A few years ago, many in
the national media were promoting Hawaiiís system of mandated health
benefits as an example to the rest of the country for reform. Today,
at least one magazine is willing to report that such mandates come
at a steep price.
In the October 13 U.S.
News & World Report, Timothy M. Ito writes that while "most of
the nation booms, Hawaii is mired in a protracted slump that shows
no sign of easing. The stateís economy has been stagnant for the
past six years." The reason: "Its taxes, regulation, and worker
mandates are among the most onerous in the country. Its judiciary
often stifles development." He ran a quote from a small business
owner burdened by health care mandates, and another business owner
who said: "this isnít rocket science. Other communities have dealt
with [economic development] and become much more friendly to
Ito concluded: "Thatís a
skill Hawaiians may have to learn soon if they hope to get their
economy back on track."