Posts Tagged ‘wages’

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Sat Jun 4th 2011 at 1:35pm UTC

Where Paychecks Go the Furthest: 20 Best and Worst Cities

Saturday, June 4th, 2011

As anyone who has ever paid Manhattan rents swiftly learns, New York City’s relatively high salaries don’t go very far.  In fact, when cost of living is taken into account, the New York metro posts the second lowest “real income” of any region with more than 500,000 people, according to an analysis commissioned by US News and World Report. New York’s median household income of $62,887 falls to an adjusted real income of just $35,370 when cost of living is taken into account.  Only the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission metro in Texas, one of the very poorest in the nation with an actual income of just $30,460, fares worse with a real income of $34,931.

Des Moines takes the top spot on this real income measure: Its median income of $56,576 translates into $62,446 in spending power.  Greater Washington DC takes second place:  Its median income of $85,168, one of the highest in the nation, equals $61,449 when adjusted for cost of living. Two Texas metros – Houston and Dallas – also stand out, as well as leading college towns.

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Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Fri Mar 11th 2011 at 10:30am UTC

Unions and State Economies: Don’t Believe the Hype

Friday, March 11th, 2011

“The bitter political standoff in Wisconsin over Governor Scott Walker’s bid to sharply curtail collective bargaining for public-sector workers ended abruptly Wednesday night as Republican colleagues in the State Senate successfully maneuvered to adopt a bill doing just that,” The New York Times reports this morning. “Democrats….condemned the move as an attack on working families, a violation of open meetings requirements….and a virtual firebomb in state that already found itself politically polarized and consumed with recall efforts, large scale protests and fury from public workers.” Rallies and demonstrations continue in the state.

As heated as it’s been, the rhetoric over unions is fast-approaching the boiling point; Wisconsin is just the beginning. The right accuses unions, especially public sector unions, of stifling economic competitiveness and putting state economies in the red. “The bottom line is we are trying to balance our budget and there really is no room to negotiate on that because we’re broke,” Scott Walker told George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America. Or as Harvard economist Robert Barro wrote in the The Wall Street Journal: “Labor unions like to portray collective bargaining as a basic civil liberty, akin to the freedoms of speech, press, assembly and religion .…[but] collective bargaining on a broad scale is more similar to an antitrust violation than to a civil liberty.”

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