The Price of Paradise
Hawaii has fewer home air conditioners than Florida, Arizona or any of the other states in the U.S. where temperatures reach high levels for much of the year. Yet the electric bill for the average household in Hawaii is about $160 per month, nearly twice as much as the average Mainland household. For Hawaii residents who do have home air condtioning, the electric bill is significantly higher than $160 per month. I know families paying up to $300 per month.
The situation is ridiculous, even considering the fact that Hawaii has no hydro-electric power sources like some Mainland states and must generate all of its electricity by burning fuel oil. Hawaii gets most of its crude oil from Indonesia, which is closer to the islands than to the Mainland. The crude is refined in Honolulu, which means very little transportation costs are involved in getting the finished product to market. Despite these factors, Hawaii residents pay the highest electric bills in the U.S. along with the highest gasoline prices.
This is all part of the so-called "paradise tax," a deceptive collection of lame excuses for Hawaii having the highest cost of living in the nation. In truth price fixing rather than price competition occurs on a massive scale in collusion with the state government. In this matter Hawaii is no different than any corrupt Third World country which rigs the economy in favor of the rich at the expense of ordinary citizens.
This is a very strange outcome for a state that was once denigrated as "the peoples' republic of Hawaii" for its ardent support of labor unions, universal health care and other leftist leanings. Now Hawaii is the new Mississippi with its first Republican governor in half a century. How far the people of Hawaii have fallen! Many smiles of aloha have missing teeth because dental insurance is unaffordable to most islanders.
"The earth was made round so we can't see too far down the road and know what is coming." -- Isak Dinesen, Out of Africa