Thursday, August 11, 2022
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Wednesday, February 2, 2022
Tunnel Vision
By Joni Kamiya @ 5:55 PM :: 3055 Views :: Agriculture, Labor, Small Business, Cost of Living, GMOs

Tunnel Vision

by Joni Kamiya, Hawaii Farmer’s Daughter, Jan 29, 2022

Once again, the legislators in the state of Hawaii are saying one thing but doing another. At the start of this new session, so many proclaimed that they want to support agriculture but their actions say something else.

Take into point the raising of the minimum wage to help Hawaii’s low wage workers over 4 years.

With inflation, our small business costs are rising. This means the cost to deliver our goods to the store is much higher as fuel continues to run over $4.30 a gallon. That also translates to increased costs for our fertilizer, tractor parts, potting mix, and other supplies. Not only has those costs increased, new labeling laws have come into effect which means the printing of new boxes that costs more. Meanwhile, what we earn per pound has not changed to meet these costs.

To compound this even further, property taxes have increased and one of our vans had a catalytic converter sawed off. More money out and less in means we have to question our decisions on whether we can survive and plan for the future of our business.

Many farmers like Richard Ha and Dean Okimoto have stated that farmers are only going to farm if they can make money. Yes, we are a farm but also a small business. We may show profits on a ledger but most of it stays right on the farm to invest in it. We can’t share or grow if we don’t cover our costs.

I know that legislators see a very limited vision of how this will impact workers in the hotel and restaurant industries but fail to see how it trickles down to hurt the most vulnerable, our kupuna.

As costs for labor rises, caregiver costs have risen significantly. The wage for an hour caregiver is close to $30 to $35. With 3 hour minimums, a senior in need of care is paying over $105 a day if they can find one.

Not only do the cost of care rise but the cost of basic good also goes up. So many of my clients rely on takeout food for meals and a plate lunch has risen to $13. So many forget that their retirement income does not go up and as bills for basics go up, they have less to cover it.

Another consideration is that higher costs means that volunteerism can go down for those who service seniors. I know of several retirees who would love to volunteer to deliver meals but their costs to do so affects their ability to use that time to help others or work to meet their financial needs.

As a headline maker, raising the minimum wage sounds good in theory but in reality, is it going to help the local folks overall when small businesses are still being impacted by the pandemic?

After 2 years of dealing with pandemic and being a health care worker, I am tired. I am tired of having to wear PPE for work that leaves me hot, dehydrated, and sore. I do it to protect my family and others. The pollution of information by politicians have clearly demonstrated the dangers of it as we lost an opportunity to apply science to minimize the impact of this disease. The cost so far is over 800K lives lost and counting.

The legislature appears to be dead set on ignoring the entire impact of short term solutions and catchy soundbites. Over the years we’ve had bills attempting to label GMOs, legalize raw milk shares, anti-vaccine laws, buffer zones, and bans of who knows what proposed. We need to stop and ask if these time consuming legislative measures have served the needs of people of Hawaii or is it knee-jerk, serve serving for votes?

We all the know the answer.

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

ACA Signups Hawaii

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Back da Blue Hawaii

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

ChinaTownWatch.com

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Life Alliance

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

HIEC.Coop

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT