What am I missing here?

Posted by: Barthélemy Barbancourt

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Most Minnesotans can't afford modest 2-bedroom apartment

Some 55 percent of renters in Minnesota don't earn enough for a modest two-bedroom apartment, as the state ranked last in the Midwest in a new housing affordability study.

Of 12 midwestern states, Minnesota is dead last in rental housing affordabilty, according to a study released Monday.

And rental affordability is more acute in Minnesota's rural counties, particularly in the state's southwest, concluded the report by the Washington D.C.-based National Low Income Housing Coalition and the Minnesota Housing Partnership.

In order to pay rent and utilities for a "safe and modest" two-bedroom apartment in the private market, a Minnesota worker must earn $15.79 per hour and work 40 hours per week for 52 weeks per year, the study said. The typical renter in Minnesota earns $11.61 per hour, and minimum wage employees make only $7.25 an hour.

Why does one person need a 2 bedroom apartment? When I was young I shared a houses with other guys. When I got a raise and I moved to a one bedroom on my own in a not so great part of town. After that I moved to a one bedroom in a better part of town. I continued to BA24-7 and finally worked out a Contract for Deed with a guy for a 2 bedroom condo. Thus moving up every so slowly from $177 a month to $476 a month plus association and utilities. (about $800 a month all in).

Why does a single wage earner need a 2 bedroom apartment? Further proof that liberals continue to raise the bar on what it means to be poor to justify more liberal programs. I can honestly say I have probable never been poor for my entire life even though my first job out of school paid $8.88 an hour in 1988.

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written by TomC , May 03, 2011

Ditto. As a student, I started out working 30 hours a week for near minimum wage and shared a house with 7 other people. Minimum wage didn't last long--it never does for reliable employees who are willing to develop some skills.

It is the reason I hate minimum wage mandates. You have a lesser incentive to make yourself an invaluable employee. Get rid of the minimum wage laws. Make people start at a minimal wage, prove themselves reliable, then pay them according to their value to the job. Let the market determine one's worth.

Immigrants still share living quarters to "make it" in the USA. It is still a land of opportunity for people who are determined enough to not be looking for a reason to fail or someone to take care of them.

Robert Perry
written by Robert Perry , May 03, 2011

Good call. I remember writing a letter to the editor when the local paper published an advocacy group study claiming about the same thing--except it was that a new teacher couldn't afford a new 2BR apartment in town.

One other thing is missing; rent amounts.

written by Nobody , May 04, 2011

Didn't everybody start out with a bunch of (usually crummy) roomies? My first apartment was a "studio" IOW I could see my stove from my bed. I would try to get home before dark because the 'hood was a bit rough. But I moved up...

Barthélemy Barbancourt
Apparently that isn't OK anymore
written by Barthélemy Barbancourt , May 04, 2011

The left thinks that anyone just starting out making minimum wage should be able to afford a 2 bedroom apartment. This is the worst part of the creeping liberalism in our society, BS studies like this one will be used to increase the costs of business and taxes. They will say that many Minnesotans can't afford housing and never tell them that their definition of housing is a 2 bedroom apartment.

First wage I ever made on payroll was $2.85 an hour. I also picked cherries for 10 cents a bucket in Jr. HS and I used to clean buses for my dad for $1 an hour when I was a kid.

The left is creating a society of losers and they are shocked that our country is headed down the toilet.

written by TomC , May 04, 2011

Little is expected of kids these days. Not in most homes, not in school, and not in play. Chores are not a regular part of home life. Teaching to the lowest common denominator is all the schools can manage. And in play, excellence is not encouraged for fear of hurting feelings. If you expect nothing, you get nothing.

I grew up with chores at home, lots of chores when I spent time at a farm, a teaching environment that did not punish excellence, and sports where I didn't get to play very often because I wasn't very good. This encouraged efficiency in how I did those chores, a willingness to do homework so as to perform well on tests, and a work-hard attitude during practices to develop skills where a natural ability was lacking

Barthélemy Barbancourt
But think about what they aren't learning
written by Barthélemy Barbancourt , May 04, 2011

1. Living with a group of guys sucks, but you have to learn to deal with people. One of the reason fraternity members can be more successful is that your are required to deal with every member whether you like them or not, which is a lot like the work place.

2. I got evening jobs to earn extra money to get a better place. I learned new skills and I learned to value my day jobs better due to the experience of working entry level jobs in the evening.

3. They will mistake false self-esteem for the real satisfaction that comes from success. I have no guilt over what I own or what I spend because I earned it. I went from making $771.81 in 1981 (I graduated HS in 1984) to having spent that much on a single dinner. I wonder if 15 year old me could even image a dinner that cost a years pay?

written by Nobody , May 05, 2011

I think the thought of "moving up" by working harder/smarter is a lost concept today. Schools don't even touch on it anymore.

I have a young guy I sometimes work with that was complaining about not making enough money, told him to get a second job. He was astounded, said he already worked full time. When I told him that 40 hours was nothing, and that 60 was a piece of cake, he wanted to puke.

Barthélemy Barbancourt
written by Barthélemy Barbancourt , May 05, 2011

That is hilarious! I have a similar story.

My first traveling job required me to fly to San Jose every Monday and back to MN every Friday. (I could have stayed in San Jose for 2 years, but that wasn't what I wanted.) When I met people and told them about the job many would say that they couldn't do that. I'd always say that it sounded worse than it was and once you got used to it it wasn't so bad. But people kept saying that they could do what I did (the traveling part). I finally realized that "couldn't" was code for wouldn't.

I started asking people what it would take for them to travel like I did and very few had an answer. Not only had they never considered it, many found the idea unthinkable and basically knew that they wouldn't do it no matter what, Oddly, often people would ask why I did it and and I would tell them that I needed a job and this was the best one I could find. Many implied that that wasn't a good enough reason to put up with the hassles.

That experience and those discussions are one of the many reason I am conservative. I have found that very few people are interested in working as hard as I have to get ahead.

Now when someone tells me that they want something, my first question is what are you willing to give up to get it?

written by Nobody , May 05, 2011

Most people won't travel no matter how much they can make doing it. When people learn what I earn in 100 days a year, they say I should stop. No way, I've got another 100 to go. Yeah I have to go to pretty crumby joints, but I don't have to live there.

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