The Economics of Housing

Being in California we get to see the best and worst of prosperity and opportunity. The New York Times penned an article regarding the lack of housing to support the high housing prices in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. This article mentioned homelessness as one of the defaults of this dilemma. One of the contributors to the article spoke of living in Manteca, California and having to travel 80 miles to the San Francisco Bay Area for her $180,000 nursing position. Some solutions that ALL Californians are capable of making:

  1. Move to the San Francisco Bay Area and decrease square footage and increase housing cost
  2. Find a nursing job in the California Central Valley that pays less but lessens commute and hopefully maintains the current lifestyle
  3. Find a nursing job out of state that lessens commute and lowers cost of living
  4. Retrain for a different position and increase eligibility and income locally

The economics are simple. If it costs too much to live in the community then the industry increases its income for these people to entice them to work far from their homes. Certainly we saw this with the high wages in North Dakota with the fracking.

Currently, the state government is working feverishly to solve this problem for workers to be closer to their jobs. How much will this current crisis be solved by the work of the state legislature in compelling local communities to create more housing in their neighborhoods? Is this a new problem? Has this happened since the beginning of mass transit and the industrial revolution?

Most importantly for this blogger is the impact of the decisions that those with big commutes make on that person’s family and friends. Is it worth it to chase the carrot and for how long?

Author: Paul Keefer

Paul Keefer is a leader focusing on maximizing the potential of other people.

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