ord sunshine pumpers

life in rural nebraska

Playing on the World’s Smallest Violin

with one comment

Cheese with your whine?

Cheese with your whine?

Slate.com runs an interesting read today regarding 20-somethings prospects on financial security in today’s job market.  The author’s readership is relatively cynical about their future job prospects as well as their ability to earn a suitable income to make ends meet, let alone be comfortable.

Not surprising to me, their readership seems to be selectively taken from the east coast workforce.  East coast twenty-somethings on are waking up to the reality that job prospects are exceptionally poor and their ideas of high pay-high flying careers have crashed to Earth.

What’s striking about those the article seem to profile is the vast number of new workers who are settling for low-paying jobs but still live in areas that have exceedingly high costs of living.  From the article:

After seven months of looking for work, plus an internship, Jennifer found a job with a campaign in Northern Virginia, for $2,250 a month. It’s not enough to cover her debt, but thanks in part to a hardship deferment, she’s up to date on her loans for now, and her parents are helping with health insurance.

$2,250/month grosses $27,000/year – not a bad salary for a 20-something in Nebraska.  What we’re talking about, however, is cost of living quotients that are significantly higher than out here in Nebraska.  Using our handy-dandy cost of living calculator, living in Ord is 58% cheaper than in DC, with housing being 91% cheaper. Can you imagine how far $27,000 can go out here in Ord?

The arguments for living in Ord and Valley County might be a hard sell for someone on the east coast – I understand that.  I can, however, afford to visit all those great places east and west because of my cost savings.  Plus I get to enjoy my family, personal transportation, financial security, civic involvement, etc. etc. without breaking my budget.  Working up and down the east coast for nearly a year (in a past life), I enjoy how far my dollar goes out here in Valley County.

A poignant final reminder – many 20-somethings can’t do what I am (and many others out here) living and loving in Valley County:

“Still, this is the time in our lives when we’re supposed to be making a future for ourselves, yet our seemingly good salaries don’t get us anywhere. In 10 years, when I’m 39 and my husband is 40, we’ll be in exactly the same place we are today—living in a starter condo … with no children of our own.

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Written by Caleb

March 27, 2009 at 3:41 pm

One Response

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  1. […] Plans and Gallup.  Some very interesting tallies can be made from the report that I argue are reflexive of cultural and economic stability – the more stable your community the happier you tend to be.  A swath of happiness and well-being […]


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