Now, with government-worker furloughs and restrictions on temporary hires, the check-cashing…

SmallBiz Guide to Power

Imagine the huge cost to your small business if the 2010 Legislature had raised the general excise tax or failed to cut unemployment insurance premiums. Every year at the state Capitol, similar make-or-break laws are debated and that’s why it’s…

Editor's Note: Restoring Common Sense

Hawaii’s people have lost control of their economy, but this election campaign is a great opportunity to begin taking back control and restoring common sense to our future. If we succeed, we can preserve what is precious about Hawaii, because…

Pro-Business Legislators

Some Republicans and Democrats stand out as best, but when we tried to ID the worst, business leaders were reluctant to name names. In this time of severe budget cuts, lots of people are unhappy with their state lawmakers. But…

Seeking the Business Vote

Top candidates for governor explain how they would make it easier for businesses to succeed. Those in Hawaii struggling to maintain a business or start a new one can rest easy on one thing: Our next governor has no plans…

Editor's Note: Making Our Children Pay

People love to blame politicians for the problems our country faces. “They’re all crooks” and “Throw them out” are the most common solutions in casual political conversations between friends and neighbors. The problem is that, Republican or Democrat, all of…

Transforming Hawaii’s Airports

Ask Ernest Nishizaki what the single most important thing is that Hawaii could do to revitalize its visitor industry and economy, and he does not hesitate with his answer: Fix Honolulu International Airport and fast. “We’re talking about the first…

Illegal Sex, Drugs and Gambling

A vast, illegal economy operates just beneath Hawaii’s legitimate society, and many people who earn their money in the legal economy spend part of it in the black one. The narcotics trade serves both street-corner junkies strung out on crystal…

Hawaii’s Underground Economy

One billion dollars a year. That’s the estimated taxes in Hawaii that don’t get paid by contractors and waiters, accountants and attorneys, hairdressers and everyone else who hides all or part of their cash income. Just about everyone contributes knowingly…

The Billion Dollar Gamble

What a difference a billion dollars makes. Until recently, the state treasury – officially, the Treasury Management Branch of the Financial Administration Division of the Department of Budget and Finance – has operated in relative obscurity. With its staff of…

$200 Million of Your Money Wasted

For most people, government is simply the sum of the services it provides: security and safety, for example, in the form of police and fire departments; education, in the form of schools and libraries; and transportation, in the form of…

'Smart Growth'

Land-use planning, more than any other public policy, shapes the way you live. It’s responsible for your 60-to-90-minute commute from Kapolei or Hawaii Kai. It’s why you live in a three-bedroom, two-bath home with a two-car garage. It’s what influences…

Steering Growth - Extended Version

Hawaii Business invited six influential business people and political leaders to talk about development and preservation. The moderator was Jerry Burris, editor-at-large of Hawaii Business. The panelists were: D.G. “Andy” Anderson, developer, former state senator W. Allen Doane, former chairman…

State Special Funds Mystery

Local visitors to the venerable Hawaii State Art Museum near the Capitol enjoy a bonanza of visual beauty created by many of the state’s best artists. What they may not realize is that they helped pay for all that art.…

State of Repair

6 leaders discuss power & how to fix Hawaii Who & why Hawaii Business invited six influential people in Hawaii to talk about power in the Islands and how to create positive change. The moderator was Jerry Burris, editor-at-large of…