What Hawaii does to make its people poorer, while Texas makes its people richer

There is a big difference between living in a state with rich people and living in a rich state.

Hawaii is definitely one of the former. Tech billionaires build vacation homes here. Residents whisper about which celebrity they glimpsed at dinner the other night.

But ask the average family about what it’s like to live in Hawaii, and you’ll hear about the punishing cost of living and how hard it is to buy a home.

Texas, on the other hand, is both a rich state and has rich people. It’s also consistently ranked as one of the best places to make a living based on its low tax burden, low unemployment rate and reasonable cost of living.

Hawaii isn’t Texas. But could it be?

Politicians, though quick to claim credit when the economy is doing well, often treat downturns like an act of God. The idea that what separates Hawaii from Texas is not circumstance but policy induces furious denials.

Of course Texas is rich, they would say. Look at its natural resources. If Hawaii had oil, we would be rich too.

But claiming that resources are what make Texas rich is like claiming that Henry Ford got rich because he had a lot of steel lying around. It’s not just what you have, it’s what you do with it that matters.

Around the world you can find eloquent testimony to this fundamental truth. You can have oil and still have breadlines. You can have a country wealthy in natural resources that still experiences massive poverty. Resources can help individuals get rich, but it takes good policy to make sure wealth moves down to enrich people at all levels.
... In states with the least economic freedom, per capita income is generally 3.3% below the national average, whereas in states with the most economic freedom, per capita income is about 4.7% higher than the national average.

Texas, tied for third overall on the EFNA Index for U.S. states, is comparatively free and prosperous. Hawaii, tied for 46th overall, scores very poorly in economic freedom. But this has nothing to do with resources. New Hampshire, which has neither the advantages of oil reserves nor a powerhouse tourist industry, scored first overall among the states.
Liberalism is holding Hawaii back.  The blue model of high taxes, high regulation and no right to work laws stifle economic growth.  As they fail they keep doubling down on the things that are making them poorer.  The cost of living in Hawaii is also approaching twice what it is in Texas.

While Texas does have natural resources, so does Venezuela where people are starving for the same reason it cost more to live in Hawaii.  They have a control freak government that can't get out of the way of the people and their population is starving.

The Texas model works and creates jobs and the blue state model stifles the economy.


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