Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023 |
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Time to raise minimum wage
As a student attending the University of Hawaii, I have seen firsthand the struggles that individuals and families go through trying to make ends meet here in Hawaii. I have testified multiple times at the state capital in support of raising the minimum wage to a living wage of $17 an hour.
I urge lawmakers to pass this bill for the good of all Hawaii families, as they are counting on it to survive. During my research for a seminar on family matters at the University of Hawaii honors program, I looked into single mothers and the economic and financial struggles they face trying to support themselves and their families.
According to Hawaii Appleseed, a Hawaii worker would need to earn $27.44 per hour in 2018 to rent a one-bedroom home. This means that a current minimum-wage worker earning $10.10 an hour would have to work over 15 hours a day with no days off in order to afford that one-bedroom home. This is unacceptable. $10.10 an hour is not a living wage. $17 an hour is absolutely necessary for hardworking Hawaii families to make ends meet.
The wellbeing of countless Hawaii families depends on the passage of SB 789 so, again, I urge lawmakers to do the right thing and enact a living wage. Doing so will be good for all working families and for the state of Hawaii.
Caroline Cech, UH student
To the author of “Not feeling the love anymore, Kauai,” published in the April 14 edition of The Garden Island, I would like to share these thoughts.
Having first ventured to Kauai 20 years ago, I too fell in love with the island and have returned many times. The beauty of Kauai has inspired me to care deeply about the environment and all creatures that are entitled to exist on this Earth. I sincerely hope that all travelers to this spectacular place are inspired to feel the same.
You are correct, Dr. Minkus. There are laws that protect public beach access. I am not aware of any laws that require “easy” access or that entitle any non-handicapped persons to parking spaces or lots.
It disheartens me that your perception of “responsibility to respect and take care of this special place” involves a sense of entitlement to roads, parking and traffic that will damage Kauai’s beauty and negatively impact the environment in which all its creatures thrive.
Because I actually do feel a responsibility to respect and take care of this special place, I fully support limited development and access to Kauai and her North Shore. It has been my deeply appreciated privilege to have experienced Ke‘e, Lumahai and Tunnels Beach.
They belong to the sea life and to those humans who know how to respectfully inhabit or to quietly pack in and out of their space. Should Kauai continue to grant me the honor of visiting, I want my tourist tax dollars used to restore the quiet, remote beauty I fell in love with 20 years ago.
Nancy Turek, San Jose, California
Aloha Nancy, your well written and considered letter today has stirred me to add a thought on attending events and infrastructure to those events or other activities.
When you go to a concert, a movie, a sports event, or even a restaurant…when the seats are all full you are (hopefully) respectfully turned away requiring you to return at a later time or date.
In some cities just to stroll an area or a park, or attend an event or have a dinner requires paying $10 to $20 dollars or more just to park your rental car and hike to your area or location of interest.
Kauai County is not asking or requiring too much of visitors and locals to put up with to enjoy some of the greatest beauty on earth.
And we as residents and locals pay to some degree for your extraordinary experience on Kauai with our taxes and hassles of traffic and crowding of places like beaches and lookouts we formerly did not need to put up with nor even had a clue this many visitors would be coming to enjoy also.
Tourism is growing worldwide and will only increase in the future as population and affordability and accessibility also increase. This surge in visitors may only be Phase 1…are we ready for or preparing for the next Phases of Tourism…?
Tourism is the best way to see our world and it’s cultures; and it’s better than its alternative…WAR…besides, with Tourism whole happy families get to come. So let’s continue to be prepared.
Without Tourism, this many people cannot live here, besides there are not enough food farms.
Caroline, I understand what you’re faced with. What I had to do 40 years ago in my twenties was to share an apartment with other people. Single mothers [one has to ask where the father is] can do the same. Share a house with another single parent. I’m surprised that this obvious solution has not occurred to an “honors” student. Further, a basic economics course would have taught you that a mandated raise in the minimum wage will intensify the competition for lower-cost housing which would put upward pressure on rents thereby defeating the raise you just mandated. Remember supply and demand? I guess not. Of course, the socialist view is that the next step is mandated rent controls. But again, this would severely curtail development of housing for our growing population as investors would seek development opportunities elsewhere…outside of Hawaii. Hawaii is already cursed with high land costs and government over regulation both of which make affordable housing development precarious at best. Already, the government mandates that to build market housing, one must also offer a sizable percentage of “affordable” housing which then results in curtailing all development and further exacerbates the problem. With more and more people moving here taking up the insufficient inventory of housing what can one do? Again the obvious answer: Move to a lower-cost, more affordable state. Hawaii is 2nd only to California for the highest cost of living in the country.
Caroline, your care and desire to help others is impressive! Unfortunately, you don’t have the background, education, or experience in business to understand that there is no such thing as a productive “minimum wage”! You have laser vision that it will help the family make more money. If they don’t lose their job, that is true. However, where do you think the money will come from to pay your desired “minimum wage”? From the employer? WRONG! From the Government? WRONG! It will come from the consumer, YOU! Yep, prices will go up and you will pay that wage increase along with the person receiving the minimum wage! Problem is, the person receiving the increased “minimum wage” will have to pay more for everything in the store, so the increase will not get them anywhere, except possibly unemployed and homeless. Businesses will fire people, they will buy machines to do the job, and in some cases, they will go out of business so there will be no jobs for anyone on any minimum wage level! What makes you think that every job is just for those who need to support a family? Students, limited time individuals, I want to earn a little extra for the family vacation, and so many others are in the position to earn money not attached to the “it has to support my whole family” crowd! You are young and benevolent. Just be careful with what you ask for just in case there may be horrible unintended consequences for many. Especially those who lose those part time and entry level jobs they have to rely on under circumstances they have created for themselves.!
Can we remove HUD section 8 housing asdistance if we raise the minimum wage?
If so, what I’d the tradeoff of reduced taxes vs increased price of goods and services.
If not, why not?
Welcome to the Plantation! Blue Dem that is!
For the love of God….Just because a job exists does not mean the wage HAS to be “livable” (How ever you want to define it), nor are minimum wage jobs designed to be careers. Minimum = unskilled.
You are not supposed to live on minimum wage. If you have no skills, then you start at an entry level position, gain experience, GAIN SKILLS, LEARN A TRADE, put in your hours, become VALUABLE to the employer, get higher pay (move up the ladder), or take those skills learned to another employer, or take those learned skills and start your own business.
The easy thing is to complain to Government to solve your problems. The hard thing, which is always avoided, is to solve your own problems. Become more marketable, educate yourself, learn new skills, or leave the islands for more opportunities/lower cost of living. It’s not that hard.
Absolutely Correct! My first hourly paying job was a mere 75€ an hour,next was $1.25 per Hr. At the end of my career,my last job paid $28.66 hourly. It takes work to succeed,not Depending on Govt. Handouts! Socialism doesn’t Work!
You’re right Jake. Let them become homeless so we can pay to ship them back to the mainland instead!
Um, like, I don’t want anyone to be homeless.
Oh, so what’s your plan on making sure that doesn’t happen, despite someone trying to work hard?
Funny…spoken like a true entitled Millennial. “But I worked soooo hard and put in a lot of effort. Since things didn’t work out the way I want, then I want the Government (taxpayers) to fix all my problems and subsidize my housing, food, college, and healthcare”!!
You accomplish nothing with effort and working hard…..results is what gets the job done. Here is your participation trophy!
First of all, you are waaaay off on your assessment of who and what I am. But I expected as much. Also, you’ve talked yourself into a circle and are right back to letting people, even though they are working hard and contributing, not earning enough and becoming a ‘blight’ on your perception of community/society. it appears you are, in fact, okay with people still being homeless after all. Pathetic.
Well said, Jake!
Henry Ford payed his employees well above the going wage for the time. He realized that to be able to afford his cars people were going to need to make more money. We live in a consumer live in consumer driven economy and those living from paycheck to paycheck spend all their money right back into it. Doesn’t that raise everyones standard of living?
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