Economics

While talking to my mom the other day, she mentioned this flyer that was left on her door. She wasn’t sure what it was about and asked me to look into it.

When taking a closer look at the flyer, the first thing I noticed was who paid for it. Americans for Prosperity (I refuse to link to their site). AFP, as anyone who pays attention knows, was founded and is funded by the Koch Brothers. AFP and the Kochs were some of the biggest supporters of Citizens United. The SCOTUS ruling which allowed virtually unlimited and dark money to infect our political processes.

David and Charles Koch are two of the biggest walking pieces of shit on the face of the planet. If I had looked no further into HCR 5014, this would be enough to oppose it.

Listen Up Kansas! Vote NO on HCR 5014!

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Author’s Note: The substance of this post was published in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on March 23, 2022. Below is the originally drafted, longer commentary.

Recently, as I lay in bed late one night, my brain drifted to frustration over discourse on the minimum wage. The Legislature’s continued deference to the business community and their baseless opposition to increasing the minimum wage in Hawaii. Or really, anywhere.

Whether it’s the Chamber of Commerce, Retail Merchants’ Association, the Restaurant Association, or just about any other staple opponents to the minimum wage, their talking points are tired, rote, and too often contrary to facts.

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Progressives Should be Embarrassed to Support HB2510

NOTE: The legislators named herein are broadly considered “progressive.” There are others who voted “yes” who are members of either the Progressive or Working Families Caucuses but are not generally considered progressives so I didn’t feel the need to include them here.

Today, the Hawaii House of Representatives voted on nearly 30 pages of bills to move forward. It was the First Lateral Filing Deadline.

The one I and many of my colleagues were interested in was HB2510. The bill, “Relating to Income,” included an embarrassing and pathetic attempt to raise Hawaii’s minimum wage. Specifically, it raises the minimum wage to $18 by 2030. Yes, you read that right.

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The legislature sputtered into session in Hawaii earlier this month. Already there has been much talk and speculation about what will be prioritized.

There’s no doubt businesses across Hawaii have struggled since the pandemic forced Hawaii’s economy to grind to a halt. Since then, our elected officials have focused efforts entirely on supporting businesses, leaving Hawaii’s workers flailing without a life-preserver.

With nearly $2 billion more in tax collections to spend, it’s clear our economy is surging back to life. This is the year to focus on working people who were struggling long before the pandemic only made things worse.

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