by Vietnhi Phuvan
Of course one of the most expensive places to live in America is New York City.
But not everyone living in New York City can afford to live in a penthouse in Manhattan.
NYC is known as the capital of high rent and taxes, and, according to several reports, rent has gone up so much over the years that low-income renters are now having trouble paying rent.
The construct of our society has made it so that there are poor people within every American community.
A major downfall with capitalism is that it makes people to keep desiring more money, stuff, property, etc.
Everyone is in a tight competition to make it to the top consumer’s level, where the aim is to acquire the most “stuff” so as to be considered wealthy.
But like any competition, there are losers.
In capitalism, the losers are typically the working class, uneducated, and, as many may argue, those who are lazy.
While hard work and wise investments are the keys to winning the game of capitalism, the family you are born into, the area you grow up in, and other factors such as whether you were raised by a single parent are major indicators of your potential to win at capitalism.
In NYC, the cost of living is very high which leads many people to live elsewhere but nonetheless, there remains a more than desired homeless population, and also many low income workers who struggle to find somewhere to lay their head at an affordable cost.
New York City actually has a relatively high poverty rate, according to government statistics.
I have no idea how poor families manage here – I don’t even feel remotely wealthy on low six figures here, as a single male.
There are tons of poor people who live in New York City and this is where to find them:
1. A large number of them live in segregated housing projects whose infrastructure is, frankly, falling apart.
These housing projects were built in the 1950s and were probably not designed to have a lifespan of more than 50 to 60 years. Well, this is past 2016 AC and the 60 years are up.
2. Another set of poor people is living in areas of the City that conventional developers had implicitly declared off-limits and that the banks had red-lined.
Now, these same people are hanging on by their financial fingernails to their neighborhoods as they rapidly gentrify, causing providers of middle class amenities such as Starbucks and Whole Foods to immediately rush in. And the developers go into a frenzy of developing/speculating. In New York City, making a neighborhood safe from crime can result in this neighborhood being targeted for gentrification.
3. We have tons of closet people, couch people, single room people, etc. who may live a pretty nomadic existence as closets, couches, single rooms are available but easily become unavailable.
Many of these people have full-time jobs that pay minimum wage – enough to have a room anywhere but in New York City. Needless to say, if you don’t have a fixed address, being able to vote becomes a challenge.
4. Then we have some 30, 000 army of homeless people including – quite sadly, homeless families.
Public assistance is a joke because it does not cover the cost of housing – not even close.
5. Lastly, I think we have lost our starving artists and starving actors too.
These people don’t make much money but they add immeasurably to the quality of life in the City.
Where ever they went, where ever they worked, they would add an interesting bohemian character to the neighborhood they lived, and that bohemian character would be their undoing because it easily attracted the attention of financial types who wanted to live in that kind of neighborhood, ultimately displacing them.