Hawaii's cost of living is stuck on too much of an upwards trajectory.
One reason is due to the states inverted income to debt ration.
Because the State of Hawaii, under its present leadership, has committed to paying out more than it generates in revenue Hawaii's tax payer are personally on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars of unfunded liabilities.
This ultimately means the state government in pursuit of increased excise tax income has a no incentive to lower the cost on anything!
Like energy conservation being less costly than building new power plants lowering the cost on goods, utilities and (with innovation) housing can also be a quick way of getting more disposal income for Hawaii's tax payers.
Government, unlike private industry, is not subject to the discipline of financial markets. This is why the only accountability a citizen can impose on elected officials is a vigorous and competitive election process.
Without political competition there are no new ideas for governing which creates a static government that cost too much and produces too little.
Too break this gridlock and bring in fresh initiative and innovation is the challenge facing Republicans and all those who want a leaner most responsive state government.
Report On Hawaii Unfunded Taxpayer Liability:HI-2015 State of the State