A major talking point among Democrats these days is economic inequality. But how much money you make isn’t necessarily an indicator of how well you can live, especially for working-class citizens around the United States.
The website HowMuch.net recently released a staggering report demonstrating arguably the biggest reason people can’t get ahead in so many cities across the country: They can’t afford to live there. Not by a long shot.
HowMuch.net created its True Cost of Living Tool to show how living conditions vary around the United States for working-class citizens, using sources that included the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the National Bureau of Economic Research and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The report then translated that information onto a map of the United States, with a bubble representing each city in the survey, and the color of the bubble — varying shades of red and green — equating to how much money a typical working-class family would have left over at the end of the year, after paying housing, food and transportation costs.
The report showed that the federal government isn’t the only problem in Washington, D.C., where a working-class family’s income would fall more than $50,000 short of what’s necessary for a “reasonable standard of living.” And that’s just the fourth-worst metropolitan area in the country, lagging behind Boston (-$61,900), San Francisco (-$83,272) and New York, where statistics show a working-class family would need an additional $91,184 a year.
These are all Democratic strongholds with liberal tax and regulatory policies, and San Francisco is legendary for its restrictive housing policies that make that part of the equation ridiculously expensive and unattainable for any average citizen.
Meanwhile, cities in landlocked states, and particularly in Arizona and Texas, rate out far better. Fort Worth is No. 1, with working-class families in the black by more than $10,000 after housing, food and transportation costs. And of the 10 most populous cities in the country, the report states San Antonio (+$3,200) is the only one where a working-class family “can enjoy a decent standard of living without taking on debt.”
Here in Las Vegas, the report notes that a working-class family can meet those three primary expenses and have $4,000 remaining. That might seem nominal, but it beats the daylights out of our neighbor to the west. In fact, there are zero affordable cities on the entire West Coast.
Ronald Reagan once said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” Well, economic freedom is never more than the width of a city limit or state border away from extinction. All those in state and local government in the Silver State must continue to keep that in mind, with prudent economic and tax policies that allow Nevadans to earn more and keep more of what they earn.