More bad news for Americans in the slavery zone ($100,000 per year)

The U.S. is a great place to be on welfare. Except for France, we spend the largest percentage of our GDP on government handouts such as free housing, health care, food, and smartphone (Washington Post). Marijuana is legal in a lot of states (and “essential” so it will be available through any COVID-19 shutdowns), booze is cheap, and Medicaid will buy you a suitcase full of opioids.

The U.S. is also a great place to be rich. There is no limit to corporate executive pay. After the shareholders have been thoroughly mined, there are plenty of swank neighborhoods in which to hang out with other rich people. At least until 2020, there was a huge supply of low-wage service workers to meet the needs and wants of those in the rich enclaves. Unlike Europe, we have no massive value-added tax to discourage consumption. (Depending on the state, rich people are much more exposed to family court predators than in Europe; see Real World Divorce.)

There is a slavery zone in the middle, though, where an American earns too much to get subsidized housing, health care, food, etc., but not enough to have a spending power or material standard of living substantially higher than what someone on welfare enjoys (quantified by state). He/she/ze/they will pay a crushing array of taxes as well in order to support the comparable material lifestyles of those who don’t work at all.

American slaves seem to be prevented by economics from reproducing. From $50,000 per year to nearly $200,000 per year, fertility is lower than for those on welfare and for the elites. A chart from 2019:

The Wall Street Journal (2/7/2022) says the trend is toward additional oppression of these slaves. “In Covid-19 Housing Market, the Middle Class Is Getting Priced Out”:

At the end of last year, there were about 411,000 fewer homes on the market that were considered affordable for households earning between $75,000 and $100,000 than before the pandemic, the study found. At the end of 2019, there was one available listing that was affordable for every 24 households in this income bracket. By December 2021, the figure was one listing for every 65 households.

For households earning between $75,000 and $100,000, five of the top six metro areas with the fewest affordable homes for sale per household were in California, NAR found, led by the San Jose metro area. The state’s shortage of affordable housing helps explain why many people left California’s coastal cities during the pandemic and moved inland.

Is it safe to say that the future of the American middle-class slave is apartment living and a one-child max? The population keeps growing while land and roads are more or less fixed. Construction costs go up much faster than wages. A median earner in China can’t afford a single family home. As the U.S. approaches Chinese levels of population, why would we expect someone near the median here to own a single family home?


9 thoughts on “More bad news for Americans in the slavery zone ($100,000 per year)

  1. European TFR doesn’t look any better than the floor() US white, 200-250 zone. So Real World Divorce dynamics don’t seem to be a factor, relatively speaking. At least in the US, the “slavery zone” is busy studying and working so they can live in “good” neighborhoods with “good schools” (or private schools) in order to avoid living in those with “free housing” where tattoos , pit bulls , and trucks sans mufflers are abundant. In the > 300 range, I would expect to find the Harvard Ladies who lunch with a brood of 1/2 dozen, given plenty of leisure.

  2. I had had too many encounters with middle management people who claimed that were making “careers” while creating useless busy work to support their after-work party party and drinking lifestyle who would know match $200K – $250K bracket.
    I was mostly self – inflicted. Sad.

  3. But US is vast. People can move to South Carolina or Texas or Colorado (or Florida). And they do it. I know non-trivial number of people who have moved or in the process of moving from Seattle to one of these destinations.

  4. We are firmly in the Slavery Valley of Deplorable, MA. I think up new Country & Western lyrics all the time.

  5. The typical Calif* household in 2019 & now Fl*rida household is a man making over $300,000 at FAANG & a woman making under $100,000 teaching school or something. That’s the middle. There’s the homeless low end below $200,000 & of course the billionaire high end.

    • One would think this is much more CA and may be WA story, not as much in F*? Where are those FAANG jobs in F*****a? Or are you thinking mass migration?

    • Is it just me or at average faang / ms TOTAL compensation for experienced engineer, without many bargain chips, is below $300,000? My $300,000 + request usually had caused a brief stop in HR specialist talking followed by uncertain “yeah, we can do it, no problem”. I got a feeling that average newly hired experienced engineer base salary there is around $200,000 there, more or less plus $50,000 stock/bonus? Mostly a theoretical question for me as I can not imagine myself in SF/Seattle myself for under $500,000.

  6. In Europe a lot of real estate is bought up by rich Russians or Chinese as investments or safety in case of internal uprisings. The buildings are often left empty. Immigrants flood the cities and compete for the lower end apartments.

    The best lifestyle in many major cities is to acquire means tested housing while studying or being a single parent. Apartments in prime locations that would cost EUR 2,000 on the free market can be had for EUR 400. Then never move or sublet the apartments for a 400% premium if you do. You can live nearly the same lifestyle as someone with a job who rents on the free market.

    I’m glad to see that globalism works and the U.S. is copying Europe (which I think had these housing policies for a longer time but is now copying U.S. cultural wokeness in return).

    The birth rate situation is similar here, too.

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