GOOD

Here's How Much You Need To Make To Rent A 2-Bedroom Across America

To comfortably rent an apartment, that is

Most financial experts will tell you not to spend more than 30 percent of your income on rent. And while that’s the ideal ratio to live comfortably and still save for retirement, that goal is nearly impossible for many Americans. According to data released by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, depending on where you live in the United States, you’d need to make anywhere from $13.72 to $35.00 an hour at a full-time job to afford a two-bedroom apartment. As the report’s title “Out of Reach 2017” suggests, most Americans don’t make nearly that much.


Which, honestly, isn’t all that surprising considering the current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour—or roughly a third of the 2017 National Housing Wage for a two-bedroom rental. And before you assume these outrageous national averages are the fault of major coastal cities, consider the fact there are only 12 counties in the entire United States where a minimum-wage, full-time job will get you an average one-bedroom rental.

Surprisingly, Hawaii beat out New York to have the highest hourly wage needed to rent a two-bedroom ($35.20 versus $28.08), while California came in a close second ($30.92). According to the report, Arkansas is the cheapest place to rent in the continental United States, while Puerto Rico requires a $9.68 hourly wage to comfortably afford two bedrooms.

Image via the National Low Income Housing Coalition

Despite efforts to raise minimum wages state by state and the $15/hour goal made popular by Bernie Sanders, the pace of legislation is too slow to keep up with the rapidly escalating cost of living. Still, this isn’t to suggest we should throw up our hands and give up. In the report’s preface, Representative Keith Ellison wrote that Americans “spend about $11 billion each year to subsidize the houses of the top 1 percent—at the very same time that millions of families are being turned away from getting the help they need because Congress claims we cannot afford it,” adding, “This is wrong, but Congress has the opportunity to fix it through comprehensive tax reform legislation, which remains a top priority for Congress and the White House.”

Let’s just hope affordable housing moves to the top of Congress’s priority list, lest we dip into a housing crisis beyond imagination. As a friendly reminder that Americans are paying attention to this, try calling your representatives directly or send them a fax via ResistBot. And unlike those obscene rental application fees, giving your reps an earful won’t cost you anything.

View the full report.

Money
Screenshot via Sweden.se/Twitter (left) Wikimedia Commons (right)

Greta Thunberg has been dubbed the "Joan of Arc of climate change" for good reason. The 16-year-old activist embodies the courage and conviction of the unlikely underdog heroine, as well as the seemingly innate ability to lead a movement.

Thunberg has dedicated her young life to waking up the world to the climate crisis we face and cutting the crap that gets in the way of fixing it. Her speeches are a unique blend of calm rationality and no-holds-barred bluntness. She speaks truth to power, dispassionately and unflinchingly, and it is glorious.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
Ottawa Humane Society / Flickr

The Trump Administration won't be remembered for being kind to animals.

In 2018, it launched a new effort to reinstate cruel hunting practices in Alaska that had been outlawed under Obama. Hunters will be able to shoot hibernating bear cubs, murder wolf and coyote cubs while in their dens, and use dogs to hunt black bears.

Efforts to end animal cruelty by the USDA have been curtailed as well. In 2016, under the Obama Administration, the USDA issued 4,944 animal welfare citations, in two years the numbers dropped to just 1,716.

Keep Reading Show less
Science

The disappearance of 40-year-old mortgage broker William Earl Moldt remained a mystery for 22 years because the technology used to find him hadn't been developed yet.

Moldt was reported missing on November 8, 1997. He had left a nightclub around 11 p.m. where he had been drinking. He wasn't known as a heavy drinker and witnesses at the bar said he didn't seem intoxicated when he left.

Keep Reading Show less
Communities
via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.

At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.

"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
via Gage Skidmore

The common stereotypes about liberals and conservatives are that liberals are bleeding hearts and conservatives are cold-hearted.

It makes sense, conservatives want limited government and to cut social programs that help the more vulnerable members of society. Whereas liberals don't mind paying a few more dollars in taxes to help the unfortunate.

A recent study out of Belgium scientifically supports the notion that people who scored lower on emotional ability tests tend to have right-wing and racist views.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics