Friday, November 21, 2008


A caller to the P-T's Speakout line said Long Beach would have less crime if they did away with low cost housing. What low cost housing, I wondered. The "going rate" for a single apartment in LB is now $725.00. Who rents singles? Usually young people who no longer live with the parents. Single seniors on fixed incomes, newly divorced men (wives usually have the children), low-income workers~basically the people who rent a single can not afford a one bedroom apartment.

Simple economics:

After payroll tax deductions a person earning $10. an hour has $15. a day for everything else after paying rent. If they have a vehicle, the cost of gas will sharply reduce that amount. Driver's license, registration fees, insurance is a yearly expense. Tires, tune-ups, oil changes, new tires, a battery, are things that make using public transportation a better alternative; the person will still have $13. a day spending money after getting to work 5 days a week.

The "going rate" for entry level jobs is $9.00 an hour, but mostly those jobs flipping burgers at a fast food joint start at minimum wage or $6.75 an hour. Do not know how much a Greeter at Wal-Mart pays. I do not have the stats available without Internet access, but do know that Long Beach has a higher rate of below poverty level wage earners than Nationwide.

I was astonished to see 66% of voters, voted for an increase in taxes. The increased parcel tax will cause landlords to increase rents that are already out of reach of the majority of citizens. It is the lack of affordable housing that causes the increase in crime. It also increases homelessness. (11/08/08)

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