I have lived on Maui for more than 25 years. I have never had a problem finding work or housing until recently.
I realize we are in a recession and the economy stinks (even though everyone says it's getting better). I have never in my 50-plus years experienced anything like this. Every job and rental I apply for, at least 50 others are applying for the same one.
I am a professional, have a college degree, have been bonded, fingerprinted and FBI cleared and still cannot find a decent job. Every reasonable position is either temporary or part time (just under 20 hours to avoid paying benefits).
I read Craigslist daily. There's a never-ending list of sob stories - "Just moved to Maui, job and/or housing fell through. Nowhere to go." Families of four or more are wanting to rent studios or even just a room. The price of gas is through the roof, with electric and food prices at a close second. The cost of living goes up. The wages and salaries go down.
Keep promoting tourist activities. But who will serve them if workers can't find housing? How awesome is it for tourists spending thousands to visit Maui to see homeless people sleeping on the ground in front of McDonald's or Ross?
The motivational speeches, State of the State and State of the Union are either bald-faced lies or the orators are wearing rose-colored glasses with blinders on them.