Key West local resident's comments on the island's life, politics, play, and people.
Saturday, April 09, 2005
Why pay a fare wage if the government will do it for you?
Blogger lost my entry...grrrrrrr. I wrote a nice and eloquent (as far as I know) entry about Key West's monopolist and tourism magnate Ed Swift. The owner of the Conch Tour Train and longtime "partner" to the City of Key West has taken up the cause of affordable housing in the most ironic manner. On the one hand, he is clearly pointing out that the sky-high real estate prices have squeezed out the workforce and created an impending crisis, not to mention torn the community apart. Yet, on the other hand, his help-wanted ads for Train Conductors offer a $10 hour salary. By my estimation, each train seats at least 30, and costs $22 per adult. I figure each train grosses over $600 for the 90 minute ride. And the conductor, the local worker who's boss is so concerned about, makes $15 for the 1.5 hours. Housing is unaffordable for two reasons. One is the high prices. The other is the low wage. Ed Swift's cry for government action on affordable housing is an attempt to disguise his contribution to the problem.