We’re at a bizarre crossroads where a rising cost of living (in many, but not all, places) meets diminishing career prospects for the 20s and early 30s generation.
The New York Times explores the first issue by asking what, exactly, is middle class in Manhattan? There is context here in that middle class in Manhattan is upper class most anywhere else. I heard a piece on CBC Radio yesterday examining efforts to create a start-up community in Kansas City, in part because of its access to the new Google broadband internet, and also a low cost of living. The person being interviewed said there aren’t many places where you can buy a four bedroom house for $50,000. If I’d been drinking milk at the time it would have been spraying out of my mouth at that moment. It turns out you can get a four-bedroom home in Kansas City for about that price.
So as we examine rising costs of living in places like New York City, San Francisco, Toronto and elsewhere, there’s often not as much attention paid to those who seek to take their work/careers from places like New York City, where they may struggle to keep a roof over the heads, to smaller places where for the same salary they can be comfortably middle class.
That said, a lot of folks in their 20s and early 30s aren’t finding themselves in a position to even make that decision. There is increasing attention being paid to the ‘stalled’ generation — those who come out of university and struggle to rise above the ‘underemployed’ category. It’s a serious issue (aside from career satisfaction and economic self-sufficiency, who is going to buy all of those homes at inflated prices if the generation coming up can’t afford them?). The Maclean’s article linked to above is a good one. Here’s another one that isn’t as insightful, but fits in the genre nonetheless.
Separately, the National Post‘s Jonathan Kay spent a week traveling around some of James Bay’s most remove native reserves and wrote this piece. It has attracted some flak, but it’s tough to criticize any reporting that actually emanates from on-the-ground reporting in these regions, since it happens so rarely.
Lastly, a sign of the times. Newspapers have cut so much staff that they’re starting to rent out empty space.
And Cottage Life magazine steps into the digital era.