Maui Discussion

Grassroot Institute of Hawaiʻi Survey: Too Many Government Regulations in Hawaiʻi

November 16, 2021, 10:51 AM HST
* Updated November 16, 10:52 AM
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Survey results about government regulations conducted for Grassroot Institute of Hawaiʻi. Chart by market research firm Anthology

The Grassroot Institute of Hawaiʻi — a nonpartisan, nonprofit research and educational institute devoted to promoting individual liberty, economic freedom and limited, accountable government — conducted a survey of 933 people statewide about government regulations.

The survey has a margin of error of 3.21 percentage points, with a 95% confidence level, according to a news release by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaiʻi. The full survey results are here. Below is the analysis and results of the survey in a news release by the organization:

Most Hawaiʻi residents agree that government regulations are needed to help keep local people safe, but that’s about the most agreement you’ll find in their favor.

According to a survey of 933 Hawaiʻi adults, conducted for the Grassroot Institute of Hawaiʻi from Aug. 16 to Sept. 7 by Anthology, a market research firm in Hawaiʻi, 80% of respondents agreed (27% strongly and 53% somewhat) that “Government regulations are necessary to keep local people safe.”

From there, it was all downhill for government regulations. 

Presented with the statement “Hawaii would be a better place with more government regulations,” 63% disagreed (20% strongly and 43% somewhat), leaving only 37% agreeing that it was good idea (8% strongly and 29% somewhat).

The remaining two statements about regulations and their responses were:

  • Hawaiʻi has too many government regulations: 63% agreed — 21% strongly and 42% somewhat.
  • Government regulations hurt Hawaiʻi’s small businesses: 69% agreed — 24% strongly and 45% somewhat.

The levels of agreement for both of these statements were similar across many demographic segments: union and nonunion households, homeowners and renters, college graduates and noncollege graduates, registered and nonregistered voters, full- or part-time workers and unemployed, all income levels and all age groups.

In response to the statement “Hawaiʻi has too many government regulations,” the combined totals of “strongly” and “somewhat” agree, by political affiliation, were 53% for Democrats, 69% for “independents,” 73% for Republicans, 89% for Libertarians and 76% for “other.”

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The statement “Government regulations hurt Hawaiʻi’s small businesses” statement drew these combined totals for “strongly” and “somewhat” agree: 59% Democrats; 77% for both “independents” and Republicans; 96% Libertarians; and 80% “other.”

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In other words, regardless of political affiliation, the majority of voters said they agree or strongly agree there are too many government regulations, and that they are harmful to Hawaiʻi’s small businesses.

Keli’i Akina, president and CEO of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaiʻi, said: “Once again, the institute’s professionally conducted poll shows that Hawaiʻi’s politicians could do well to take principled stands against policies that add to Hawaiʻi’s high cost of living, harm Hawaiʻi’s business climate and restrict the opportunities of its people to prosper.

“As demonstrated in our comprehensive survey of almost 1,000 Hawaiʻi residents — a very high number for such surveys  — most people in Hawaiʻi favor a rollback of policies that have hindered their ability to thrive, and, in some cases, even stay in Hawaiʻi.”

“Such policies,” Akina continued, “include high taxes, excessive spending and debt, laws that restrict homebuilding, the protectionist maritime law known as the Jones Act and many other rules and regulations.

“The field is rich with regulations that make no sense, perhaps serve only special interests, and in all cases add to our cost of living. How wonderful it would be if some of our lawmakers would take the lead and start to remove or scale back all these detrimental policies.”

Previous survey results:

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As previously reported by the institute, this same survey found:

>>  High levels of state and county government spending and debt are not popular in Hawaii. For more information about those results, go here.

>> Most Hawaii residents who have heard of the federal maritime law known as the Jones Act are in favor of scrapping or reforming it. For more information about those results, go here.

>> 87% of Hawaii residents favor opening up more land for housing. See details of those results here

>> 63% of Hawaii residents volunteered that “COVID/vaccination issues” are among their one or two most pressing community concerns. See here.

>> Most people in Hawaii think they are paying too much in taxes and would like to see them lowered. See here.

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