Sunday, June 9, 2013

Poverty with a View again.

Term used to describe life in Bend, Oregon or Central Oregon in general. Refers to numerous nearby mountain peaks, rivers, forests, clean air, and microbreweries, with the understanding that everyone will work for close to minimum wage regardless of level of education due to a dysfunctional job market. 
"Honey, did you see the place for sale down the street? It's a run-down double-wide on a flat one acre lot. Includes monster truck. Wow, that's what I call "poverty with a view".

So the Bulletin has an article today that the average wages in Bend are 10% below national average.

So I Google the average cost of living and get the figure that Bend is 10% higher than national average.

Add in that years ago, Bend was rated the second most over-retailed town in America, behind Las Vegas.  (I can't find this -- and it was quite awhile back, but at least we can agree that Bend is over-retailed --)

Anyway, that 20% swing is significant.  I suspect it is not taken into account by most new businesses.

What I mean by that, is that most people constantly compare Bend to other places without being aware of these facts.  That they somehow think that because something happens elsewhere it can happen here, but there is a 20% less chance of doing well on average.

I think it's a little worse than that, actually.  The isolation factor -- in that there is no relief from nearby communities, or a real 4-year college, or a major jobs paying industry, or an interstate.  While most communities are not actually limited to their own population -- we really are.

Of course, we do have the benefit of tourism, but tourism creates minimum wage service jobs, in general. 

Just saying.  Bend is a challenge that most people walk into unknowingly.

No comments: