Letter to the Editor- Solution offered to housing woes
To the Editor:
As a recent (three years) to the Tahoe Basin, I have seen many articles and letters about low cost housing that is needed in the Tahoe area. All these opinions seemed to lack the grasp of a simple fact of free market commerce – property (housing) values, like water, will seek their own level. The major point being made is that the poorly paid casino and other service employees can not afford to live in the place where they work.
As a person that lived for 30 years in the New York, New Jersey area, I am well acquainted with the cost of housing and difficulty in securing employees for lower level positions.
Believe it or not, there is a very simple, if not desirable to business, solution to the problem.
In 1996, the last year of my personal acquaintance, Wendy’s paid $7.25/hour for high school help that had difficulty counting a dollars worth of change and Home Depot paid $7.50/hour to folk that knew the difference between a hammer and a screwdriver. They did not do this because of humanitarianism, but because they could not secure ANY help at a lower wage. The casinos and other service establishments that cite their need should either pay a wage that will support the local area or shut up. The folk they employ should either cease crying to the government about the lack of housing or move to New Jersey where they can make a living flipping burgers for Wendy’s.
The most interesting response was Mr. Galbreath’s “Modest Proposal” for labor camps.
I will give him credit for writing tongue in cheek and not being a complete idiot, but a fact of life is that Tahoe has positioned itself as an upscale playpen and the majority of the folk here want it that way. One of the main troubles with democracy is that majority rules, even if it does not seem fair or equitable to those that feel in the minority.
Just out of curiosity – what does the TRPA, an agency created to guarantee the clarity of Lake Tahoe, have to do with housing, “affordable” or otherwise?
Robert H. Dever, III
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