by John Rubino, Dollar Collapse:
Not so long ago, a reasonably-presentable American could live an hour outside of a city and commute in for a government or banking job, thus getting the best of both worlds: city-level wages and a 3,000 square foot house with a big yard for the kids.
But then municipal governments ran out of money and started laying off, while banks, traumatized by their 2009 near-death experience, cut back on mortgage and consumer lending and fired the related staff. The only other jobs available were in service industries like food and retail that paid next to nothing and didn’t offer benefits.
Meanwhile, the cost of living in and commuting from suburbia has been rising. The chart below shows the average price of a gallon of gas, a pretty good proxy for the cost of a daily commute, up by nearly 50% since 2005. At about $3.60 a gallon, the current national average price is 7 cents higher than it was a year ago, with no letup in sight.
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