Jun 27 2009
It seems fitting to quote the late great Jim Croce at this moment, as his ballad clearly states the New York is a fine place to visit but ‘he’s gotta get outta here.” And so must I.
The deal is, quite frankly, that I can’t afford to live here. The New York area is firmly a two-income market. Houses that are 100 years old and upwards of 1000 square feet regularly sell for $400K or more. There are local taxes, state taxes – that are sometimes layered if you work in New York but live in the “tri-state area.” Can you say AMT? I knew you could. Also there are just tons of job openings here – saying loud and clear that no one wants to come here. Predictably the meltdown on Wall Street caused a multi-BILLION dollar short-fall in tax revenue. And even when the financial district recovers, they can carry all the money they lost ahead for the next five years so that tax revenue isn’t coming back any time soon. Also predictably, all governments between the MTA and Albany are figuring out new thing to tax or levy fees to make it up. Everything from taxing health benefits, to reinstate the commuters’ tax, to charging a $.06 fee on those plastic bags from the grocery store. Certainly income and sales taxes will go up. The affluent are already saying ‘New York’s a great place to visit, but I’m tired of paying to live here.” And so it goes.
I do have to say that I love my job – the company is great. It’s great work, with great people, and great benefits. I know definitely that I’m a better programmer and engineer from the experience. The problem is a stark contrast to the quality of the job – I just can’t make enough money to live. Moving my family here would put me solidly on a treadmill, one that I would never recover from.
This part of the country is solidly subject to Elizabeth Warren’s theories detailed in The Two-Income Trap. That is, so many households here have both spouses working that the price of everything has increased to meet that household income, to the point where no one can afford any kind of lifestyle unless both spouses work. So if you want to have a traditional household where the father works and the mother stays home and actually raises the kids (as opposed to the school system) then you’re just plain SOL.
So I’m going back on the job market. I need to find a job in Texas – a place where I have family and things cost something sane.
So, If you’re looking for a top-notch C++ systems level programmer and you’re not in New York – give me a call. I’ve updated my resume and it’s available at the link to the right.