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  #951  
Old December 10th, 2008, 02:12 AM
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Default Re: Rail Transit

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Originally Posted by joshuatree View Post
Convention center would be a suitable alternate
Maybe. The high-level concept isn't bad, but I don't know what it would take to make it into a viable bus hub. I don't remember any side long enough to do the job and traffic in that immediate area is rather congested. Much more so then AMC. Right now AMC is doing a very good job of being a bus hub.
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  #952  
Old December 11th, 2008, 03:03 AM
joshuatree joshuatree is offline
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Default Re: Rail Transit

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Originally Posted by salmoned View Post
You seem to ignore that a rail line can affect property values both positively AND negatively. A rail system can empty city coffers as easily as fill them (easier actually, since building and maintaining the system will absolutely do so, regardless of ridership or property taxes). A rail system is in no way conceived or considered to be a revenue creating venture for the city. If rail is successful, it will lead to reduced GET income (and increased city expenses), not the reverse. It will result in fewer car purchases/expenditures, less taxi revenue, etc. Not one person is arguing that a rail system will provide positive net revenue and lower our current tax burden - that's why taxes were increased to pay for it.

30% of GET revenue is paid by tourists? I'd like to see the data.

Is our GET regressive? That's not debatable. It is. If the GET is amended as you propose, we will not be able to accrue anywhere near the estimated GET contribution for the original 20 mile alignment, which was specifically selected as the ONLY affordable rail option after 'due consideration'.

Bottom line, you're wrong. Property taxes, as a consideration in the rail discussion, cannot be expected to provide a net positive contribution, even if we disregard the fact that some properties will be removed from the tax lists when they're purchased for rail system use.
This conversation sprung from the question of why AMC should have a station. It's obvious in that case, the effect of rail would be positive for a commercial area. If you want to expand the conversation of how rail will affect property in general, that's great, but don't accuse me of ignoring the positives and negatives. My comments were specific to the AMC situation.

From your comments, it appears you're ignoring the counter effects offered by rail such as increased transit oriented development in relation to fewer car purchases. Btw, fewer car purchases are already happening without rail, so there goes your theory.

Yes, 30% of GET is paid by tourists. DEIS, pg 7-7.

If GET is amended, obviously there will be a need for adjustment. If we keep GET and simply waive food and medicine, perhaps a 5% or 6% tax. If we abolish GET and go to a straight forward sales tax, it may be more like 10%. As I already mentioned earlier, other states charge close to double digit sales taxes or have ultra high property taxes to cover their needs. Others levy heavy car registration fees. I remember paying $300+ dollars for a regular Honda Civic in Cali before they reduced the fees. Our GET being "regressive" is indeed debatable when you account for these differences. And I refer back to 30% of our GET revenue coming from visitors. 30% isn't even coming out of our pockets.




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Originally Posted by GeckoGeek View Post
Maybe. The high-level concept isn't bad, but I don't know what it would take to make it into a viable bus hub. I don't remember any side long enough to do the job and traffic in that immediate area is rather congested. Much more so then AMC. Right now AMC is doing a very good job of being a bus hub.
If the convention center was made into a bus hub, I think one would need to perhaps build a deck on the Ala Wai on the back side of the center to serve as the bus depot. Had the convention center and rail been built around the same time, the ground floor should have been made into the depot, much like a Union Station. AMC serves fine as a bus depot but if people feel a shopping center shouldn't get the traffic, the CC should as that would make sense as a meeting place.
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  #953  
Old December 12th, 2008, 04:06 PM
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Default Re: Rail Transit

Actually, the conversation originated with this question - "Why are we building and paying for a public transit system to benefit a privately owned shopping center?" (post #940) You took the position that increased property values at Ala Moana would increase city revenues (post #945) and that property values/taxes are a factor in the rail transit discussion (post #947, "And ultimately, the influence of property values/property tax by the rail project is just one factor, not the only factor."). I expanded the property value/tax perspective to include other areas affected by rail to suggest that a rise in Ala Moana property taxes doesn't necessarily imply a rise in net city revenue (post#946) or net city property taxes. So, it appears your comments were not narrowly focused on AMC, as now claimed.

It is not MY theory that rail transit will lead to fewer car sales, I'm among those arguing against that 'theory' and against the 'theory' that rail transit will reduce traffic significantly. I'm not a dissenting member of the pro-rail camp, I'm a card-carrying member of the anti-rail camp.

You have cited the DEIS, which doesn't provide ANY data, but rather only states that tourist pay 30% of GET revenues. That's not data, that's a conclusion devoid of data.

Your contention, "Our GET being "regressive" is indeed debatable when you account for these differences", is unfathomable. Those very 'differences' you mention are what makes those other tax schemes LESS regressive. Your argument goes far to prove our GET IS regressive. If you want to claim 30% of our GET revenue comes out of tourist pockets, you'll have to cite a source of data that can be examined - hearsay doesn't cut it.
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Last edited by salmoned; December 12th, 2008 at 04:12 PM.
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  #954  
Old December 16th, 2008, 07:02 PM
joshuatree joshuatree is offline
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Default Re: Rail Transit

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Originally Posted by salmoned View Post
Actually, the conversation originated with this question - "Why are we building and paying for a public transit system to benefit a privately owned shopping center?" (post #940) You took the position that increased property values at Ala Moana would increase city revenues (post #945) and that property values/taxes are a factor in the rail transit discussion (post #947, "And ultimately, the influence of property values/property tax by the rail project is just one factor, not the only factor."). I expanded the property value/tax perspective to include other areas affected by rail to suggest that a rise in Ala Moana property taxes doesn't necessarily imply a rise in net city revenue (post#946) or net city property taxes. So, it appears your comments were not narrowly focused on AMC, as now claimed.

It is not MY theory that rail transit will lead to fewer car sales, I'm among those arguing against that 'theory' and against the 'theory' that rail transit will reduce traffic significantly. I'm not a dissenting member of the pro-rail camp, I'm a card-carrying member of the anti-rail camp.

You have cited the DEIS, which doesn't provide ANY data, but rather only states that tourist pay 30% of GET revenues. That's not data, that's a conclusion devoid of data.

Your contention, "Our GET being "regressive" is indeed debatable when you account for these differences", is unfathomable. Those very 'differences' you mention are what makes those other tax schemes LESS regressive. Your argument goes far to prove our GET IS regressive. If you want to claim 30% of our GET revenue comes out of tourist pockets, you'll have to cite a source of data that can be examined - hearsay doesn't cut it.
Ahh so we have you admitting YOU expanded the scope on property tax/value perspective. It's pretty ridiculous for you to accuse me of ignoring the negatives when that's YOUR scope, not mine.

If you feel the DEIS is hearsay, you can take it up with the city. Obviously, it's good enough for the feds to take into consideration. I really don't care what card or camp you're in, all I see is someone arguing just for the sake of arguing. It doesn't matter what data or link or reference is given to you. So long as it doesn't agree with you, you'll call it hearsay. Just like several posts back where you called me flat out wrong, where's the data there? Seems like hearsay to me.
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  #955  
Old December 16th, 2008, 08:54 PM
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Default Re: Rail Transit

So now you're saying that looking at property value/taxes of Ala Moana Center is a factor in rail development, but looking at property value/taxes of all other properties isn't? I can't fathom your current position. Either the entire sum of property values/taxes are a factor or they aren't. I don't understand how you concluded that only AMC property values/taxes are relevant to rail development, while all others can be disregarded.

The DEIS is conjecture based upon conjecture. It is not an unbiased study of facts and data. That it is 'good enough for government work', even the federal government, isn't a glowing endorsement by any stretch of the imagination, since that is among the most derogatory of pejoratives used by government contractors (and government workers themselves), not to mention the rest of us shmoes.
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Last edited by salmoned; December 16th, 2008 at 08:58 PM.
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  #956  
Old December 17th, 2008, 02:23 PM
joshuatree joshuatree is offline
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Default Re: Rail Transit

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Originally Posted by salmoned View Post
So now you're saying that looking at property value/taxes of Ala Moana Center is a factor in rail development, but looking at property value/taxes of all other properties isn't? I can't fathom your current position. Either the entire sum of property values/taxes are a factor or they aren't. I don't understand how you concluded that only AMC property values/taxes are relevant to rail development, while all others can be disregarded.

The DEIS is conjecture based upon conjecture. It is not an unbiased study of facts and data. That it is 'good enough for government work', even the federal government, isn't a glowing endorsement by any stretch of the imagination, since that is among the most derogatory of pejoratives used by government contractors (and government workers themselves), not to mention the rest of us shmoes.
Sounds like you're going into your circular arguments again. My original scope regarding property value/tax was about the positive aspect with rail. And under your own admission, you enlarged the scope to include the negatives. That's fine and dandy. But it's absolutely absurd for you to accuse me of ignoring the negatives in my original scope which was only about the positives. If you can't understand how you're putting the cart in front of the horse, I can't help you there.

So you're saying you went through the entire list of references and you're 100% absolute it's conjecture? Then as I stated before, you're more than welcomed to take it up with the authors of the DEIS. I can easily turn your conjecture argument around and say you haven't shown me anything in terms of data that would debunk the statement that 30% of our taxes collected are from visitors.

http://honolulutransit.org/pdfs/end.pdf
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  #957  
Old December 17th, 2008, 03:32 PM
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Default Re: Rail Transit

Could you delineate the circularity in my reasoning? Just calling it circular, just as reiterating the tourist contribution to GET as 30%, doesn't make it so. If you want to cite data, produce the data. I haven't offered any alternate data because I don't have the data. I merely questioned YOUR source of data, which you haven't been able to produce. MY not having data which refutes your 30% quote in no way validates your repetition of the figure.

Now you're saying that you intended to limit the scope of the discussion concerning rail's affects on property values/taxes to only the positive aspects for only Ala Moana Center. If you're happy to reduce your perspective to such a narrow focus, by all means, go ahead. Just don't pretend that that narrow focus is of any moment to the discussion on rail transit, except insofar as the owners of that property might be exerting their political influence to promote the rail project for their own financial gain.
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Last edited by salmoned; December 17th, 2008 at 03:40 PM.
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  #958  
Old December 17th, 2008, 04:51 PM
joshuatree joshuatree is offline
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Default Re: Rail Transit

Still arguing for the sake of arguing? Source of the 30% by visitors was long given to you. Don't accept it? Question it? That's your perogative, but you're still confused in trying to take it up with me as I did not author the document. I accept it and that's that. Don't expect me to do any of your homework for you. And you don't have any data? Puts you in a losing stance since I at least produced a source. Of course, you're going to go off on "conjectures", "no data", etc etc but that's your issue, not mine.

I'm very happy with my original scope. You can choose to go off on more tangents if you want but I'm done with senseless discussion.
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  #959  
Old December 17th, 2008, 07:09 PM
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Default Re: Rail Transit

A nice touch, ending your senseless 'discussion' with a statement that you're done with senseless discussion. You've definitely made your pointless point clear as can be!
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  #960  
Old December 17th, 2008, 07:50 PM
joshuatree joshuatree is offline
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Default Re: Rail Transit

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A nice touch, ending your senseless 'discussion' with a statement that you're done with senseless discussion. You've definitely made your pointless point clear as can be!
Ahh, I can see you're still bothered. Let me edit my posting, something you do pretty often, to clarify since you like to twist words.

"I'm very happy with my original scope. You can choose to go off on more tangents if you want but I'm done with your senseless discussion."

Cheers
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  #961  
Old December 17th, 2008, 07:52 PM
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Default Re: Rail Transit

Ah, I see you've contradicted yourself again, you weren't done with senseless 'discussion' as stated in your post #958, despite now wishing to bend those words in some tortuous manner to mean something other than what they do. Whether it's my senseless discussion or your senseless discussion, it's still senseless discussion in which you are engaging.
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Last edited by salmoned; December 17th, 2008 at 08:00 PM.
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  #962  
Old December 19th, 2008, 06:21 PM
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Red face Re: Rail Transit

hi this is sansei and since i responded to this post,today while coming home on my moped, from beretania safeway till about where you'd hit queen's hospital,their was a bad trafficgridlock and it only moved after we passed queen's hospital so that is in my heart,that's good that we have rail only it should start not what charle's Djou want's only from the eva side to town and it should go through salt lake and to town so i thought to share this with everyone.

well thanks for your time
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  #963  
Old January 23rd, 2009, 11:49 PM
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Thumbs down Re: Rail Transit

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Originally Posted by Composite 2992 View Post
To say that anything was last minute fails to take into account all the debate and delays that have taken place over the last several years.

As for allegations of corruption, if it can be proven, then it should be prosecuted.
Well, as far as I’m concerned, the delay that Sen. Colleen Hanabusa may cause with her attempt to corruptly raid the rail tax to balance the state budget is unconscionable. This is the same type of tactics that Republican Sen. Sam Slom has fought for decades. Stop raiding special funds! Use the funds for what they’re supposed to be used for, or return the money to the taxpayers. The rail tax isn't even a special fund. The only reason the state has their hand in it, is because the city lacks the accounting infrastructure to collect such a mammoth tax.

What this comes down to is petty politics between Hanabusa and Caldwell. Now that Caldwell is no longer in the legislature, Hanabusa is posturing the way she postured to tip off Duke Bainum that Ann Kobayashi’s council seat would be opening up. The truth is out now. Kobayashi admitted in the mayoral debates she confided in and was being advised by Hanabusa. Connect the dots, people!
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Last edited by TuNnL; January 23rd, 2009 at 11:53 PM. Reason: names
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  #964  
Old January 24th, 2009, 06:24 AM
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Post Re: Rail Transit

Thanks Tunnel! Well written.
I agree with your assessment of the situation.
And that money allocated for specific projects/programs needs to be used for them or put back from whence they came.
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  #965  
Old January 24th, 2009, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Menehune Man View Post
Thanks Tunnel! Well written.
I agree with your assessment of the situation.
And that money allocated for specific projects/programs needs to be used for them or put back from whence they came.
Agreed, in fact, Lingle's proposal to raise the gas tax and registration fees once the economy rebounds only makes sense if they prevent road funds from being routinely raided as well.

But if the rail project does go through and the new gas/registration as well, we'll finally see some sense of a unified, transportation planning.
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  #966  
Old January 25th, 2009, 03:22 AM
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Default Re: Rail Transit

I would be kinda surprised if the rail project gets very far off the ground at this point. We're in the beginning stages of an economic depression. All the signs are there, and there is no escaping it this time. Building a rail transit is going to be the least of our worries. The project's history.
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  #967  
Old January 25th, 2009, 03:59 AM
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I would be kinda surprised if the rail project gets very far off the ground at this point. We're in the beginning stages of an economic depression. All the signs are there, and there is no escaping it this time. Building a rail transit is going to be the least of our worries. The project's history.
In a speech in the last couple of days Obama specifically mentioned mass transit projects as part of the economic stimulus package. This, along with renewable energy and nationwide power grid projects. Makes sense to make the best use of available energy. And a mobile society is essential to an economically healthy society.
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  #968  
Old January 26th, 2009, 08:22 PM
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In a speech in the last couple of days Obama specifically mentioned mass transit projects as part of the economic stimulus package. This, along with renewable energy and nationwide power grid projects. Makes sense to make the best use of available energy. And a mobile society is essential to an economically healthy society.
If Obama's proposal goes through, it won't kick in until 2010. By then, I'll be eating your cat.

Obama's stimulus plan will cost $217,000 to $275,000 per job that it will supposedly save or create. $5-10 Billion on our rail system to create a few hundred jobs or maybe a few thousand, doesn't sound like such a good idea. And those jobs will mostly be mainland jobs, not here, unless you know people who can put this thing together.

Technically, it isn't possible for the government to "stimulate" the economy. The only thing it can do is stay out of the way by lowering taxes and allow the free market to adjust.
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  #969  
Old January 28th, 2009, 07:56 PM
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Red face Re: Rail Transit

hi this is sansei and i just heard that for the rail the council approved the rail to stop at The airport and not salt lake and im wondering how this is going to affect the salt lake resident's and not everyone else?

Well thank's for your time
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  #970  
Old January 28th, 2009, 09:45 PM
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$5-10 Billion on our rail system to create a few hundred jobs or maybe a few thousand, doesn't sound like such a good idea. And those jobs will mostly be mainland jobs, not here, unless you know people who can put this thing together.

Technically, it isn't possible for the government to "stimulate" the economy. The only thing it can do is stay out of the way by lowering taxes and allow the free market to adjust.
As mentioned before, the rail system not only creates new jobs through the construction process but it also enables people who can't drive or can't afford to drive the mobility to get and keep jobs which are essential to our economy.

It won't require mainland workers to build a rail system. Local workers built the H3 highway system, although it required experts from the Mainland to supervise.

When gas was $4 a gallon, ridership on the Bus picked up significantly. When it hits $5 and more a rail system will be well used. I'd be willing to bet money on it.

While government might not be able to directly stimulate the economy, and that's certainly arguable, it can create the conditions in which the economy can flourish. Just as the previous administration created conditions in which the economy crashed. The cost of creating jobs (where did those numbers come from?) have to be offest by how much revenue the jobs create over a period of time. If it's $200,000 to create a job that generates $50,000 a year, doesn't it pay for itself in four years?

There's a movement right now to push our country toward being 100% reliant upon clean energy in 10 years. www.repoweramerica.org It's the 21st Century version of Kennedy's goal of landing man on the moon in 10 years. Rail transit is a big step toward that goal: Move thousands of people without relying on cars. Fewer internal combustion engines running on the highways. Less carbon added to the atmosphere. Less gas burned. Run the rail system on renewable energy sources.

All this has to start somewhere. To insist "it can't be done" just pushes us further into the ecological and strategic disasters in which we're already knee deep. What we're doing right now, driving gas-powered cars, is not sustainable.
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  #971  
Old January 29th, 2009, 02:48 AM
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For those who don't take the need for energy independence seriously enough, check out what Russia is up to. Putin has a very firm grasp of the concept of the strategic importance of energy supplies and is making moves to consolidate whatever he can for his country.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/29/wo..._r=1&th&emc=th
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  #972  
Old January 29th, 2009, 04:22 AM
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Default Re: Rail Transit

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Originally Posted by Composite 2992 View Post
the rail system not only creates new jobs through the construction process
Creates jobs, but I question how much it will help residents. All those people laid off by Aloha and NCL, etc are suddenly to become construction workers? I kinda doubt it. Unless we slow the project down, we don't have enough workers to do it all. Given the size of the project, I think it's more likely it will attract experienced workers from the mainland which has areas where the unemployment rate is even higher than ours.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Composite 2992 View Post
Rail transit is a big step toward that goal: Move thousands of people without relying on cars. Fewer internal combustion engines running on the highways. Less carbon added to the atmosphere. Less gas burned. Run the rail system on renewable energy sources.
I still think everyone is chasing the wrong power source. Solar thermal may have some promise, but there's some huge problems with Solar PV. I think the answer is biofuels. And biofuels work nicely in diesel engines.
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  #973  
Old January 29th, 2009, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by GeckoGeek View Post
Creates jobs, but I question how much it will help residents. All those people laid off by Aloha and NCL, etc are suddenly to become construction workers? I kinda doubt it. Unless we slow the project down, we don't have enough workers to do it all. Given the size of the project, I think it's more likely it will attract experienced workers from the mainland which has areas where the unemployment rate is even higher than ours.
I think you're discounting the people laid off by Hawaiian Dredging or other local construction firms? Most of the condo projects have more or less been completed and no new ones are starting up soon. That's people seeing their work reduced or dry up.

Oh and let's not forget trickle down effect. Say you do end up hiring a construction worker from the mainland. That person is not going to be flying back and forth every day to work. That person will probably rent a place here, use services here, buy goods, etc. The store or the service provider in turn gets much needed revenue, enabling to retain or maybe requiring to hire more employees which could end up being ex Aloha, NCL folks.

Last edited by joshuatree; January 29th, 2009 at 10:36 AM. Reason: added comment
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  #974  
Old January 29th, 2009, 11:48 AM
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Default Re: Rail Transit

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Originally Posted by joshuatree View Post
I think you're discounting the people laid off by Hawaiian Dredging or other local construction firms? Most of the condo projects have more or less been completed and no new ones are starting up soon. That's people seeing their work reduced or dry up.
Yes, those people will be greatly helped. But is it enough? Or is this project so big that the local labor market can't fulfill it?



Quote:
Originally Posted by joshuatree View Post
Say you do end up hiring a construction worker from the mainland.
You end up increasing the population of the island, which only makes things worse. And then what happens when the project ends? Most likely you end up with the construction industry begging for more projects. That can't be good. Construction is not a sustainable industry.
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  #975  
Old January 29th, 2009, 12:02 PM
joshuatree joshuatree is offline
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Originally Posted by GeckoGeek View Post
You end up increasing the population of the island, which only makes things worse. And then what happens when the project ends? Most likely you end up with the construction industry begging for more projects. That can't be good. Construction is not a sustainable industry.
You're assuming the imported construction worker decides to stay after the job. Which may happen or as in the previous decade, many left for construction work in Vegas. At the same time, there's no reason why the ex-Aloha, NCL employee can't move abroad either. Cities grow and shrink with worker migration all the time.

The construction industry is like any industry, each one always wants more work. This project isn't done for the sake of the construction industry, it's a needed infrastructure to supporters like me. If there's another needed project after this one, good for them, if not, they will contract. Just like the tourist industry is contracting right now. But this rail project now has double value because it will put in place valuable infrastructure and serve as en economic engine while the tourist engine sputters along till recovery.
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