April 23, 2011

Remember the Good Ol' Days (Before 2006)

Marc Comtois
Hey, remember when gas was $2.20 a gallon and the unemployment rate was 4.4%? What happened with that? …Oh, right, the Democrats won the 2006 Congressional elections.
That observation was made by Moe Lane and picked up by Glenn Reynolds. It's worth promulgating because it's a simple way to point out that what we were told was so bad back in 2006--the Bush Economy (negativity implied)--sure looks a helluva lot better to average Americans now, doesn't it? Then it all changed. Too simplistic? Perhaps. But since when is simplicity out-of-bounds in politics.
Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

It's interesting how this bad economy isn't Obama's fault, he took over a faltering economy from W. However Clinton is praised for having a great economy, not that the seeds were sowed by Bush and Reagan.

Posted by: Patrick at April 23, 2011 1:54 PM

Yes. Except the economy began to tank BEFORE Obama took office, while the Clinton economy didn't begin to boom until near the end of his 2nd term. But then, when has ignoring reality been out of bounds in conservative rhetoric?

Posted by: Ron at April 23, 2011 4:38 PM

Wow Ron, Marc thought his post was "too simplistic"? The economy improved in the mid-late 90's despite Clinton, not because of him. You may recall the Republicans taking over Congress around this time, forcing Clinton to cut the budget, reduce spending, lower taxes, and put some (though not enough) curbs on welfare handouts. All this and a housing boom and tech and stock market bubble helped the economy.

Posted by: sierra1 at April 23, 2011 7:02 PM

I am happy to report according to AAA today 4/23/11 regular gasoline in Hawaii state-wide is now averaging $4.532 per gallon with a high average on Maui at $4.904 per gallon. Reports are Hawaii should see $6 per gallon gasoline before end of summer (November). Hawaii is normally 30 to 50 cents higher per gallon than the mainland. All I can say to you on the mainland with upcoming price hikes in gasoline costs is Ouch! Purchase more 8-cylinder vehicles, Hummers and big SUVs!!!

Hawaii now has 10 alternate energy automotive manufacturer companies (6 made in the USA) selling alternate energy vehicles in the islands. Over 270 alternate energy vehicles are registered on Honolulu alone. Based on current Hawaii electric rate it cost $1.80 to charge a 100 mile per charge battery.

Installation of alternate energy powered electric vehicle public street-side charging stations infrastructure has commenced with hotels, rental car agencies, state & city government and utilities purchasing alternate energy vehicles plus General Motors has partnered with Hawaii Gas Company for Hydrogen fuel cell support. Hawaii will be the first state in nation to have an installed infrastructure state-wide to supporting both electric and hydrogen fuel cell alternate energy vehicles.

I get 34 mpg and spend about $60 a month on gasoline at today’s price and struggle to put 5,000 miles a year on my car. When cost benefit ratio leans towards alternate energy I’ll make the move because the supporting infrastructure will be fully in place and more alternate energy models and options will be available.

By the way, our state-wide unemployment rate is 6.3% across all islands but in Honolulu where 80% of the population lives and 78% of the state-wide GDP is produced the unemployment rate is 5.1%.

Posted by: Ken at April 23, 2011 10:33 PM

"By the way, our state-wide unemployment rate is 6.3% across all islands but in Honolulu where 80% of the population lives and 78% of the state-wide GDP is produced the unemployment rate is 5.1%. "

Why do I suspect that much of this is "good paying" jobs in the "Service Economy", where everyone is shining the other guys shoes. Reminds me of the old story of the three antique dealers stuck on a desert island, with one antique bureau. They all made a good living selling the bureau to each other. Referring to the "tourist industry" makes me recall a convenience store owner referring to his "industry".

Let us not forget that much Hawaiian prosperity resulted from the government decision that business meetings and conferences, outside of the U.S., were not tax deductible. So, many of the tourista are "captives".

Posted by: Warrington Faust at April 23, 2011 10:52 PM

Warrington Faust,

The following is a little primer on the Hawaiian economy not all service based which RI claim is $5 billion a year and HI takes in $12 billion a year. The following snapshot list was compiled by the State of Hawaii Department of Business Economic Development & Tourism (same as RI EDC) as an intro to Hawaii for the visiting Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting for the 21 nation heads of state, finance ministers, entourages, visiting family and friends and their security that ring the Pacific Ocean, world bank, business leaders and over 2,000 world press totaling over 20,000 attendees meeting only the second time in the United States in 31 years (RI could have bid as host on this just like the America’s Cup):

“Renewable Energy:
Dr. Steven Chu, the U.S. Secretary of Energy, has called Hawaii: “A unique test bed for clean, renewable energy.”
•Hawaii's abundant natural resources has fostered an array of cutting-edge clean energy projects across the state, from wind and wave power to biofuels and geothermal energy.
•Signed into agreement in 2008, the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative aims for 70 percent of the state’s energy needs to come from clean sources by the year 2030.
•Hawaii is currently a national leader for per-capita photovoltaic solar energy generation.

Health & Life Sciences:
Hawaii's ethnic diversity and research excellence has made the state a world center in the field of life sciences.
•Outstanding research and development in Hawaii are leading to breakthroughs in vaccines to dengue fever and West Nile virus.
•Cancers with a high incidence among Asian Pacific populations are the unique focus of the University of Hawaii's Comprehensive Cancer Research Center.
•Researchers are currently studying why Hawaii residents have a life expectancy of 80.8 years, the longest in the United States and fifth highest the world.
•Health science exports include artificial corneas and innovative hospital software.

Hawaii's dramatic geography and position in the Pacific Ocean allows for unparalleled astronomical research.
•Twelve U.S. and International telescope facilities currently operate on the summit of Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano on the island of Hawaii, which is also recognized as the best site in the world for astronomy.
•Mauna Kea has been chosen as the preferred site for the world’s largest telescope. Site preparation and construction of the billion-dollar, 30-meter telescope is planned to start in late 2011.
•On the island of Maui, Haleakala observatory is home to the Pan-STARRS telescope, which tracks potential “killer” asteroids that pose a danger to Earth.
•The National Science Foundation has funded the largest and most versatile solar observatory on Haleakala.

Earth & Ocean Sciences:
On land, on sea, and in the sky, the entrepreneurial spirit of discovery and innovation is under way in the Islands.
•At the Hawaii Space Flight Laboratory, private business and the University of Hawaii are designing and building a satellite that when launched in 2012, will earn the University of Hawaii the distinction of the only university in the world to launch its own satellite.
•From advanced software for mapping the ocean depths, to the design of hull forms for the world’s fastest boat, ocean research and development are robust in Hawaii.
•Hawaii is home to the National Defense Center of Excellence for Research in Ocean Sciences (CEROS).

Blessed with a long growing season and 11 of the world’s 13 climatic zones, Hawaii is a leader in agricultural research.
•Hawaii grows more corn seed for export than any other state in the United States.
•Agricultural biotech is credited with saving Hawaii's papayas from crippling diseases.
•Hawaii's federally-funded National Tropical Botanical Garden is leading an international team of experts in the research of breadfruit, as well as other plants, as a means to ease critical food security issues in tropical regions.

Hawaii's higher education system has garnered national recognition and high-caliber students from around the world.
•U.S. News and World Report ranked the graduate program for international business at the Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawaii as a Top 25 graduate program in the nation for its 2010 guidebook.
•U.S. News & World Report ranked the geriatric and rural medicine programs at the University of Hawaii's John A. Burns School of Medicine among the country’s Top 25 for its 2011 guidebook.
•The University of Hawaii faculty represents more than 70 nations, and has students from 112 countries, and visiting scholars from 55 countries.
•The East-West Center, a regional education and research organization, was established by the U.S. Congress in 1960 to promote better relations and understanding among the peoples and nations of the United States, Asia, and the Pacific. The nearly 60,000 alumni of the East-West Center include President Obama’s mother and stepfather, as well as several currently serving national leaders, including India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh; Singapore’s President S.R. Nathan; China’s Vice Minister of Education Hao Ping; and Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Trairong Suwakniri.

Sustainable Growth:
Carrying forward the traditional Native Hawaiian system of ahupuaa land management and fish pond technology, Hawaii strives for a balanced environment.
•Hawaii has the lowest per capita carbon emissions among large cities in developed countries.
•In Kapolei, the University of Hawaii West Oahu is building America’s first gold, LEED-certified green college.

Hawaiian Culture & Music:
Hawaii has evolved into a modern society that honors and perpetuates its host culture.
•Hawaiian singers and songwriters have climbed to the top of American and Japanese music charts, and have also helped to establish the “Best Hawaiian Music” category at the Grammy Awards.
•Hawaii's kumu hula, teachers of ancient and modern indigenous dance, have helped to establish more than 500 hula halau (schools) throughout Japan.
•Hawaii's laws relating to its indigenous people have integrated the Hawaiian language and its values into Hawaii's modern society, giving the Islands a strong sense of place.

Hawaii's pristine water, long sacred in the Native Hawaiian culture, is today the source of nutraceutical exports.
•Hawaii's aquaculture industry is producing 1.5 billion clams and oysters annually, as well as high-value abalone, black cod, and kampachi.
•Refined seawater from over 3,000 feet below the surface is Hawaii's highest valued manufactured export and is also consumed by APEC member economies.

Financial Service Industry:
Hawaii has the nation’s number one rated bank in terms of financial performance and the fifth largest captive insurance portfolio in the world, as measured by asset size.
•Hawaii's financial services industry includes the “Top Performing Bank” in the United States, according to the ABA Banking Journal, as well as “America’s Best Bank” as named by Forbes.
•Hawaii has a division of the best bank in Western Europe, according to Euromoney.
•United States, Japanese, and Korean companies are among the owners of insurance companies operating in Hawaii.”

Posted by: Ken at April 24, 2011 12:31 AM

Warrington Faust,

You wrote; “Let us not forget that much Hawaiian prosperity resulted from the government decision that business meetings and conferences, outside of the U.S., were not tax deductible. So, many of the tourista are "captives".”

May I remind you, the State of Hawaii is the 50th State of the United States of America and NOT a foreign country as so many people who don’t know their basic geography try to imply and misrepresent the true facts.

Posted by: Ken at April 24, 2011 1:29 AM


Warrington Faust,

After rereading your comment, even though I might have misread it at first, I still take exception to it. Hawaii only averages $12 billion a year from the tourist trade and conventions held in Hawaii and that income is regulated by the commercial airlines and cruise lines (no airplanes or cruise ships; no tourist). It is far less than the total income of the state due to other business activities I mentioned in my earlier post to you especially the financial service, research, agriculture, astronomy and health & life sciences and technology industries. Green energy is also fast growing as is the movie and TV industry. The financial and telecommunications industry in Hawaii are world class.

Tourism is a very young industry in Hawaii and to call Hawaii a tourist trap is disingenuous because if you visit Hawaii you have to make a concerted effort to get or hold a convention here but once here you might not want to leave because it is called “paradise”! No one is held hostage!

By the way, Hawaii’s transit taxes are $5 cheaper a day than Rhode Island based on daily hotel room, rental car and food.

President John F. Kennedy is quoted saying; “Hawaii is what the rest of the world is striving to become.”

Michelle Obama is quoted saying; "You can't really understand Barack until you understand Hawaii."

In the old days when there was not a whole lot of tourism agriculture especially sugar, pineapple and beef (Hawaii still has the largest contiguous ranch, in the United States, the Parker Ranch near Kamuela about 480,000 acres of land). Free-range organic animal products and agriculture still play a very important part of Hawaii’s economy of exports as Hawaii is the only state in the nation “rabies free”. Hawaii is the largest producer in the nation of corn seed. Hawaii has a 365 day growing season.

Hawaii is the only state in the USA to commercially grow coffee, vanilla beans and cacao beans (chocolate) which is ranked the most expensive “SINGLE ESTATE” and rare, world-class award-winning chocolate in the world (I have given the 70% dark chocolate cacao butter to female friends and watched them melt into ecstasy).


Now off to bed so I can attend sunrise service on the beach and then spend the rest of the day with friends at pot-luck beach party. Weather will be sunny 84-85 degrees.

Posted by: Ken at April 24, 2011 2:41 AM

Yeah Ken we know Hawaii is a great place for rich people like you to retire to.
West warwick and EP-not so much. So Hawaii's economy has little relevance to RI.
Similarly while $6 a gallon gas will warm the hearts of progressives like yourself methinks $6 a gallon gas will be less appreciated by the progressive politicians who brought it to us come November of next year...

Posted by: Tommy Cranston at April 24, 2011 8:58 AM

"Michelle Obama is quoted saying; "You can't really understand Barack until you understand Hawaii."

I knew I was having some difficulty there, but I couldn't get to the bottom of it.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at April 24, 2011 11:11 AM

Hawaii has ONE Republican in the state senate.Sounds like more of a stacked deck than RI.

Posted by: joe bernstein at April 25, 2011 2:17 AM

Aloha Ken,

RI native and former Lahaina,Maui resident here. Your stories sound idyllic except the facts interfere with the happy storyline. Hawaii is the MOST expensive state in the union in which to live...check the Fed Govt. Index. There are many challenges to living in beautiful Hawaii. Greedy landlords challenge long term residents with exorbitant rents due to vacation visitors willing to pay much higher rates. 6.00 gal gas? Yes the highest and most of the cars there are "gas guzzling" vacation rentals. Marijuana and alcohol abuse are rampant. Paradise?... yes to many....and Paradise lost to many others.

Posted by: ANTHONY at April 25, 2011 2:28 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Important note: The text "http:" cannot appear anywhere in your comment.