Home / paternalism / Business Insider tries to kick off the people’s revolution

Business Insider tries to kick off the people’s revolution


Not on purpose. What BI really did was run one of those Poor people could be wealthy if they’d get off their asses, articles. The purpose of such articles is not to make poor people roll up their sleeves and visit a little Ca ira on the aristos. Neither is it to help poor people improve their lives. The articles are meant to assure BI’s target audience that the minimum wage doesn’t need to go up, poor people just need to pull on those bootstraps, tighten that belt and sleep when they’re dead. At least until someone figures out how to get some work out of the dead.

Today’s infographic is from InvestmentZen, and it explains that even though accumulating wealth while living on minimum wage is extremely difficult, it is possible with some adjustments.

For example, people can adjust quite well to life with one kidney. Yes, it’s not technically legal to sell them in the U.S., yet. But with a little ingenuity you can find a way to come to an understanding with a wealthy person that results in one of your kidneys winding up in their body and some of their money winding up in your hand.

It’s easy to tell the article is going to be a doozy because the Visual Capitalist – which sounds like a totally legit occupation – who wrote the intro tosses in a caveat.

We think that this is an interesting premise for people of all income levels to learn from. That said, it’s also worth noting that this infographic assumes that the person on minimum wage is quite flexible with their living conditions and time. For a single parent or for someone supporting an ill family member, circumstances are considerably more difficult.

Or you’re part of a two-parent family but your partner or child can’t move. Or perhaps you’re not in the best of health and rely on friends or family members to care for you. But for everyone else it’s time to move, as the graphic in the Tweet up top indicates. The graphic also supports my theory that the folks at InvestmentZen gave zero thought to this little project beyond seeing how much condescending shit disguised as advice could be crammed into a set of graphics.

Start with the statement that people who earn a minimum wage and live in expensive cities can’t get wealthy, therefore they need to move to one of 10 cheap cities. Then consider the fact that IZ is headquartered in San Francisco and telling most of the people who make their lives livable to hit the road.

Leaving aside what would happen if everyone who earns minimum wage in an expensive city moved to one of the ten listed, telling a poor person that moving is the solution to their problems does nothing except announce that the person offering the advice will need a seat in a tumbril come the revolution.

Here’s telling a person on minimum wage to move with all the blanks filled in:

Without taking time off from your current job because you can’t afford it, get a job in the place you intend to move to. Then, still without taking time off, find a place to live. Acquire from somewhere the damage deposit plus first month’s rent and whatever it takes to turn on the lights, heat/AC, water. If necessary, find someone to sublet your current place. Then get a vehicle capable of holding you and your possessions and making the trip from where you live now, to Cheapsville. If you rent the vehicle you’ll have to find away to return it and get back to your new home, otherwise you’ll probably take a hit for the one-way trip. If it takes more than a day go get there, I guess you’ll have to sleep in the car or van. Bon Voyage!

And that’s assuming the person wants to move. IZ deals with people who might be reluctant to leave familiar surroundings, people or even a job they enjoy by asking them if they want to be wealthy, or make excuses? Well then.

There are nine more of these things. However, the full horror is at the link and I can’t take much more. But here’s some obligatory foodscolding.

Eat the rich. But only the free range ones.
Eat the rich. But only the free range ones.

It’s so nice of IZ to give people who earn minimum wage permission to eat dinner with the boss. That’s just as helpful and well considered as the advice to buy food in bulk after they’ve told people to get rid of their car, buy a bike and to move within biking distance of their place of employment. Better yet get a job at a grocery store and make a little living space out of shipping pallets!

There’s even an inspirational malnutrition anecdote. According to Musk, when he was 17 and living in Canada he decided to see if he could live on $1 of food a day for a month, and he did.

Presented as advice to poor people, the expurgated version of an anecdote that may well be true will really inspire the creeps who get off on monitoring the eating habits of poor people. Not only can they confidently assert that people can live on less than a dollar’s worth of food a day because Musk did; they can claim that poor people who insist on eating a dollar or more of food a day are gluttons who’d rather eat than become rich. Add some whining about their taxes and a few non-informed comments about diabetes, and they’ll probably need a brief nap to recover.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Linkedin
  • Pinterest
  • JDM

    You should’ve been born in August. Your parents would have been well advised to wait.

  • cleter

    So, if the solution to poverty is moving to Shreveport or Jackson, Mississippi, why are there currently so many poor people in Shreveport or Jackson?

    • tsam

      Those are the people who went to be poor in Jackson before it was cool to go be poor in Jackson.

    • Severe bootstrap shortage. So when you move, be sure to bring your own. AND HOLD ON TIGHT, or they’ll be mooched right out of your hand!

    • They probably spend a whopping $3 a day on food and refuse to live in a burrow under their place of employment.

    • NonyNony

      They suggest moving to Detroit MI, Fort Wayne IN or Akron OH.

      I know these three cities intimately. There are not a surplus of jobs in any of these cities. That’s part of why it costs so little to live there comparably speaking – landlords can’t pump up the rent because there’s very little demand so the market has set the price of apartments in Akron as “very much more cheaper” than apartments in New York City (which, coincidentally, has a need for lots and lots of people to do all sorts of jobs).

      It’s like Business Insider and/or InvestmentZen do not actually understand things like the labor market or the housing market. I mean, to be fair, I guess it’s not really in their remit to understand these things – it’s not like they’re giving out investment advice alongside their poor-shaming articles or anything like that.

      • CP

        It’s like Business Insider and/or InvestmentZen do not actually understand things like the labor market or the housing market.

        If there’s one thing to take away from the last ten years or so, it’s this: businessmen just do not understand the economy. At all.

        • tsam

          They understand it just fine. They’re trying to keep YOU from understanding it.

          • econoclast

            No, they really don’t. I talk to businesspeople sometimes, professionally, and while they may understand their own business or their own industry, they have no clue how the economy works.

            • DAS

              I know some people in various finance/real estate professions whose jobs depend on their intimate knowledge of a particular market. They believe themselves to thoroughly understand economics, but outside of their niche, they know less about economics than, e.g., I do.

              One of the key factors here is Wall Street Journal readership. If you are a business or finance person, you read the WSJ. It’s what you do. So you’re getting your news and also perspective on the economy from them rather than how, e.g. an economic naif like me gets it — from reading what actual economic experts have to say.

              So you have a class of people who think they understand the economy because they really do understand a slice of it better than anyone else on the planet. And they also think the economic misinformation they consume on a regular basis is the way to keep abreast of the economy. It’s a recipe for a Dunning-Kruger disaster!

            • Rob in CT

              Micro vs. Macro.

            • tsam

              Well, I run a small business (2-3 million/year in revenues) and I understand small businesses just fine, have a basic understanding of larger (publicly held) corporations and a still more limited understanding of government budgets. There’s no excuse for someone like me to not understand this stuff.

      • Shantanu Saha

        They probably don’t even understand the stock market. In fact, they both are probably telling their readers to buy! buy! buy! because the market is going up! up! up!

        • GustePDX

          While I understand very well what you mean here, consider that urging others to buy when the market is rising (and, presumably, when they are long) shows that they do understand the stock market.

    • StellaB

      Most of the suggested states don’t have Medicaid expansion, so the article helpfully recommends going without health insurance.

      • farin

        Obviously those are the only states where jobs have escaped the senseless slaughter wrought by Obummercare.

    • DrDick

      Because there are no jobs there? When I looked at that map the one thing that jumped out at me is that all the places listed are godforsaken hellholes with no jobs.

      • MyNameIsZweig

        Knoxville is pretty all right, except for the fact that it’s in Tennessee.

  • Fuse01

    I would be hard pressed to live in any one of the those. Amarillo omg no way. This reminds me of the never ending articles on great retirement places. 200 miles from anywhere and no credible medical care

  • delazeur

    This isn’t only about pointing and laughing at poor people; it is also about opening up the “temporarily embarrassed millionaires” demographic for InvestmentZen.

    • Well, millionaires who feel the need to blame the beaten down poor for being poor and beaten down, while they struggled yet made it on a measly million dollar loan from daddy.

  • The Dark God of Time

    They all need to move to Napoleon, OH.

  • Tom Till

    According to his bio the author lives in Vancouver, “plays hockey and the guitar, and has also traveled to nearly 30 different countries around the world.” So if you live in the janitor’s closet at an ice rank, play guitar on the street for pocket change, and travel the world by stowing away on container ships, you too can live like a Rockefeller.

  • Chetsky

    I’m sure sure sure, that I’ve read an article by “ZenInvestment”, wherein it is argued that the reason people who live in the rural hinterlands are so poor, so lacking in a future, filled with despair, that they’re taking opiates, is …. wait for it …. they refuse to up sticks and move to where the JOBS are, in the big cities, amirite?


  • Chetsky

    Enjoyed this muchly:

    telling most of the people who make their lives livable to hit the road.

    Tumbril ticket time.

    • efgoldman

      Tumbril ticket time.

      I started reading the post as “oh, shit, another goddamned clueless tin ear” but ended at “tumbrils are too good. Drawing and quartering behind rolling coal pickups is too good….”

      • DrDick

        + infinity!

      • Q.E.Dumbass

        Make schaphism great again

  • jim, some guy in iowa

    InvestmentZen? I don’t think so

  • Origami Isopod

    your food costs should be less than $75 a month

    ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME. I mean, the rest of it is shit, too (and do not get me started on “mindfulness”), but … that one jumped out at me especially. And then I saw the bullshit about Elon Musk, who would make very tasty Soylent Green.

    The guy who wrote the article apologized, which is better than I expected. Not seeing anything on @InvestmentZen’s timeline about this.

    • Lizzy L

      Yeah, no. That insane number jumped out at me too. I cook, I rarely eat at restaurants, spices are my friend, I eat very little meat, and I still spend $200 a month on food. Of course, I live in the SF Bay Area, and I drink Peet’s coffee, when clearly I should be drinking Folger’s, or not drinking coffee at all. WHAT AN ASSHOLE.

      • N__B

        clearly I should be drinking Folger’s, or not drinking coffee at all.

        Brown crayons dipped in hot water are cheap, if you’re committed to growing your wealth.

        • tsam

          Growing wealth, killing health. LIKE A BOSS.

        • MyNameIsZweig

          Crayons? Pfffft. Luxury. Just throw some dirt in a cup of hot water. That should provide all the brown coloring you need.

      • BigHank53

        With a sharp knife and a strong stomach you could probably carve 40-50 lbs. of decent protein off the asshole writer responsible for this piece of swill.

        It’ll all taste like asshole, though, especially if he’s been following his own advice and eating garbage.

    • YRUasking

      You’re comment made me curious how much it would cost to live off Soylent like a real bootstrapping techbro. It’s like $300 a month.

      Seriously though, $2.50 a day? WTF?

      • sharculese

        The podcast Oh No, Ross and Carrie, which is about the hosts experience fringe science and religious claims, did an episode where they became beta testers for Soylent.

        Ross’s colleagues are used to him subjecting himself to weird stuff, and Soylent was the one where they pulled him aside and said, “please stop. You’re unpleasant to be around on the days you subject yourself to this.”

        • tsam

          Ummm so there’s a Soylent that’s not the usually referenced one? Do I want to know what it is?

          • BigHank53

            There’s some Silicon Valley nitwit who’s horrified by factory food and dirt and animals and set out to engineer a nutritionally complete food made entirely from soybeans. Long story short: soybeans are not nutritionally complete, and attempting to live on Soylent will make you cranky and ill very, very quickly.

            • tsam

              So you supplement it with virgin blood?

              • N__B

                Okay, you’re not sharing a room with Mini__B.

            • veleda_k

              Why would anyone name it that?!

              • delazeur

                That’s probably my favorite part of the whole thing. This guy must have heard that soylent is some sort of futuristic sci-fi food, but had never actually read the book/watched the movie/bothered to google it.

                • tsam

                  Or knows what soy and lentils are. (I didn’t know Soylent was a real thing, but I have eaten both of those things before). Two foods that have been staples for millennia are futuristic or sciency when you mix them together in a blender.

                • In the book, “soylent” is made of soy and lentils, thus the name. The cannibalism plot twist was added to the movie.

                  The guy who made the food goo is totally aware of the movie. His insistence on choosing an ominous name that isn’t technically an allusion to cannibalism is pretty much all you need to know about him.

                • econoclast

                  Are you people like 80? Pointless irony is how everybody does everything now.

                • Marlowe

                  I happened to rewatch the movie a few weeks ago. There are several different soylents named with various colors, which are, if extremely unappetizing, people free. It is the new and popular Soylent Green that is famously people. BTW, the film was no classic in its day (I saw it in a theater when released) and is quite dated now. It’s worth watching though if just for Edward G. Robinson’s lovely last performance; he knew he was dying and passed away only days after completing his euthanasia scene.

                • tsam

                  Are you people like 80? Pointless irony is how everybody does everything now.

                  Like every weird thing like pointless, douchy irony, there’s definitely a point where it becomes something else. Sort of like the failure mode of clever..

                • witlesschum

                  I never saw Soylent Green, but I have seen the wonderful SNL sketch with John Goodman as the film’s producer giving a career retrospective and Phil Hartman as Heston.


              • farin

                I’m assuming that, like most techbro innovations, the inspiration is, “Fuck you.”

          • sharculese

            It’s an engineered slurry that’s designed to get all the nutrition you need in without the hassle of eating. Dude who’s making it is a tech disruption type but honestly just seems to hate the idea of sitting down for a meal and wants to create a product for people like him.

            It’s a questionable concept, but there doesn’t appear to be any malice behind it.

            • tsam

              Does the term “soylent” predate the movie? Also, NO CHEESE? FUCK OFF TECHNOLOGY

              • sharculese

                It predates the movie in that it was coined in the source novel Make Room, Make Room as a portmanteau of ‘soy’ and ‘lentils.’ (Never read the book, but I’m pretty sure it’s not people.)

                It’s not clear why this dude thought it would be a good idea to call his product that except for that he seems to genuinely be a very deeply weird dude.

              • los

                FUCK OFF TECHNOLOGY

                now technology is in big big trouble…

                • tsam

                  If it takes away my cheese and lasagna, WATCH OUT TECH, I’M COMING FOR YOU.

            • Hogan

              I’m not sure malice is worse than the kind of anti-humanism he was enacting. At least malice has some feeling behind it.

              • sharculese

                Honestly, if some people want to be machine cog people who drink nutrient mush in between doing work stuff, I don’t care. Live and let live.

                As long as you meet the baseline level of ‘don’t treat other people shitty’ and don’t try to force your aesthetic revulsion at eating on me, I don’t have a problem with it.

                • tsam

                  I don’t understand an aversion to eating meals. Wonder if dude had a bunch of allergies that made him feel crummy all the time. I mean, it’s hard to use time as an excuse to not eat actual food. You have to make Soylent too.

                • sharculese

                  I don’t understand it either. I think it’s deeply weird. But as far as I can tell, it’s an opt-in thing. If people want to drink sludge rather than enjoying food, maybe I’ll tell them they’re missing out, but as long as they don’t try to tell me I have to drink sludge too I can’t care too much.

                • Steven desJardins

                  I know a couple of people who regularly consume Soylent. In at least one case, they have a delicate stomach, so an always-palatable food is a solution to a real problem. Not wanting to cook, and not having much money, also seems to be a factor. I wouldn’t describe any of the as “machine cog people”, though; they have plenty of creative outlets and sources of pleasure outside of work, food just isn’t one of them.

                • Hogan

                  I don’t want to punish him for it, unless some major fucking side-eye counts as punishment.

                • sharculese

                  Not wanting to cook, and not having much money, also seems to be a factor.

                  These are too different things. I don’t have much money, but I love to cook, so I learned to cook without spending a ton of money. Do I get to make everything I want to? No, I don’t.

                  Preferring swilling a cup of glop to learning those skills is something I’m gonna find weird. No way around that. But to each their own. I can’t imagine hanging with people who thought that counted as food; I’m just not gonna impute anything sinister to it.

                • sharculese

                  These are too different things.


                  I don’t want to punish him for it, unless some major fucking side-eye counts as punishment.

                  Not disagreeing. I think these people are weird, but it’s a harmless weird.

                • witlesschum

                  Yeah, I don’t have any emotional reaction to the guy for creating this or calling it it Soylent, which just seems like a weak joke and probably sensible marketing. Though I wonder why he isn’t getting sued.

                • Jordan

                  Interesting New Yorker article from a couple of years ago about Soylet.

                  Includes amusing anecdotes about how it makes you fart all the time when you switch onto it.

          • Matt

            Short story shorter, it’s a “food substitute” for techbros who are so burned out they’ve lost the will to eat human food.

            • DrDick

              Given what many of the techbros I have met actually eat, I am not sure that they even know what real food is.

          • sigaba

            It’s basically Slim-Fast for hipsters.

    • Gregor Sansa

      When my family is away, I live like a serious hermit. My two staple meals are: [lentils, rice, and some spice or pumpkin seed powder], and [raw broccoli, olive oil, and hot sauce]. This comes from Market Basket, not Whole Foods. I drink water and the occasional beer; I eat oatmeal more often than Cheerios. And my weekly food budget is still about $25. $75/mo means not just the most basic possible food, but also really crappy ingredients; Wonder bread, no fresh veggies, etc. This is the kind of “savings” that leads to higher health care costs down the road.

      • Gregor Sansa

        (Note that when I really was single, I was for a short time making $100 an hour, spending $100/month on rent, and living on about $20/wk in groceries. But I had unlimited free delicious bread because I helped do Food not Bombs, and I would go gather/steal the spilled bulk goods in the grocery store, and dumpster dive the occasional cabbage or apple. And that was not sustainable, it was just me being a freak.)

      • PhoenixRising

        I just looked because I was curious. I lived alone (my family was away) for 7 weeks in Q1. Total food and alcohol spending on me, eating at home in a fully equipped kitchen with a stocked pantry* making all the meals and snacks I wanted to eat: $75 liquor, $190 food.

        During that time I thawed last winter’s sale corned beef & made soda bread, for 6 meals (guess which weekend).

        To accomplish that I needed a full pantry, a freezer in the garage and the knowledge that we didn’t lose power for more than 12 hours since last St. Patrick’s Day.

        These poverty-diet people are so, so stupid. The numbers don’t even work if you’re assuming the can opener ‘start by being in a house full of ingredients’.

        *Yesterday I had to go out for 2 cans of great northern beans, because someone started a recipe assuming that I hadn’t cooked a hot meal using actual ingredients since January, based on my new slimmer figure and the fact that I don’t know how to cook. To her consternation, she has discovered that I DO know how to warm things up. Maybe I shouldn’t have given that away.

      • Origami Isopod

        This is the kind of “savings” that leads to higher health care costs down the road.

        For which they’ll blame The Poors, too.

    • StellaB

      Also Elon lived on a dollar a day for thirty days which is a heck of a lot easier than doing it for years. Plus it was 30 years ago and that daily dollar would now be a magnificent $2.05

      • UnderTheSun

        I think Business Insider are being far too generous suggesting you can live on a $1 a day as Musk did; don’t they know that you can live for a whole month on nothing but proper hydration. It does help if that month is February.

      • Captain Oblivious

        Every time I hear one of these privileged white assholes with desk jobs say “I lived for a month on just ____ a day”, I want to say

        1) you’re a lying sack of shit

        2) do it for a year while working a typical min wage job instead of sitting at your desk on your privileged white ass

        • tsam

          Try it after growing up that way and spending your adult life just scraping by–where any one little unforeseen expense is a fucking catastrophe. Stepping out of a comfy life for a month is like a long camping trip. It had a beginning and will end. It’s Not remotely close to the same thing.

        • gyrfalcon

          Does anyone have the submissions line for The Onion? There’s an article titled “I Lived For A Month On Just $2 A Day, Well Except For The $12,000 Emergency Room Bill I Got Hit With Three Weeks In” waiting to escape my brain.

        • mds

          Every time I hear one of these privileged white assholes with desk jobs say “I lived for a month on just ____ a day”

          Well, in limited defense of Musk,

          (1) in this case it’s a privileged white asshole saying “Some other guy lived for a month on just ____ a day”;

          (2) he was a 17-year-old attending college at the time; and

          (3) he moved to Canada for college in the first place to get out of serving in the South African military.

          Musk has plenty white asshole privilege of his own, including when there are whispers about the UAW, but in this case he isn’t the one making the outrageous claim. Hell, he’s even made supportive rumbles about the necessity of Universal Basic Income … at least while it’s still conveniently at the “pie in the sky” stage.

    • delazeur

      Probably the most optimistic cost estimate I have seen for a long-term, nutritious diet is $4/day, and those were meals that would keep you on your feet but not exactly fill you up. If you exercise or work a demanding job, that figure would easily double.

    • Murc

      I could probably live on 75 dollars a month for food, but it’d be deeply unpleasant and I’m not sure it’d be nutritionally complete.

    • Tyro

      When I was at my most disciplined, making $15k/yr as a grad student, I spent about $30/WEEK on food. There was pretty much nothing else to trim if I wanted to eat reasonably healthy. This was in the late 1990s.

      I fail to see how you can do better than this unless your diet consists of PB&J and beans.

  • Abbey Bartlet
  • Lurking Canadian

    Somebody more skilled than I should write an identically organized piece entitled something like “Tips for living on only $300K/year before Obamacare taxes”:

    1) Does your second home really bed to be in Aspen? There are plenty of reasonably priced ski resorts in Canada and Chile you could consider instead
    2) Consider letting the factory warranty on your new Lexus lapse before you trade it for a new one
    3) Opt for American beef at least three days a week. Save the Kobe for special occasions

    These straightforward lifestyle changes aren’t easy, but they’ll make living with a 2% surtax on investment income over $250000 without turning into a blood gargling sociopath much more appealing.

    • YRUasking

      Brad DeLong did that once Libertarians were predictably outraged.

    • Matt

      Somebody did, but they weren’t aiming for satire. Summarized here:


    • JKTH

      I had seen this on Twitter recently.

      How a couple with kids earning $500,000 has only $7,300 left after spending $10K on clothes, spending $12K on children’s lessons, paying mortgage and property taxes on a $1.5M home, donating $18K to charity, maxing out their 401K contributions, and having $10K budgeted for miscellaneous expenses.

  • Lizzy L

    I’m not clicking on this piece of excrement article, because it’s bad for my blood pressure to go that high. FFS. From what you’ve said, the author appears to believe that everyone (okay, almost everyone) is able to make the sorts of decisions that in the real world only 18-30 year old folks with no medical issues and BTW no obligations to other people, find pretty easy. Between the time I was 17 and the time I was 25 I moved from one coast to the other, living in 4 different major urban areas. But once your life is wound about other people’s lives, (kids, spouses, elderly parents, disabled siblings, whatever) these choices become non-choices. We don’t even have to discuss such uncomfortable topics as income inequality, automation, lousy educational opportunities, depressed wages, and so on. Feh. It’s no closer to reality than Monopoly.

    • the author appears to believe that everyone (okay, almost everyone) is able to make the sorts of decisions that in the real world only 18-30 year old folks with no medical issues and BTW no obligations to other people, find pretty easy.

      I am going to save this sentence in case it’s somehow applicable in the future.

      • Abbey Bartlet

        Like, say, when discussing any bill put out by this congress?

    • Hogan

      They’re the economic equivalent of the gun nuts who assume that everyone should be Jack Reacher: big and heavily muscled, extensively trained in both weapons and unarmed combat, and always alert to potential dangers in their immediate environment.

      • jim, some guy in iowa

        not sure those guys assume *everyone* is like that- just themselves

        • Hogan

          But they do assume everyone should be, and if you’re not, you deserve to die horribly at the hands of dusky home invaders.

          • efgoldman

            But they do assume everyone should be, and if you’re not, you deserve to die horribly

            And like all RWNJs, about pretty much everything, they live on Planet Delusia. 99.99% of them are armchair soldiers/keyboard kommandos who would be extremely lucky not to shoot their own fat, drunk asses off, or take out the nearest pickup truck, before they pee themselves and lie down on the ground screaming.

            • DrDick

              keyboard kommandos who would be extremely lucky not to shoot their own fat, drunk asses off

              Actually they do that on a pretty regular basis, usually when cleaning the gun or showing it off. The reality is that 98% of them would simply shit themselves and shoot themselves in the foot if faced with that scenario.

              • tsam

                A bunch of them settle arguments over the kitchen table with their guns. Intra-family arguments. Permanent solution to a temporary and probably completely inane problem.

              • Origami Isopod

                in the foot

                If they’re lucky. It’s not unknown for one of these jeenyusses to take themselves out of the gene pool with a misplaced bullet.

                • DrDick

                  True dat!

          • Yup. They have no middle ground between “you’ve gotta be strong and able to take care of everything yourself” and “you are a weakling who will only survive by some miracle.” Point out that the slightest accident makes the former impossible, and they shrug.

  • Gary K

    I feel this link is needed.

    • DIng, Ding, Ding!


      Or, as @lecagle observed in the thread, “It is truly shocking the number of ways people find to pretend that low wage earners don’t already know how to live frugally.”

      • tsam

        Then why they always crying about being poor?

      • Nick never Nick

        It’s not that low-wage earners don’t know how to live frugally, but that many avenues of living frugally aren’t quite as open to them as they appear. Things like ‘buying in bulk’ and ‘cooking meals at home’ tend to be easier if you’re just a little bit further up the ladder. A lot of the inefficiencies that poor people ‘indulge’ in are actually necessities caused by their inability to commit capital.

        • efgoldman

          A lot of the inefficiencies that poor people ‘indulge’ in are actually necessities caused by their inability to commit capital.

          And/or the necessities of working multiple jobs just to provide basics.

          • DrDick

            And/or living in food deserts where the only thing available for miles around is junk food and liquor stores.

            • farin

              Or even totally normal chain groceries, where buying in bulk isn’t particularly easy and fruits and vegetables are still massively more expensive than processed foods.

              • DrDick

                True and I would point out that people working at the minimum wage cannot generally afford to buy in bulk.

  • N__B

    Do the people at BI understand the concept of supply and demand? if a load of poor people, against all common sense, followed their advice, Buffalo for example would have a housing shortage and the cost of living there would go up. The cheap housing stock is decaying and slowly reducing in number because it is unwanted. Create a demand and watch Buffalo become less affordable.

    • tsam


    • Hells Littlest Angel

      You’d probably need to cut the taxes of the rental property owners so they could lower rents. Or create jobs. Whatever. The answer is cutting taxes.

      • PhoenixRising

        Don’t do me any favors. I own rental property in a college town in Ohio. What would be really helpful for that business would be a local population of support staff serving the literal children of Park Avenue (their parents pay their rent, so I have verification of home address) getting paid a high enough wage that they could afford decent housing.

        Then I could get working families into affordable housing, in the great school district I don’t begrudge a dime of the taxes I pay to fund, and stop renting to the entitled children of the Business Insider class. I’m sure the lady who cleans the dozens of piano practice rooms every night would do less damage to the house than the art majors I rent to now.

        • los

          After my first year, I added a requirement of no drinking in my “seeks roommate” ad.

          Also, (majority of) young people simply know too little about how things work.

          Children, senile, intoxicated people too often try flushing “anything” down a toilet.

          A plumber who deals with drains could name some odd/crazy items found and removed, but you’ll notice just a flat facial expression – there’s nothing new to be found in clogged drains. “They’ve seen it all. Alex Jones’s hallucinations are so unoriginal.”

  • humanoid.panda

    I am something like 99 percent certain that the business model here is not getting BI readers to laugh at poor. It’s to get clicks via hate sharing. The one tue innovation of the internet is to let people profit by intentionally producing terrible shit

    • farin

      I believe they last crossed my screen for “How anyone can pay off their college loans by age 31 while earning $25K” where the first step was to be given multiple pieces of rental property by your parents and the second was marrying someone making $250K. It’s a remarkably consistent house style.

      The author of that piece also issued an apology, which is a detail I really like.

  • The Temporary Name

    Getting pushed out by the rich people? Accept it! Be pushed out by the rich people. You will like it.

    • los

      Then a take rich person to lunch, and learn how they push people. Do this before you hitchhike out of town to your low-rent new residence in Unemployed Vistas La Bella, Rustbelt, USA.

  • PhoenixRising

    One of the most enjoyable aspects of having you added to the FP has been the heavy use of the word ‘tumbril’, which I didn’t know how to spell at this time last year.

    It was an innocent time.

    • NBarnes

      I thought it was ‘tumbrel’, but apparently either is correct.

      • PhoenixRising

        …are you the second person who looked that up?

    • DocAmazing

      Well I’m a tumbriller
      Born under punches
      I’m so thin

  • wjts

    I can’t help but notice that the arrows meant to indicate San Francisco, New York City, Buffalo, Akron, Detroit, and Amarillo do not actually point to the locations of these cities. (I’m not sure about the others.)

    • N__B

      Alterate geography.

      • N__B

        Aaaaand assume that I meant to add an “n” in there somewhere.

        • wjts

          What’s “geongraphy”?

          • N__B

            Apparently, the study of gravity waves. I am vast, I contain multitudes, I am a million monkeys at a million typewriters.

            • BigHank53

              I am a million monkeys at a million typewriters.

              My compliments to your hard-working editors.

          • tsam

            Adulterate geongraphy.

            • PhoenixRising

              This is starting to sound like something that wasn’t legal in North Carolina until after Lawrence v. Texas.

            • Abbey Bartlet

              Mike Pence is appalled.

              • PhoenixRising

                jinx, you owe me a Coke

            • los

              altered geo-gaffey

    • Fort Wayne and B’ham are also off.

      • trold

        Springfield and Shreveport, too.

        And nearly all the misplaced city markers pretty consistently point to other large-ish cities. Detroit is on Traverse City, Springfield is on Columbia, Amarillo is on Abilene, Shreveport is on Lake Charles… if you’re going to pick a random spot in the state fine. But why deliberately pick the wrong city?

        • Gwen

          I noticed this too, and I thought it was just me, but I’m glad I’m not crazy.

          The arrow for Knoxville is also about 50 miles off (too far north and west I think), but nowhere near as bad as some of them.

        • “Ugg, who really cares where they might wind up? Just so long as we make it clear they’re not welcome HERE.”

          • los

            “Baaad Paratroopers VIII”
            “Critics revulsed.”
            “I was up in arms.”

  • Ronan

    A number of useful tips. I’ve often thought people follow the cycles of the moon. Move from town to town picking lettuce, doing odd jobs etc. Rest During the lunar cycle and give alms to the God of the harvest. Then Start again. Town to town. Picking lettuce.

    • N__B

      In the spring, move to Brooklyn and earn your keep providing shaving and general grooming to the occasional hipster. Bonus tip: save the trimmings to stuff artisanal pillows. In the summer, move to Albany and hose down the senate chamber in the Capitol. While hazmat suits are generally regarded as a recommend for this job, you’re young and the EPA is weakening by the second. Spend the fall picking apples and stamping grapes as part of NY States’s agricultural tradition. While you handle the fruit, eat used bologna. Winter in Buffalo, shoveling salt in the snow mines and getting free facials from the lake effect.

      • Ronan

        Courtier to a hipster actually sounds like a good enough gig .

        • N__B

          Picture Game of Thrones with less beheading but more whining.

          • Are you saying hipsters don’t give good behead?

            It must be the neckbeards.

      • tsam

        Hmmm. Got an extra room at your place I can use until these guys make me obscenely wealthy?

        • N__B

          Mini__B has a trundle bed. You get the bottom and I’m sure he won’t step on you too many times.

          • Hogan
            • N__B

              They never left if you look at Manhattan studio apartments.

              • Hogan

                Now we just need them to catch on in Amarillo and Birmingham. Maybe if we call them Trump beds.

                • mds

                  Trump beds come with a coin-operated bedside attachment to make the Magic Fingers stop.

              • tsam

                When I worked at a competitor distributor, we sold Murphy Bed hardware. They’re a novelty out here for some. These went into McMansions, not “cozy” apartments.

              • DocAmazing

                I once lived in an apartment with Murphy-style benches and table in the kitchen. Oakland landlords are special people.

              • efgoldman

                They never left if you look at Manhattan studio apartments.

                My parents had one in their first apartment, December 1941 until… ?
                Corner of Brookline Avenue and Longwood in Boston, above the drugstore. The building was still there for decades, but has now been replaced with another concrete and glass montrosity.

          • tsam

            As long as he stays mini, he can step on me.

            • They grow out of the “it’s okay if they step on me” stage FAST.

              • tsam

                Yet they continue to step!

  • Hogan

    Spices are wicked expensive, so I’m not sure about that part. But poor people should definitely learn to cook. I recommend this widely regarded recipe collection.

    • N__B

      Wicked? Keep that up and you’ll find yourself rooting for the Red Sox.

      • efgoldman

        Keep that up and you’ll find yourself rooting for the Red Sox.

        Yeah? And?

    • bender

      They are, and if paying for enough calories plus vitamins and a little protein from plant sources takes more money than you have, spices are an impossible luxury purchase if you have to pay full price.

      Salt and pepper packets can be liberated from some fast food joints. Red pepper flakes in cellophane packages from the Mexican section of the grocery are pretty cheap and last a long time. If you can spare enough money for a couple more, I’d get a small container or bargain brand of powdered cinnamon and some dried crumbled oregano leaves. If you have additional funds, buy an herb/spice mix that goes with whatever type of stew/pasta sauce/glurp in a frying pan you usually cook, could be chili powder, curry powder or Italian seasoning. The cinnamon goes into any kind of dessert and is way cheaper than vanilla extract. The hot pepper, oregano leaves and spice blend cover a range of main courses.

    • Please never recommend that cookbook, even in jest. The recipes are far more dangerous to the cook, than to anyone else.

  • Chetsky

    Is BI still owned by that turd Henry Blodget?

  • Nick never Nick

    Kurt Vonnegut made fun of this idea once — he had Kilgore Trout write a novel about how people died and went up to heaven and complained to God about their lives, which had been wracked by poverty; then God would show them how they’d screwed up, that there had been a diamond in their drain, etc.

    It’s impossible to describe how difficult it is to move, when poor. My wife and I were caught in Thailand without employment by the 2008 financial crisis, which wiped out a lot of NGO jobs. We had a kid and couldn’t move to the States without a job, because no health insurance without a job. We applied to immigrate to Canada, chose our destination poorly, and could only find minimum wage work. We had enough money for one more move, and knew one person 3000 miles away — we were planning to go there, because knowing one person is better than knowing no one by a huge magnitude. A single move in that situation does more than put you at risk of homelessness or worse — you’re essentially gambling your entire ability to maneuver. If you make a mistake, that’s gone. It’s a terribly difficult pickle, and of course like every gamble, many people will end up hurt. Immigrants have their own genre of ‘strive, strive, then you’ll succeed!’, I found it infuriating to read.

    • leftwingfox

      Much of my debt is from moving from job to job, and travelling back to visit family. I suppose I should be comfortable being a hermit.

    • Warren Terra

      Among the many other problems with the scenario Desjardins illustrates (I’ve got a long and doubtless partial list below) is the assumption of capital. He thinks it will be trivial to move to some new city where you’ll lack a safety net of friends or family, without much thought about the cost of moving, nor the cost of a deposit on a new apartment. And of course there’s no money set aside to furnish or equip this apartment; even the used bicycle is off-budget.

  • Spider-Dan

    This article, “10 steps to build wealth while on minimum wage,” would be improved all around if it were replaced with 1 step.

    Step 1: Get a job making significantly more than federal minimum wage.

    Now the article is much shorter (save them bits!), no less practical, and far less condescending.

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      the man in the silk suit hurries by
      as he catches the poor old lady’s eye
      just for fun he says “get a job”

      • PhoenixRising

        LGM: come for the spelling lessons, stay to unravel the mystery of how 20th century earworms ought to be punctuated

    • Warren Terra

      Step 1: Get a job making significantly more than federal minimum wage.

      You clearly didn’t notice that this was an actual part of their plain. I mean, seriously, it really was. They’ve got a whole table about how implementing their absurd $3/day total household expenses spending plan will lead you to great wealth once you’re making $32,000 take-home pay.

  • LeoFromChicago

    Wow, you people are a bunch of spend-thrifts.

    Just eat every other day and when it starts getting warm, move out to the park. With such sensible spending strategies, you’ll be able to pack away a substantial sum into your 401k account, thus insuring a comfortable retirement when you hit 97 (official retirement age following a number of reforms).

  • Warren Terra

    I have So. Much. To. Say. on this turd of an article. I had a bit of fun with it on Twitter, and am champing at the bit for this longer-than-140-characters format. My apologies in advance if I wind up going on too long.

    First thing to note: that $75 per month food budget? That’s the generous part. The entire recommended budget for household expenses – food, clothes, toiletries, commuting costs, entertainment, incidentals, the unexpected – is less than $3 per day, most of that being food. This is insane. Some aspects:

    1) $2.50 per day for food is fairly ridiculous, right off the bat, as many have noted.

    2) Desjardins’s clothes budget is $8/month. I dress badly, and buy essentially identical units of sturdy plain clothing by mail order, on sale, to have on hand to replace worn-out versions of the same. Similarly towels and bedding. Even so, I spend 2-3x that amount, and I’m a damned miser.

    3) Further to that: $8 a month doesn’t include laundry! Nobody in a cheap apartment has their own washer/dryer, and if they did they’d have to amortize that over years of monthly payments, possibly paying high interest. $4 a month would be a huge bargain at the laundromat (no dry cleaning) – and that’s half of Desjardins’s crazy clothes budget.

    4) Desjardins thinks if you have a bike your commute is free. Sorry, no. With a modest daily bike commute a conservative estimate might be $50 a year for tubes, tires, and brake pads, and that’s if you own the tools you need. You also have to save to repair the bike when something more serious happens, or replace it when it gets stolen. Plus you should budget at least a similar amount for bus fares when the weather is too awful to bike, and cab rides or car rentals to carry heavy items or shop in bulk. Trust me on this, I did everything by bike for years and years.

    5) Notice how I mentioned toiletries? Desjardins didn’t. Most people need toilet paper, and soap, and toothpaste. Detergent. Maybe razor blades.

    6) Desjardins’s entertainment budget is $0. No telephone, no internet, unless you can get them for free though the FCC’s Lifeline program (what is misnamed “Obamaphones”), which under the current administration you probably won’t be able to (they’re already stopping a proposal to provide free internet to the poor). Never eating so much as a food truck taco, never seeing a movie even at the fourth-run discount theater. No gifts for loved ones. Not so much as a sympathy card.

    7) On the other hand, Desjardins recommends a Netflix subscription … without budgeting for internet access. How’s that work?

    8) Desjardins recommends you save money by purchasing high-deductible health insurance, but also predicts you’ll never actually pay those deductibles. Nice if you can make it work.

    9) After stressing that under his plan you’re too poor to own a car (but also that you can save by buying in bulk, which is hard without a car for a few reasons) … Desjardins suggests you make extra money on the side driving your car for Uber.

    The real kicker, the Italian Chef’s Kiss, is at the end, when Desjardins has a whole table demonstrating how this absurdly low, unlivable budget can make you rich. Here’s the first step:

    If you increase your earnings to a modest $32,000, you could become financially independent in just 10 years

    . That’s right: Desjardins has built this ridiculous yearly budget around an income of $14,500 ($14,115 take-home), and his first step towards accumulating meaningful savings is to earn roughly two-and-a-half times as much. This is of course excellent advice to anyone hoping to accumulate savings, but it’s beyond a slap in the face to the reader.

    But wait, there’s more: Desjardins’s initial budget has the schlump earning $14,115 after taxes and spending $10,300 of it. Remember how step one of his final plan was to earn $32,000 instead of $14,115? Desjardins thinks his lab rat will save $22,560 the first year. He achieves this number by assuming they’ll earn 4% annual interest. This adds up – as long as they’re paid most of their year’s salary in advance. That happens, right?

    • BigHank53

      Where on Earth does one get a 4% interest rate on their savings? WTF? A business magazine published this twaddle?

      • N__B

        Where on Earth does one get a 4% interest rate on their savings?

        A passbook savings account in 1978.

        • Thom

          Actually, the rate might have been somewhat higher around then. (I had a mortgage in 1982 at 12.5%.) But 4% was the norm, I think, for a long time when normal inflation was much higher than what we have been used to for 25 years or so.

          • N__B

            I’m pretty sure my childhood savings account at Dry Dock Savings bank was fixed at 4% regardless of external conditions. I had it roughly from 1975-82.

      • Hey, for years the Harvard Square law firm of Dewey, Cheatham & Howe offered investments with a 50% return guaranteed!

    • Hogan

      The bike commute advice starts with “Sell your car.” Where the hell did I get a car? If I knew how to steal one, I wouldn’t be making minimum wage FFS.

      • tsam

        For sale: 1995 Buick Century, 194.000 miles, needs tires, starter, battery, side window. Runs great. Great starter car for student.

        This should fetch you a princely sum.

    • twointimeofwar

      On the other hand, Desjardins recommends a Netflix subscription … without budgeting for internet access. How’s that work?

      I think the $400/year is for Netflix and internet. Thus, $33mo with $9 going to Netflix = $24/month internet.

      I live in Akron, OH. The cheapest internet we can find (as non-students) is $57/mo. It can be $30-$40/mo on the promotional period (1 year).

      On what device am I going to be watching this Netflix and using this internet? Will the Santa-of-minimum-wage-earners bring me a laptop?

      And, you have exactly captured my initial reaction to this article – what about deodorant? Laundry? Toilet Paper? That is easily $25/mo for the cheapest things – and it’s nowhere in this bullshit “budget.”

      Truly, a deeply offensive article.

      • tsam

        What sort of penitent poor moocher WATCHES TV AND GOOGLES STUFF?

      • UserGoogol

        In principle you can use Netflix with stolen Wifi. That’s not exactly sustainable, but it’s an option.

  • Warren Terra

    Note this tweet from the creators of the infographic:

    We’ve removed the graphic made by @InvestZen on wealth/min wage. People have made good points on it, and us re-posting it was a mistake.

    (apparently meaning they’ve removed it from their own site, not from Business Insider).

    • Warren Terra

      Shoot, forgot to paste in the URL, and no edit function.

    • Hogan

      There goes my faint hope that it was an April Fool’s joke.

  • Adrian Myers

    So when the authors of that surreal piece use the word “wealth”, um, either they or I are very deeply confused.

    My wife and I are in what NYT’s income map considers top 3%, almost top 2% nationally for income. We live in DC so we’re about 5% here. We’re 40 and we do not have what we, or anybody that I’m aware of, would call wealth. We don’t have kids or debt, we don’t cycle through new cars, and we’re still not building much of anything except the kind of savings that will evaporate in one bad year when we’re older if the future of healthcare is as troubled as it looks today.

    This article is looking at people who make about 10% of what we do and is saying they just need to get it together. That’s pretty hard to swallow.

    I’d be extremely curious to see decent case studies of 10-year investment plans for people making less than $50K at middle age, much less the dire straits mentioned in this piece. I’m thinking these typically don’t work out very well, and if one in 10 million did, it surely wouldn’t be in a way that scales to the level of national advice. I agree with the OP, this is very definitely another lunatic “feel good” (?) piece for the type of people who think cell phones and healthcare are comparable expenses, although why this makes them feel good is almost as impossible to grasp as how they come up with these numbers. Or new and exciting meanings for “wealth”.

    Also, honest question, if we took the article seriously at face value, isn’t this is an extremely conservative publication and audience saying Trump voters just need to move and get serious and everything will be fine? Pretty much the entire concept of the trapped middle and working class family is ignored or chastised here in what I imagine would be considered the classic neoliberal coastal elite way. Both Sides though mirite.

    • tsam

      Yeah, the subtext is the usual right wing one–if you aren’t getting paid enough, get a better job–anything to quell the dangerous notion that people should be paid an honest wage for their honest work.

      • Warren Terra

        I’m not kidding here – Desjardins literally says that the important step for someone making $14K take-home is instead to make $32K take-home. Sage advice for anyone.

        • tsam

          What is this sorcery? How the hell did he know that???

    • Matt

      although why this makes them feel good is almost as impossible to grasp as how they come up with these numbers

      Articles like this are vitally important to the mental well-being of conservatives: they use them to smooth out any flickers of empathy that they might experience.

    • Rob in CT

      So… wait, I can’t help myself. I gotta ask. You’re bringing in ~$300k, have no kids, and you’re not building up a substantial nest egg?

      I get that DC is expensive. But no kids!

      • PhoenixRising

        It’s possible. When we added a kid, we had to leave the kind of hipster-laden no-middle-class cities described as ‘too expensive’ in order to have time to see her.

        Had we failed to make this an organized retreat 17 years ago, we’d have been forced off a cliff in the downturn and probably ended up in my mom’s basement.

        You can wade through $9000/month pretty quickly when 35% of it goes to keeping a roof overhead.

        • Rob in CT

          Your $9k/mo figure is take-home pay, I assume ($108k/yr)? For someone making $300k/yr, that’s likely low, even after maxing out 2 401ks. I’d guesstimate $150k/yr, so $12.5k/month.

          Yes, housing cost in DC being what it is I’d expect that to be high. But again, no kids!

          I mean, start with the 401k thing. If you have a 2-earner household maxing out 401ks, you’re putting away $36k/yr right there, plus any employer matching.

          And then, even in the DC area, if you’ve got $12.5k/month in take home pay, surely some of that gets saved & invested too?

          Call it $50k/year in savings. That’s building wealth, IMO.

  • Gwen

    While I am wholeheartedly in favor of seeking out cheaper rent and lower cost-of-living, I am fairly certain that nobody is going to get wealthy earning minimum wage in Knoxville, Tennessee.

  • Gwen

    The only sensible advice you can give to someone who is on minimum wage, is to work hard and try to get promoted or get another job that pays more.

    Well, that or find a sugardaddy/sugarmama. Honestly. As a feminist I hate to say that, but basically that’s the reality of being poor.

    I did most of what DesJardins suggested back when I was making $36,000 a year. It almost-kinda-sorta-worked, but note that I was making, at the time, about twice the minimum wage (about $15 hour).

  • Gwen

    As far as I can tell, Jeff DesJardins is a Canadian of average intelligence who happened to be at the right place at the right time to cash-in on the growth of the Clickbait-Industrial Complex.

    A homey’s gotta make a livin’, dontchaknow.

  • bender

    Anybody read Barbara Ehrenreich’s book about living on a full time minimum wage job? I think the title was Nickel and Dimed. I read an excerpt and one thing that stood out for me was that the minimum wage is not enough to keep a roof over your head. The best housing available to the workers she observed and joined was fleabag motels and sharing a trailer with roommates. This was IIRC in the 1990s.

    Glancing at that map makes me wonder whether there is any viable middle ground between super expensive major cities and cities which have low rents because there are no jobs. In California, nobody can afford San Francisco, but what about Sacramento, Santa Rosa, Stockton? You might have space to grow some herbs in pots in those places.

    • Woodrowfan

      great book. depressing but great

    • ThresherK

      I read it the month it came out.

      The list of mediafolk who need their eyes Clockwork Oranged open and that book drilled into their brain is lengthy.

    • Dennis Orphen

      In California, nobody can afford San Francisco, but what about Sacramento, Santa Rosa, Stockton? You might have space to grow some herbs in pots in those places.

      Shhhhhhhh……, keep it on the DL until my gentrification plans are in place.

    • MyNameIsZweig

      I’ve heard that Sacramento is starting to get expensive.

  • sibusisodan

    Can’t decide which is more horrifying: that someone was paid to produce this, or that various someone’s had the glorious opportunity to do it for free, “for exposure”.

  • pianomover

    Saw the BusBoys in 1981. Worlds a poorer place without them.

  • Lurks

    I didn’t read the linked article, but did they make the logical suggestion that you simply move to the third world country where your job went? Yes, you’ll get paid less, but the cost of living is soooo much lower. And your kids will get free education in a foreign language and valuable experience with another culture. It will be like a permanent vacation for them! Sort of like living in Disneyland, but with open sewers and more giant rats.

    Progressive, forward-thinking companies could even offer to hold your old job for you for a few weeks to give you time to catch up with it and get settled in!

    • Nick never Nick

      I know this comment is sarcastic, and rightfully so — but at the same time, there’s a certain chunk of truth in it. I did exactly this when I was 31, and had been overeducated and underemployed for about 5 years. Every single job I had in the United States was awful, both financially and personally, and when I saved up 6000 bucks, I went back to Thailand to do some interesting work, live much better on $200/month than I could on $2000/month in the USA, and find a better way forward.

      Granted, I had advantages in this — I spoke Thai (from being a high school exchange student there), was single, healthy, and come from a middle-class background where travel of this nature was always looked at as useful, and I had parents who could bail me out if necessary. I knew I could live easily in Thailand, and my education was useful there, when combined with my ability to speak.

      However, the basic point of many commenters here — that there are huge structural disadvantages that keep people poor — means that the basic point of trying to find a way to evade these, is valid. Moving to another country is much harder AND much riskier, generally, than moving from city to city. The rewards are potentially greater, though. Fundamentally, the US is a terrible country to be poor in.

      But this is an individual solution, not a systemic one.

  • Curious where these $600 apartments are in Ohio.

    My stepdaughter pays over $1,000 a month for rent in Columbus, hardly an expensive city.

    • Matt

      It’s definitely possible, but $600/mo in Columbus means either *tiny* (there are some 300 sqft places aimed at students in that range) or “sketchy*, in a higher-crime area with older housing stock and less access to public transportation.

      The “no car” thing in Columbus is hilarious, though. Bike infrastructure is shit, and the bus system works if-and-only-if you are close to a line and your job is close to the SAME line.

      • I think we also have the dubious distinction of being the largest city in the country without any form of light rail.

        • Steve LaBonne

          Which has a lot to do with the fact that much of the “city” is annexed suburbs.

        • MyNameIsZweig

          I thought that was San Antonio.

          • MyNameIsZweig

            Also too, Jacksonville, FL is larger than Columbus, and has no light rail.

      • tsam

        That sounds exactly like spokane, though we have a WAY smaller population than Columbus, I assume.

        • Columbus metro is around 1.3 million

          • ThresherK

            I don’t know the numbers, but my lazy-ass analysis says: Columbus has NHL and MLS and AAA baseball. Spokane has short-season Class A baseball, Major Junior hockey, and an indoor football team in a league a notch below Arena Football.

            (As they come with their own built-in fanbase I don’t count college teams that much.)

  • Timurid

    …and of course the author of this piece would rather suck start a shotgun than live in Amarillo.

    • I’ve been to Amarillo. It would be a toss-up.

  • Julia Grey

    When my sister was seeking a low rent apartment, anything in her range was also a huge ENERGY sink. Her rent
    might have been only 500, but her electric bill would have been 200 because of the lack of insulation, poorly-fitted windows and doors, single-pane windows, etc.

    Not to mention the sheer SCARINESS of some of those neighborhoods. She has anxiety issues to start with–mental illness being the reason she has so little money–and she was twice too terrified to even get out of the car.

    And transportation…don’t get me started….

  • dogboy

    As is so often the case with these things, I am reminded of The Style Council

    You see they tell you move around if you can’t find work in your own town

    No, wait

    There’s only room for those they say
    Those who play the leeches game
    Don’t get settled in this place
    The lodger’s terms are in disgrace

  • N__B

    Also re Buffalo: the Erie County Sheriff.

  • SiggMKE

    And now the guys at Visual Capitalist have deep sixed the infographic at their site.

It is main inner container footer text