Living in Paradise

Here on the Central Coast there are a few villages, small towns, and a couple of bigger cities like Florence and Newport. I speak to folks all the time about where they live, or where they are from, and they always mention how much they like visiting our neck of the woods.

They often call it “Paradise” and how great it would be to live here. One village that is mentioned a lot is Yachats, so let’s see what it’s like in that little slice of Paradise.

Known as the Gem of The Oregon Coast, Yachats is a destination place 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 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 a Paradise requires more than just the wonderful blending of the ocean and mountains meeting in spectacular 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 in Paradise? What do these workers do, and for whom do they toil? In destination spots like Yachats there is a usually a big discrepancy between the haves and the have nots.

The haves generally have parlayed their skills in their particular fields into healthy financial statements and are in the upper echelon of the momentary makeup of the Village. On the other hand the nots are those who much 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 non existent.

Again another similarity that Yachats shares with other desirable destinations is that most of its daily work force doesn’t live within 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, are forced to commute adding to their cost of living.

Working is strictly for survival, treading water so to speak. The opportunity to advance is limited since ownership is out of 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? 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.

So bear that that in mind next time 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 they are working hard and doing their very best to keep it a Paradise for you to enjoy!!