I can see a chicken or the egg situation, purely hypothetical of course.
Hawaii is a state; they're subject to the Jone's act. Don't like it? Shoudln't have become a state. If Puerto Rico wants to see their support dwindle to bare basics and nearly be soveriegn, then ok, no Jone's act. See how quickly it fixes all of their issues (it won't).
I'd love to live in Manhattan or Boston's back bay, but can't afford it. Same goes for those who say Hawaii etc is too expensive: don't live there.
good article, with sources thoroughly cited: http://www.klgates.com/files/Publication/98eba0b5-41ec-4d0d-8f8d-a111146a7fe5/Presentation/PublicationAttachment/eb4353ac-8df8-401f-977f-af4f1a5ee48c/JMLC_Jan%202015.pdf
A foreign-flag vessel could not carry America’s domestic commerce, regardlessof the Jones Act, unless it were to: 1) pay federal and state taxes; 2)employ U.S.-citizen crews; 3) withhold payroll and income taxes for thosecrews; 4) comply with federal and state labor standards; 5) allow its crews toorganize; and 6) meet federal and state workplace-safety standards, to namebut a few of the applicable requirements. Of course, a foreign-flag vessel thatcomplies with those laws no longer operates under the laws of a foreign flag,and the cost “savings” disappear.118
Although it is human nature to advocate for points of view through the use
of strong, precise, and authoritative statements, those who confidently claim
to have calculated a “cost” of the Jones Act are, regretfully, speaking about
uncertain things with certainty. In attempts to support repealing or relaxing
the Jones Act, these critics compare foreign shipping rates with Jones Act
shipping rates, but fail to account for additional U.S. laws that would apply
to the hypothetical foreign vessel operating in domestic trade. These include
laws of considerable consequence and cost—like tax and labor laws—that
would necessarily impact the operating costs of those foreign shipping companies.
Jones Act critics also fail to account for laws that Congress or federal
agencies would subsequently amend or extend to foreign vessel operators
should they be allowed to operate in the American domestic trades to preserve
policy interests. Finally, Jones Act critics attempting to assign a cost
to the Act have failed to address whether, if lower shipping rates were ultimately
achieved, the benefits would be passed along to shippers and consumers.
Statements depicting a specific Jones Act cost differential based on a
comparison of foreign and domestic rates or operating costs are deceiving
and make good sound bites. However, it is imperative to remember that the
GAO, the government’s independent federal investigative agency, has now
reviewed the Jones Act three times over the last thirty years and found that
“precise, verifiable estimates of the impact of the Act are not available.”161
Comparing Jones Act shipping rates to international shipping rates to determine
a “cost” is indeed comparing apples to oranges, and the results provide
no credible information for critiquing the Jones Act.