Working and Living In Paradise
Known as the Gem of The Oregon Coast, Yachats is the destination for visitors from all over the world. The phrase "another day in paradise" is frequently heard and anyone who has been in Yachats on a beautiful day will likely agree. The small village like city has many wonderful accommodations, restaurants, shops and stores which enhance livability and natures blessings make it a beautiful setting. Indeed, reviews by both national and international media have placed Yachats on many 'must visit' lists.
However, in real life being paradise requires more than just the wonderful blending of the ocean and mountains meeting in spec tactual fashion, brilliant sunsets, and a magnificent shoreline to view. It takes hard work. So who in paradise are the lucky souls who must do that work while everyone else relaxes and enjoys the life of leisure? What do these workers do, and for whom do they toil?
In a cites like Yachats there is a great discrepancy between the "haves" and the 'have nots"
The 'haves' generally are the successful business owners, well heeled retires, and some real estate brokers. They have parlayed their skills in their particular fields into a healthy financial statements and are in the upper echelon of the monetary make up of the city. On the other hand the "nots" are those who must work daily to eke out a wage that is often little more than the minimum wage enforced by law. And in many cases the wage is the only thing the worker gets. Health benefits, retirement, and other perks are not existent.
Again another similarity that Yachats shares with other desirable destination cities is the most of it's daily work force doesn't live with in the city limits. The reason for that is the lack of low cost housing that hourly workers can afford. Consequently the workers, who often live in crowded dwellings with other workers and extended family members, are forced to commute adding to their cost of living.
In her powerful new book, No Shame In My Game: The Working Poor in the Inner City, Alfred A Knopf Publisher, Katherine S. Newman examines the people of Harlem and their struggle to work and live with low wages. Certainly those working in Yachats are doing so by choice as opposed to those in Harlem who have no choice or way out, but they share similar situations. Working is strictly for survival, treading water so to speak. The opportunity to advance is limited since ownership is out or reach for most hourly workers and management jobs often go to those brought in from other establishments.
Still who is to blame for this economic disparity that goes on. No one actually. The workers in Yachats show up to work. They know it's low pay, seasonal if in the service industry, and advancement is limited. But they do work at nice places and it's tough to beat the scenery. It's the old Capitalistic rule of supply and demand. There are jobs, and people need jobs.
But bear that in mind when you interact with the hired help. More than likely they aren't making enough to take a vacation or go to a fancy restaurant. But like the working poor in the inner cities they are doing their best to help you....