Geography Is The Mother Of History, Or, Where You Live Matters, Choose Wisely
We’ve already learned that certain liberal, cool-seeming midwestern college towns might not be so swell if you’re a POC. Where, we might wonder, do minorities fare best? Forbes explored the data for African-Americans. Atlanta is tops, and so, in general, is the South.
Some of our most prosperous metro areas are also not working out well for blacks. These include San Francisco-Oakland, which tied with Pittsburgh for 48th, Los Angeles (40th) and Seattle (36th). In these cities, homeownership rates for African-Americans tend to be 10 to 15 percentage points lower, and self-employment close to half of what we see in greater Washington, Atlanta, Raleigh, Charlotte and the four big Texas cities.
Blacks populations have declined in some of these metro areas, including San Francisco, which has seen a 9.1% drop since 2000, and Los Angeles, where the African-American population has fallen 8%. Chicago (31st), long a major center of black America, has seen a 4% drop since 2000, while the black population of the New York metro area (24th) has grown just 2.4%.
For contrast, the Atlantic’s Olga Khazan has profiled one of the places where whites do worst.
In the coal-mining town of Grundy, Virginia, residents eke out a living mostly on disability payments from the government.
many of the people in the surrounding county, Buchanan, derive their income from Social Security Disability Insurance, the government program for people who are deemed unfit for work because of permanent physical or mental wounds. Along with neighboring counties, Buchanan has one of the highest percentages of adult disability recipients in the nation, according to a 2014 analysis by the Urban Institute’s Stephan Lindner. Nearly 20 percent of the area’s adult residents received government SSDI benefits in 2011, the most recent year Lindner was able to analyze.
According to Lindner’s calculations, five of the 10 counties that have the most people on disability are in Virginia — and so are four of the lowest, making the state an emblem of how wealth and work determine health and well-being. Six hours to the north, in Arlington, Fairfax, and Loudoun Counties, just one out of every hundred adults draws SSDI benefits. But Buchanan county is home to a shadow economy of maimed workers, eking out a living the only way they can — by joining the nation’s increasingly sizable disability rolls. “On certain days of the month you stay away from the post office,” says Priscilla Harris, a professor who teaches at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, “because that’s when the disability checks are coming in.”
Disability is I guess welfare for white people? The kind of federal spending and social safety net even Republicans are okay with.
And the Wall Street Journal has crunched the numbers to come up with the best places to live, no matter your color, in terms of how far your paycheck goes. Luckily for African-Americans, DC, which is a top destination for them in particular, scores well in this regard. Same goes for cities in North Carolina.
According to the analysis, workers in Washington, D.C. earn most both before ($63,680) and after ($53,875) adjustment for cost of living, allegedly the highest in the nation according to one measure …
Chief executives might want to head south. CEOs in Connecticut have the top average salaries of CEOs in any state, at $211,850. But the cost of living there brings the buying power of that paycheck down to $193,647, a significant drop. In North Carolina, CEOs earn $205,970 on average, which adjusts to $224,858 — the most of any state.