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(The New York Times)   Glass half empty: Half of NYC's residents are poor. Glass half full: Half of NYC's residents are not poor. I need another drink: Making $46,416 a year in NYC considered "near poverty"   (nytimes.com) divider line 568
    More: Sad, glass half empty, berg administration, single adults, Manhattan Institute, Poverty in the United States, poverty, Steve Malanga  
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5218 clicks; posted to Main » on 22 Apr 2013 at 9:46 AM (51 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-22 07:24:07 AM
I honestly cannot imagine trying to get by in NYC on $46k. If you've never lived somewhere that expensive, you've got no idea.
 
2013-04-22 07:59:44 AM
It's almost as if the cost of living varies by location.

/Ten years ago I saw a geographical breakdown of cost-of-living adjustment; the highest rate in the country was Manhattan at 122.5% of the national average.  By that estimation, $46,416/year translates to $37,891/year nationally, or about $34,102 for the ~.9 COLA for eastern North Carolina.  A single person can live off $35/year here if they're careful, but if you have any dependents you're screwed.
 
2013-04-22 08:13:51 AM
Yet another reason I won't live in NYC.
 
2013-04-22 08:21:29 AM
If you are ever at a location and are wondering, just how much does it cost to live here?

Just check out the McDonalds value menu
 
2013-04-22 08:21:54 AM
Cost of living - how does it work?
 
2013-04-22 08:22:33 AM

UNC_Samurai: It's almost as if the cost of living varies by location.

/Ten years ago I saw a geographical breakdown of cost-of-living adjustment; the highest rate in the country was Manhattan at 122.5% of the national average.  By that estimation, $46,416/year translates to $37,891/year nationally, or about $34,102 for the ~.9 COLA for eastern North Carolina.  A single person can live off $35/year here if they're careful, but if you have any dependents you're screwed.


Thing is, even admin assistant jobs pay like $70K a year in Manhattan. It's all relative. I do just fine here working IT.
 
2013-04-22 08:37:46 AM
If you're going to have that drink in NYC, you'd better plan on spending about $20.
 
2013-04-22 08:57:27 AM

UNC_Samurai: It's almost as if the cost of living varies by location.

/Ten years ago I saw a geographical breakdown of cost-of-living adjustment; the highest rate in the country was Manhattan at 122.5% of the national average.  By that estimation, $46,416/year translates to $37,891/year nationally, or about $34,102 for the ~.9 COLA for eastern North Carolina.  A single person can live off $35/year here if they're careful, but if you have any dependents you're screwed.


It's far worse than that. Went to the link below and compared Wilmington to Manhattan. A 50k salary in Wilmington would require 109k salary to maintain the standard of living.

http://money.cnn.com/calculator/pf/cost-of-living/

Ran it backwards and a 45k salary in Manhattan is equal to 20k in Wilmington.
 
2013-04-22 08:57:37 AM
For a family of 4.
 
2013-04-22 09:13:38 AM

make me some tea: Thing is, even admin assistant jobs pay like $70K a year in Manhattan. It's all relative. I do just fine here working IT.


Yet the federal income tax does not recognize cost of living. Seems silly.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-04-22 09:26:45 AM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: make me some tea: Thing is, even admin assistant jobs pay like $70K a year in Manhattan. It's all relative. I do just fine here working IT.

Yet the federal income tax does not recognize cost of living. Seems silly.


No, but people would complain about it being too complex if it did.

You have a point though.  It is a shame that all those people in flyover country get away with paying to little because it doesn't take into account the low cost of living in rural areas.
 
2013-04-22 09:27:35 AM

vpb: No, but people would complain about it being too complex if it did.

You have a point though. It is a shame that all those people in flyover country get away with paying to little because it doesn't take into account the low cost of living in rural areas.


Have you ever lived in fly over country?

We consider it compensation for having to be out here.
 
2013-04-22 09:40:58 AM

vpb: You have a point though. It is a shame that all those people in flyover country get away with paying to little because it doesn't take into account the low cost of living in rural areas.


Meh.. Sure, it's great if you can make Manhattan money out here in the sticks, but most won't work that hard or are talented enough in the first place. There just isn't a lot of six-digit jobs to go around  It evens out in the end.
 
2013-04-22 09:41:52 AM
I'll add, there isn't a lot of jobs period.
 
2013-04-22 09:43:24 AM
On behalf of all of us who live in flyover country, we live here so that we don't have to deal with all you pretentious bastards.

/And it really is beautiful, even in January....just wear an extra pair of long underwear.
 
2013-04-22 09:48:35 AM
FTFA: "The city says a two-adult, two-child family is poor if it earns less than $30,949 a year.  By the city's definition, a family with two adults and two children could earn $46,416 a year and still fall within 150 percent of the city' poverty level."

Subby ... [ohyou.jpg]
 
2013-04-22 09:48:51 AM
Two comments:

First, $46,416 was 150% of what they considered the poverty level for a family of four.  FTFA "The city says a two-adult, two-child family is poor if it earns less than $30,949 a year. The federal government sets the level at $22,811."

Second.  Living in New York is itself a big part of the consumption.  You are paying more to live in New York City.  It costs more than living in the middle of nowhere because you aren't living in the middle of nowhere.  If you chose to live somewhere expense you have no cause to biatch that it costs more.  If you don't like it...  then move to the middle of nowhere and get youself a huge place for cheap.
 
2013-04-22 09:49:27 AM
Back in 2000, I saw an article that compared the purchasing power of salaries for first-year associate attorneys.
$100,000 in New York was rated equivalent to $42,000 in Indianapolis
 
2013-04-22 09:49:41 AM

make me some tea: UNC_Samurai: It's almost as if the cost of living varies by location.

/Ten years ago I saw a geographical breakdown of cost-of-living adjustment; the highest rate in the country was Manhattan at 122.5% of the national average.  By that estimation, $46,416/year translates to $37,891/year nationally, or about $34,102 for the ~.9 COLA for eastern North Carolina.  A single person can live off $35/year here if they're careful, but if you have any dependents you're screwed.

Thing is, even admin assistant jobs pay like $70K a year in Manhattan. It's all relative. I do just fine here working IT.


Tech journo making... well, near poverty as it seems. Huh.

/Lives alone in south Brooklyn, quiet neighborhood. No roommates, which is a plus in this city. Couldn't afford dependents, though.
//If I was back in my rural Pennsylvania hometown, I could live in my parents' house.
///I mean, afford to  buy it from them.
 
2013-04-22 09:51:31 AM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: make me some tea: Thing is, even admin assistant jobs pay like $70K a year in Manhattan. It's all relative. I do just fine here working IT.

Yet the federal income tax does not recognize cost of living. Seems silly.


State taxes are deductible from your federal return, so it sort of does.
 
2013-04-22 09:52:00 AM

Thoguh: Two comments:

First, $46,416 was 150% of what they considered the poverty level for a family of four.  FTFA "The city says a two-adult, two-child family is poor if it earns less than $30,949 a year. The federal government sets the level at $22,811."

Second.  Living in New York is itself a big part of the consumption.  You are paying more to live in New York City.  It costs more than living in the middle of nowhere because you aren't living in the middle of nowhere.  If you chose to live somewhere expense you have no cause to biatch that it costs more.  If you don't like it...  then move to the middle of nowhere and get youself a huge place for cheap.


I would wager that for a majority of people, there is nothing in NY that they can't get just as easily in the "middle of nowhere."
 
2013-04-22 09:52:27 AM

PainInTheASP: On behalf of all of us who live in flyover country, we live here so that we don't have to deal with all you pretentious bastards.

/And it really is beautiful, even in January....just wear an extra pair of long underwear.


I'm sorry you live somewhere so terrible that you feel you have to launch a preemptive attack against the insults that you are sure must be on the way.  It's very sad that your self image is tied up in where you live and where you live is a pile of puke.
 
2013-04-22 09:52:30 AM

give me doughnuts: $100,000 in New York was rated equivalent to $42,000 in Indianapolis


I'd rather live in poverty in New York than abundance in Indianapolis.
 
2013-04-22 09:53:19 AM

give me doughnuts: Back in 2000, I saw an article that compared the purchasing power of salaries for first-year associate attorneys.
$100,000 in New York was rated equivalent to $42,000 in Indianapolis


I have law school friends who scored jobs in Manhattan out of law school. They made two or three times what I made, but they worked seven days a week, from dawn until midnight. So, sure, they lived in NYC, but what was the point?
 
2013-04-22 09:53:30 AM

ChubbyTiger: I honestly cannot imagine trying to get by in NYC on $46k. If you've never lived somewhere that expensive, you've got no idea.


As someone young with a roommate or two, its certainly do-able. I knew plenty of people, myself included, who got by on that kind of money. You aren't living in the hippest neighborhood in a huge place and eating at Daniel or Per Se every other night, but you aren't eating ramen and never leaving your house in the bronx either. You can find a decent share in a good neighborhood for around 1k if you try.

As someone trying to raise a family, yea, you are going to have issues. But why the hell would someone decide they could raise a family on that in NYC to begin with.
 
2013-04-22 09:53:42 AM
so panhandle
 
2013-04-22 09:54:09 AM

FarkinNortherner: give me doughnuts: $100,000 in New York was rated equivalent to $42,000 in Indianapolis

I'd rather live in poverty in New York than abundance in Indianapolis.


Truth
 
2013-04-22 09:54:16 AM
I understand it costs more to live in NYC, but is it really *that much* more?  I made 21k last year in my Bumf*ck little city (Read: Ocala, Florida) and I still have like, $600 left over each month.  And I'm not living an austeer lifestyle by any means.  I'm just smart with my money.  I don't have cable, but I do have DSL.  I have an antenna for TV and Netflix for "regular" TV.   My cell phone is $37.10 each month and my electric is around $150, $175 if its high.

/Paying off my debts finally
//Gonna buy a house in 2 years.
///GF is getting her bachelors in a year then I gots me a sugar momma while I go to / finish college.
////Slashies!
 
2013-04-22 09:55:00 AM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: make me some tea: Thing is, even admin assistant jobs pay like $70K a year in Manhattan. It's all relative. I do just fine here working IT.

Yet the federal income tax does not recognize cost of living. Seems silly.


Accounting for multi-state income would be horrific.
 
2013-04-22 09:55:27 AM

sammyk: UNC_Samurai: It's almost as if the cost of living varies by location.

/Ten years ago I saw a geographical breakdown of cost-of-living adjustment; the highest rate in the country was Manhattan at 122.5% of the national average.  By that estimation, $46,416/year translates to $37,891/year nationally, or about $34,102 for the ~.9 COLA for eastern North Carolina.  A single person can live off $35/year here if they're careful, but if you have any dependents you're screwed.

It's far worse than that. Went to the link below and compared Wilmington to Manhattan. A 50k salary in Wilmington would require 109k salary to maintain the standard of living.

http://money.cnn.com/calculator/pf/cost-of-living/

Ran it backwards and a 45k salary in Manhattan is equal to 20k in Wilmington.


Interesting. A $50K salary in Lexington, KY is the same as $119K in Manhattan.
Drew is never going to move.
 
2013-04-22 09:55:38 AM

OregonVet: vpb: You have a point though. It is a shame that all those people in flyover country get away with paying to little because it doesn't take into account the low cost of living in rural areas.

Meh.. Sure, it's great if you can make Manhattan money out here in the sticks, but most won't work that hard or are talented enough in the first place. There just isn't a lot of six-digit jobs to go around  It evens out in the end.


That is another thing people miss out on.

Yea, the guy in NYC is getting 100k for a job that might pull in 50k in the boonies, but the guy in NYC is top talent  competing against other top talent  and is expected to produce a hell of a lot more.
 
2013-04-22 09:55:52 AM
a family with two adults and two children could earn $46,416 a year and still fall within 150 percent of the city' poverty level

I remember why I stopped checking this site. The stupidity is right there in bold at the top and no one notices. Everyone just repeats it or posts their tepid reaction. Try feeding yourself and one kid at $10 an hour.
 
2013-04-22 09:56:00 AM

give me doughnuts: I would wager that for a majority of people, there is nothing in NY that they can't get just as easily in the "middle of nowhere."


I suppose 'most people' don't consume the highest quality food, participate in cultural activities or work in premium professional jobs, so in that sense you're right.

/no desire whatsoever to be 'most people'
 
2013-04-22 09:56:18 AM
sammyk:

http://money.cnn.com/calculator/pf/cost-of-living/

Ran it backwards and a 45k salary in Manhattan is equal to 20k in Wilmington.


Wow.  I'd have to earn more than double my present salary to be "making the same" in Manhattan.  Where I live, a 45k salary is called "doing pretty good."
 
2013-04-22 09:56:22 AM
I forget who said it but I once heard "If you're under the age of 40 and make more than a million dollars a year there's no place on earth you should live other than Manhattan. But that's it."

Recently the biggest real estate boom in northeastern Pennsylvania is people who work in New York City realizing they can get a 100-acre farm for the cost of an apartment near Central Park. That's one brutal commute, tho.
 
2013-04-22 09:57:56 AM

FarkinNortherner: give me doughnuts: $100,000 in New York was rated equivalent to $42,000 in Indianapolis

I'd rather live in poverty in New York than abundance in Indianapolis.


Amen.  My first job out of law school was as a judicial clerk just outside New York City.  If I remember correctly, my starting salary was $43k my first year.  I was able to make ends meet, but only by having two roommates in a basement duplex in an unrenovated brownstone.  I saved zero, and largely put my student loans into deferment.  The second year was better, about $68k, and let me start making some progress on my loans.  But yeah, if you live in NYC and are making under $50k a year, you're basically asking to live hand-to-mouth or to have a multi-hour commute from somewhere that is not NYC.  All that said, I loved living there and would take it over flyover country any day.
 
2013-04-22 09:58:29 AM

PainInTheASP: On behalf of all of us who live in flyover country, we live here so that we don't have to deal with all you pretentious bastards.

/And it really is beautiful, even in January....just wear an extra pair of long underwear.


Are you kidding me?   I lived in Indiana for 23 years.  Beautiful in January my ass.
 
2013-04-22 09:58:52 AM

Nabb1: I have law school friends who scored jobs in Manhattan out of law school. They made two or three times what I made, but they worked seven days a week, from dawn until midnight. So, sure, they lived in NYC, but what was the point?


Either equity partner track, assuring (in a big law firm) seven figure income from their late 30s until retirement or a move in-house to more normal hours at $200k plus after five years?
 
2013-04-22 09:59:08 AM

Bloody William: make me some tea: UNC_Samurai: It's almost as if the cost of living varies by location.

/Ten years ago I saw a geographical breakdown of cost-of-living adjustment; the highest rate in the country was Manhattan at 122.5% of the national average.  By that estimation, $46,416/year translates to $37,891/year nationally, or about $34,102 for the ~.9 COLA for eastern North Carolina.  A single person can live off $35/year here if they're careful, but if you have any dependents you're screwed.

Thing is, even admin assistant jobs pay like $70K a year in Manhattan. It's all relative. I do just fine here working IT.

Tech journo making... well, near poverty as it seems. Huh.

/Lives alone in south Brooklyn, quiet neighborhood. No roommates, which is a plus in this city. Couldn't afford dependents, though.
//If I was back in my rural Pennsylvania hometown, I could live in my parents' house.
///I mean, afford to  buy it from them.


Astoria is much more affordable. It doesn't have the "cool" factor that Brooklyn does, but it's very livable and close to trains etc.

Yeah sure you could live like a king on your salary in the sticks, but you're not gonna command that sort of income out there either, unless you're somehow able to work for a Manhattan company remotely. I do know one guy who does that, lives and works from his home in Bucks County, PA but works for a big Manhattan corporate. Best of both worlds FTW.
 
2013-04-22 09:59:12 AM

OregonVet: vpb: You have a point though. It is a shame that all those people in flyover country get away with paying to little because it doesn't take into account the low cost of living in rural areas.

Meh.. Sure, it's great if you can make Manhattan money out here in the sticks, but most won't work that hard or are talented enough in the first place. There just isn't a lot of six-digit jobs to go around  It evens out in the end.


Maybe not in Oregon.

The thing with the out-yonder economies is, they suck. Might not suck for you personally, but over all they suck. The big farmer or rancher, the big local bank, the big local university or hospital. Some factories maybe, but doing something really shiatty that the cities dont want near them being done.

Most people in these little economies are stuck buying each other's drinks or small store crafts or food, nobody is paid that well and you just barely get by. One little disruption like the one factory closing can decimate a town.

Whereas in a big city there's all kinds of things economically going on, if one company fails no big deal, there's 10 more where that came from plus lots of other opportunity besides.
 
2013-04-22 10:00:11 AM
So the extra $500 a month rent is offset by the $400 car payment I do not need to make because I do not need a car in NYC?
 
2013-04-22 10:00:13 AM

ChubbyTiger: I honestly cannot imagine trying to get by in NYC on $46k. If you've never lived somewhere that expensive, you've got no idea.


Pretty much that; $46k a year is decent living just about everywhere else.  When renters, corporations start pricing you out the wazoo however, different story.
 
2013-04-22 10:01:10 AM

LineNoise: That is another thing people miss out on.

Yea, the guy in NYC is getting 100k for a job that might pull in 50k in the boonies, but the guy in NYC is top talent competing against other top talent and is expected to produce a hell of a lot more.


NYC is a large city. And while it has a large number of truly capable people, it also has a staggering number of complete idiots.

Most of whom seem to become attorneys.
 
2013-04-22 10:01:29 AM

FarkinNortherner: give me doughnuts: I would wager that for a majority of people, there is nothing in NY that they can't get just as easily in the "middle of nowhere."

I suppose 'most people' don't consume the highest quality food, participate in cultural activities or work in premium professional jobs, so in that sense you're right.

/no desire whatsoever to be 'most people'



The food, culture, and jobs are no better in NY than any medium-sized metropolitan area.
And you are "most people."
 
2013-04-22 10:01:50 AM

Third Day Mark: I understand it costs more to live in NYC, but is it really *that much* more?  I made 21k last year in my Bumf*ck little city (Read: Ocala, Florida) and I still have like, $600 left over each month.  And I'm not living an austeer lifestyle by any means.  I'm just smart with my money.  I don't have cable, but I do have DSL.  I have an antenna for TV and Netflix for "regular" TV.   My cell phone is $37.10 each month and my electric is around $150, $175 if its high.


Depends. For instance, in NYC you don't need a car. So instead of having a car payment, maintence, gas, insurance, etc, you just need $125 a month for your metrocard. For most people thats money in your pocket.

However an OK, small, 1 bedroom apartment in an OK neighborhood is going to set you back 2k easy, where as in the sticks, you could get that same place for maybe 4 or 500 bucks.

State taxes are reasonable in NY, but if you live in the city, you are paying an extra 2.5% on top of that. Sales tax is 8.something %. If you eat out food prices are inflated a good 50-100% compared to the boonies.

If you eat at home, you run into the problem that there just aren't many big supermarkets, and you lack the space to really stock up on stuff, so you end up paying more for that stuff.

The one thing people always miss though is that many other things, cost exactly the same. Want to send your kid to school? take a vacation? save for retirement? buy a new TV or pair of pants? They will cost the same as they will in bumblefark, so the added disposable income someone making in NYC does, even if its a smaller percentage of their income, really comes into play there.
 
d23 [TotalFark]
2013-04-22 10:02:04 AM

Rapmaster2000: PainInTheASP: On behalf of all of us who live in flyover country, we live here so that we don't have to deal with all you pretentious bastards.

/And it really is beautiful, even in January....just wear an extra pair of long underwear.

Are you kidding me?   I lived in Indiana for 23 years.  Beautiful in January my ass.


I'll second that.  Most of Indiana is 1) Barren Industrial or 2) Barren Farmland.  In January and February it's barren land filled with black snow.
 
2013-04-22 10:02:33 AM

FarkinNortherner: Nabb1: I have law school friends who scored jobs in Manhattan out of law school. They made two or three times what I made, but they worked seven days a week, from dawn until midnight. So, sure, they lived in NYC, but what was the point?

Either equity partner track, assuring (in a big law firm) seven figure income from their late 30s until retirement or a move in-house to more normal hours at $200k plus after five years

?

I almost agree, except nobody I know in-house at a major company (the kind that pays $200k to its lawyers) works normal hours anymore.  The hours-crazy has filtered into companies too.
 
2013-04-22 10:02:37 AM
solution:  move to Frisco
 
2013-04-22 10:03:34 AM

Broktun: So the extra $500 a month rent is offset by the $400 car payment I do not need to make because I do not need a car in NYC?


Yeah but you will spend $600 in cab fare.
 
2013-04-22 10:04:06 AM
The total price wasn't what bothered me about Manhattan.  It's that you have to spend most of your salary to live in a small apartment where the hallway always, always smells like trash, and you have rats, mice, and roaches.  It's a strange trade-off.  You get New York City for the few hours of leisure time, and strange smells and critters the rest of the time.  You have to use ALL of your salary to get away from the smells, but then you still have the sounds.  But you will miss the sounds.
 
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