I thought things were rough here (well, they are) but it sounds even worse in Hawaii.
I wanted to comment on a couple of your points. You said -- "I could never take advantage of someone who worked hard to build a career and became a victim of poor economic times." -- I could not either, and I know some do. But I think also that so many businesses are having a rough time themselves, and so uncertain about what lies ahead, that they feel they either pay very little or hire not at all.
You also said: "Many of the government contractors build a resume pool to bid on contracts. the job postings are not always real."
I have thought about applying for govt. contracts but never gone there for fear of a bureacratic/paperwork nightmare. But others I know who have tried echo this sentiment -- the fix is in. Don't even bother, they already know who they plan to hire (and it's not you!) before they make you jump through 1,000 paperwork hoops. Don't know if that's true, but it's definitely the sentiment amongst many who have bid for govt. contracts. And then I know one or two (wealthy people) who get contract after contract after contract -- so yeah, I bet it is true.
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