It’s Cheap to Live in El Paso

Here’s the kind of news story you usually see blasted from the El Paso Times. This version came to us from Fox News via Yahoo.

Roughly 70% of the U.S. adult population considers themselves middle class with more than half having incomes ranging from $50,000 to $125,000 a year, according to recent data from Northwestern Mutual.

. . .

GoBankingRates surveyed living expenses in 270 of the largest U.S. cities to see where people could get by on the average annual salary of $49,630 or less. To calculate the income needed to live comfortably in each city, the company said it used the 50-30-20 budgeting rule, which means 50% of income covers necessities, 30% covers discretionary items (i.e. fun) and 20% savings.

Here are the top 5 cheapest places to live with a $50,000 salary:

1) El Paso, Texas
Total salary needed: $40,204.
Why? It has the second-lowest median rent at $555 per month and the third-lowest cost of groceries and sixth lowest cost of utilities. Plus, El Paso’s rent prices have been falling this year, representing a decline of almost 15%.

Cheap rents, check. Cheap groceries, check. Cheap utilities, hmm, I’m going to have to look into that one.

But what? El Paso’s rent prices have declined almost 15% this year alone?

Of course prices are determined by supply and demand, but I have to think that a nearly 15% decline in rents can’t be solely attributable to all those new apartments. I have to think that there must have been a decline in demand, as well.

Like the way the real prices of homes in the El Paso Independent School District fell three percent this year.

You’d think that some of our civic leaders would try to address the crisis of our declining tax base, but they’re too busy trying to stick us with a $180,000,000 (at least) sports arena that we don’t need.

The way our tax base is collapsing, you’d think the prudent thing for our elected officials to do would be to curtail spending until we stanch the bleeding. But our elected officials want to hurry up and spend the money before the taxpayers notice the gorilla in the room.

I hope our City Council is getting bribes, because they sure are earning them.

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