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The Cost of Housing

According to a recent study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition the minimum wage required for a two bedroom apartment in Vermont is $20.68/hour.


About 40% of the households in Brattleboro do not have that much income.


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I assume they mean a full time wage at $20/hr.

That's $40,000 per year.

I'm old and ancient enough to recall when the rule of thumb was that 25-30% of your income would cover housing. Ba ha ha ha ha! That was a good one. Still laughing over that.

Everyone needs to be paid more. But then employers will need to raise costs to cover the wages. And the employees will need more to cover the increasing costs. So they ask for raises. And then things get more expensive and employers have to increase prices again, or lay people off. This seems to lead to really expensive living.

So, maybe things just need to cost less. By reducing the cost, employees will need less income and employers won't need to give as many raises. Then costs could go down more, and more people could be paid less.


I currently pay a little over

I currently pay a little over 60% of my income for an apartment that really leaves much to be desired ( like heat in the bedroom in winter). I've been actively looking for another apartment for months and it's a wasteland out there for reasonably priced places. Some of the rents here are higher than what I paid when I lived in Boston and I had a beautiful 7 room apartment. It's rough for renters right now.


not a problem

It recently came to light that a large number of employers were actually pocketing the money created by their employees. Instead of paying their workers $20 an hour they paid them $14 and themselves $200 an hour. With all the profits thus soaked up they say there isn't any more for the workers.


info source?

Can you please provide a link to read more about this information?


Is housing a luxury item?

I've noticed over the years that more and more things are now luxury items, almost all of them things I could afford before (and on marginally less income to boot). Housing seems to be one of them (along with a random list including health care, dental care, linens such as sheets and towels, bras, shoes such as sandals, anything related to travel, and much more). Sticking to the topic at hand which is the one that most people find the most necessary, I think the main effect of high rents is that in order to "afford" them, many people can't afford to buy anything else. This messes things up for the home-owning merchant class so then they complain about their taxes. If they own investment property, as the buildings that house apartments are called, they will tend to raise the rents. And around and around we go.

But returning to Spoon's point, people need to be housed no matter what. It's either that or you get to live down by the river in a lean-to, which most of us will do anything to avoid. With capitalism, the goal is ever higher profits for the capitalists, so one would not expect rents to go down or for that matter, salaries to go up. Unless something changes in this equation, I'm afraid we're going to have more poverty and more homelessness, not less. But everyone pays when the bottom drops out, including those above the level of the poverty class -- they get less too because the cost to "society" of having a lot of poor people is high. The bottom line for me is: there is no benefit to pricing almost half the citizenry out of housing. Unfortunately, that seems to be the way we're headed.


Cost of Living Too High

Thanks for the link on the study. It seems like the cost of living has trapped millions of people into relying on subsidies. I know there's moochers out there, I'm not talking about them. We all see the baby mamas pushing strollers around town, smoking cigarettes, yapping on their iPhones in distinct white trash dialect, shamelessly living off welfare and section 8 housing. I'm not sending my sympathy to them, my concerns are for the millions of people working full time who still don't make anything close to a living wage.

Don't get me wrong. I love this country, and I love Brattleboro. Don't want to trash talk it, but there is room for improvement. Aside from housing costs, here's two prime examples:

1) Health care- our #1 cause of bankruptcy. We pay the most for prescription pills and medical services, yet we're not any healthier. Just count the number of overweight people you see on your next trip to Walmart (if you dare). Obesity and disease are rampant.

2) Food- The costs keep going up. If you live on the typical Brattleboro wage, it's near impossible to eat healthy, with fresh fruits and veggies, and stay within your budget. Then, if you dare go out for a decent lunch/dinner in town, you easily wind up spending $10-20. In Thailand, you can eat like a king for about $3/day. Eating out, I found my typical meal there to be delicious, healthy, feature an assortment of fresh veggies, and cost about $1.


Right On!

At last, someone with the courage to heap contempt on the baby mamas pushing strollers around town, smoking cigarettes, yapping on their iPhones in distinct white trash dialect, shamelessly living off welfare and section 8 housing.

I am 100% with TechFan. Having specified "white trash," and being silent about non-white baby mamas pushing strollers around town, smoking cigarettes, yapping on their iPhones in distinct dialect, shamelessly living off welfare and section 8 housing, it is clear that neither TechFan, nor I support racism.

MarkTwain is a
nom de plume. In choosing this pen name, I was unaware that, coincidentally, there was already an author who has published under a similar name.


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