Unlike water and electricity that always flow from a high level to low level, talent and commerce follow the opposite path. They always seek to migrate from low potential to high potential.
Historical events such as the present en masse migration from northern Africa to Europe are pointers in that direction. In a similar way people from across the globe move to Canada and the United States for better life.
But the question is, how comfortable is life in those countries?
Canada, it appears, offers better quality of life. And considering that there are 4 Sikhs in the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s current liberal government including the defense minister, it is indeed laudable how that country embraces the immigrants in its fold.
The picture in the US is somewhat different.
Since the last 2 presidential elections in the US, the candidates seeking high office routinely blame India and some other countries for gobbling up jobs in their country, and also for taking away jobs from the US.
There is no doubt, no one likes situations like this.
But then, rhetoric apart, to a large extent this is inevitable in today’s global commerce since as I said above talent and commerce follow the path of low to high potential as long as there are no restrictions in that movement.
It is another story whether the US should incorporate restrictions to control the flow. Meanwhile let’s look at how comfortable, or shall I say uncomfortable, life is for the average US middle class.
I’ll be quoting from disparate sources, and will urge that you go to those pages (links given at appropriate places) to learn more on this subject.
47% of middle class Americans cannot afford $400 in emergency.
This is a story of a respectable writer who preferred anonymity and silence till he learned in a study by US Fed that
47% middle-class Americans cannot possibly afford $400 in emergency without borrowing or selling off something.
Now that is truly astonishing…and alarming.
Alarming, because, as the author of the article found out in a study by a New York University economist,
the median net worth of the people has declined steeply in the past generation—down 85.3 percent from 1983 to 2013 for the bottom income quintile.
Do read the post for more (link above).
$1200 is the grocery bill of a millionaire as against $130 for one on poverty line.
This is an actual study of 4 individuals – a millionaire, one who earns $250,000, another who earns $53,000 a year, and a person on poverty line making $7 an hour plus tips.
The millionaire lives in California, and in his words, there’s nothing that we need that we can’t afford.
This man spends $1200 for monthly groceries, which is nearly 10 times more than what the man on poverty line affords.
What is striking though is that all the four persons seem to dislike extravagance. For example, the richest of them has just one credit card and he pays off the entire dues every month.
New York’s comfortable middle class life costs $7287 per month.
Earlier this month GoBankingRates published a cost-of-living comparison of 75 most populous US cities going by the 50-30-20 budgeting rule.
The exercise starts from estimating the living expenses in a city that include rent, groceries, utilities, transportation, and healthcare. This total amount is taken to be constituting 50% of a person’s earnings.
The living expenses amount is now doubled to arrive at how much a person should earn to comfortably live in that city taking into account 30% of income for discretionary items and 20% kept aside as savings.
So what do the figures say?
Well, San Francisco at $119,570 is the most expensive city to live, while New York at $87,446 is at third place, and Los Angeles is sixth most expensive at $74,371.
Some other notable cities are as under:
- Boston $84,422
- Washington DC $83,104
- Miami $77,057
- Chicago $68,671
- Minneapolis $64,170
- Atlanta: $60,285
- Philadelphia: $59,384
- Austin, Texas $53,225
- Las Vegas $50,453
A very interesting conclusion from the GoBankingRates study is presented below. The last column indicates the surplus between median income and income to live comfortably.
Thus, money-wise Virginia Beach is the most ideal place to live in the US.
For average Indian family $100,00–110,000 is the comfort level.
Most recent Indians settled in the US are believed to be in the IT sector. Leaving aside the myriad medical professions that command maximum salaries, people in software and technology sectors usually make between $100,000–110,000 annually.
This is reflected in the highly popular question on Quora – On average, how much does an Indian family save monthly in the US?
Read the Quora post (you may need to login), and you’ll be wiser to a few facts on the income level and expenses by the Indians in the US.
I started this post recounting how the average American is coping with financial crises in the present time. In my understanding the job market everywhere is inching away into domains where skills reign supreme.
At the same time another development is taking place.
The erstwhile office-based jobs have not only been automated to quite an extent, they have also splintered into millions of specific mini-jobs or joblets that are catered to by millions across the globe.
This trend doesn’t look like reversing anytime soon, at least not in near future.
The key to success is therefore hinged on how much skilled you are in areas of demand. Acquiring multiple skills is the order of the day, and that will enable you to make money serving whosoever wherever in the world.
Okay, here is something I want to tell you.
If any of you want to master content creation skills that actually work, feel free to explore more at my website, HubSkills.com.
Finally, if you want to know about statistics on immigrants and immigration at the US, go to this website.
What is your experience of living expenses in US cities? Leave your comments below.