The fact that Hawaii's unemployment rate remains below the national rate is sometimes difficult to get excited about when the best and the brightest of our young people are leaving Hawaii for better jobs on the mainland. Yes, we still need to increase the quantity of jobs in Hawaii, but we also need to increase the quality.
Growing our economy and improving our job market starts with understanding what we're good at and knowing what Hawaii has to offer. Today, as the world focuses in on Asia and Asian markets, we stand to benefit from our unique culture and strategic location. Hawaii is the ideal place for companies interested in exporting goods and services to Asia. However, we need to be more forward-thinking in the ways we attract these companies.
Just in the last year, the legislature voted numerous times to suspend tax credits for high-tech business investments after they were already promised. This kind of dishonorable and unreliable behavior, which would do considerable damage to the State's credit rating, discourages rather than attracts the businesses that will keep our kids in Hawaii.
Budget and unemployment problems are not solved by laws that drive investors away and ruin the State's reputation. We need people in government that understand that and will reach out to businesses and reach into the international markets to build stable and sustainable jobs for Hawaii.