Sunday, January 15, 2012

Consumption Choices

A NYT commenter:

The local cost of living is not given enough consideration in analyzing these statistics. For example, in Manhattan, after paying "millionaire's tax" on everything from apartment purchases to income tax "surcharges", $150,000 per year for school (if you have four kids and want them to have a primary school education close to what you get for free in a decent suburb), send them for a few weeks of day camp in the summer for around $30,000--unless you want them to play video games all day, pay a mortgage on an apartment barely large enough to house the family (no one with a bedroom of their own) $100,000 year, pay $800/ month to park your car (no, not a luxury car), make some meaningful charitable contributions, etc. there is little left. A two income family will work 11 hour days, rush home to supervise homework, scarf down some burgers for dinner, pay some bills, read to the kids, put them to bed, do another hour or two of office work, and crash.
Does this lifestyle-- one with a focus on educating your children to be able to contribute to a dynamic and increasing unpredictable economic and social climate sound like one that should be targeted for further economic penalties? Teach yourself and your children to be able to adapt to the economy instead of demanding that the economy adapt to you.
Why aren't stories like this being told? I'm glad the Times dug into the 1% more deeply, but this group is still being tared with a broad brush. It is not accurate or fair.

...adding, median household income in Manhattan is about $70K.