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Tuesday, May 16, 2006



We have a very low unemplyment rate on Mau'i. Accordingly, the lower paying jobs are always available. Whether it be in the fastfood industry, convenience stores, gas stations or pizza delivery. These positions usually start about $8.00 an hour and seldom pay more than $10.00 an hour, about 2/3rds of the island's average wage of $15.00 per hour.

Have you noticed that the lower paying the job, the more work expected of the employee?

With our rapid population growth, we have seen the introduction of many "big box" outlets on the island.

Besides Wal-Mart and Home Depot, we also have a Costco, a K-Mart and many other mega-corp outlets.

Their appearance forced local competitors out of business. These national chains could retail an item at less than what the local operations paid wholesale. The upside is that local consumer prices dropped. The downside is that many family businesses ceased to exist, after generations of operation.

While Mau'i will never have the blight of over population, at least not in my lifetime, it is rapidly growing. The "old-timers" complain that it isn't like it was during the island's "Plantation" era. "New-comers" take exception to the changes since their arrival. And the State & local government can't keep apace of the infrastructure shortfalls. A problem that all population centers encountered during rapid growth.

The knee-jerk reaction is to enact a building moretorium. Which eventually causes raises in tax rates, since cost-of-services continue to rise on a fixed tax base. Then property owners complain.

Growth is inevitable. I wish I could drop back by here in 100 years to see if Mau'i looks anything like O'ahu (Honolulu) does today.


"Let's all be careful out there!"