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home : opinion : editorials April 28, 2016


11/10/2013 6:00:00 AM
Editorial: Poverty list considered wrong skyline

Alan Choate
News Editor


According to a recent study, we're poor.

"We," in this case, is the Kingman-Lake Havasu City metropolitan statistical area, which was ranked fifth on a list of poorest cities compiled by an outfit called 24/7 Wall St. They used Census data, unemployment and poverty rates and other information to come up with their list, which generated more than few headlines - but it also left out some key considerations.

Here are the numbers: For 2012, our median income was $34,445; the unemployment rate was 9.9 percent; and our poverty rate was 21.7 percent, the 44th highest out of 372 metropolitan areas measured.

Contrast that with the Boston area, which ranked as the fifth richest city in the study. The median income there was more than double ours, at $71,738, and they had low unemployment (6.1 percent) and low poverty (10.7 percent).

Those numbers omit some other factors, the most important of which is cost of living. Sure, an average Boston worker makes more than twice as much as an average Kingmanite, but he or she also has to shell out a lot more money on minor details such as a place to live. Can you find a two-bedroom place in Boston in the $500 range? They'd just laugh at you - $500 a month might get you half a room in Beantown, but you probably wouldn't have a closet or kitchen access.

Then there's quality of life. I like Boston. I've always had a good time there, they have a fantastic mass transit system and there's plenty to do whether you prefer sports, dancing, live music or fine dining. But it also takes serious effort to go somewhere that isn't paved over or fenced in, and forget about solitude, unless you're OK with staying inside or maybe wandering the streets at 3 a.m.

One gets used to seeing mountains when living out west - I've got a decent mountain view from my front door, and you probably do too - and you can't put a price on being able to get away from it all within a 10-minute drive. But there's no statistical measure for "I like the sunsets" or "Living in a big city sucks out all of your energy," so we're left with the studies that we have.

They do contain some useful information.

The richest cities have a concentration of high-skill, high-wage jobs in fields such as financial services, technology, science and research, and professional services (including architects, engineers and doctors). That's obviously not the case in our area, which is heavy with retail and tourist-related employment. Not as much skill, not as much pay. It's great that we're getting new businesses - I will be among the hordes storming our new Tractor Supply Co., for instance - but those are not the jobs that a rich economy is built upon.

Rich cities are also educated cities. Almost 43 percent of Boston's residents have a college degree. In the Washington, D.C. area (No. 2 on the rich city list), more than 48 percent of residents have at least a bachelor's degree.

Nationally, 29 percent of the population had a college degree in 2012. In our area, that figure is a dismal 11.2 percent - and that figure, according to this study, ranks us dead last in the country for educational attainment.

So there's our challenge, and our opportunity. It would be great to attract businesses that employ locals, but we may have to settle for enticing companies here who will bring an educated workforce with them. I doubt Mohave County will ever make a Top 10 richest list, and that shouldn't be the goal. We want to be a place that has a diversified, healthy economy and a high quality of life.

They'll come for the low cost of living, and stay for the sunsets and the mountains.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, December 2, 2013
Article comment by: Oh Ya

" Do you even have a clue as to everything ALL women are responsible for whether they have children or not? Housework, yardwork, laundry, ironing, meals, bills, doctor and dentist visits, school functions, grocery shopping, chauffering, the list goes on and on. And many still have to work a 40 hour-a-week job, as well."

It's obviously you haven't read any modern magazines or paid attention to any studies. By their standards, you just described today's stay at home Dad's! Too funny!


Posted: Friday, November 29, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

[Comment exceeded word limit.]

Posted: Thursday, November 28, 2013
Article comment by: V Stokes

Guess what LGD?
I've been there. I cared for a child. Got him to school, fed him, helped with homework, cleaned house, washed clothes, etc. All the things you attribute to only women w/children. I still had time when I could have taken online or brick and mortar classes if I had wished.

By your thinking...apparently once someone is stuck at a minimum wage job, they can never get out. Unless, maybe, they are give "free stuff". Child care, medical, dental, education, transportation to name a few.

Women must have some time off as I see some neighbor kids completely un-supervised all day long. Weekends, summer, and school holidays they run the streets at will, parents nowhere in sight. I guess they must be taking classes or job training?


Posted: Sunday, November 24, 2013
Article comment by: Let's Try Something Different Than Republicanism

Ya know one must really ask - we, here in the Kingman area have been lead strickly by Republicans for the last two decades and where are we? Has our community improved? Has our quality of life been improved? Has the standard of living been rising? Oh yes, the few at the top are proud to be Republican and it has brought them great returns. But those with low paying jobs, those stagnant, those sad to see their children have no future here, those tired of seeing our town slowing attracting the low life, what should you conclude?

Posted: Sunday, November 24, 2013
Article comment by: Lori Gabriel-Dane

V Stokes:

I find your comment very condescending, especially toward women w/children. Do you even have a clue as to everything ALL women are responsible for whether they have children or not? Housework, yardwork, laundry, ironing, meals, bills, doctor and dentist visits, school functions, grocery shopping, chauffering, the list goes on and on. And many still have to work a 40 hour-a-week job, as well. There are no days off. No weekends to sit on their 'duffs' doing nothing. Women with children work 7/24, 365 days a year. For you to suggest that women w/children who work only 40 hours a week out of 168 should have plenty of time to better educate themselves is extremely chauvanistic. Believe me, women DO work 168 hours a week. You know that old saying, 'A woman's work is never done'? Guess what? It's true.

Even if a woman w/children found the time for online college courses, there is no guarantee that that will land her a good-paying job. What it will do, however, is rack up a huge loan payment that she has to figure out how to pay, along with her other bills.


Posted: Friday, November 22, 2013
Article comment by: V Stokes

"Whether single or with 3 children..."
Well, here's another difference. One of the 2 will be far below the poverty level and one far above it. So what difference has your $10 vs $7.25 really made? Probably just that the woman with 3 kids will collect less Government benefits. But actual changes to her life? Nil.

How about instead she get off her duff and get some education or training that will make her more valuable to her (or another) employer. There's 168 hrs in a week, she only worked 40.


Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2013
Article comment by: Lori Gabriel-Dane

FLS and V Stokes: A "living wage" of $10 or more should be considered a "minimum wage." Whether single or with 3 children, neither one is going to live high on the hog making $10 an hour. And, of course, a single person is going to live a little better than someone with children. But $10 p.h. is better than $7.25 an hour, which is currently what the minimum wage is. A few extra dollars an hour would certainly help someone with children.

Same job, same pay for a man or a woman, single or with children, that is what I believe. But I also believe that companies need to appreciate their employees by giving them a decent wage. Shame on me for thinking that a company pocketing billions of dollars in profits should pay their employees a measley $10 an hour. My bad.

FLS: I never said I wouldn't vote. Of course I will continue to vote. So why don't you quit making comments to me that make it sound like I have the sole power to "enact laws." The stupidity of your ridiculous questions and comments amuses me to no end. If there is a public vote, I will vote for whatever I believe is right.


Posted: Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Article comment by: Thanks for Asking


Too H, yes.


Posted: Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

“a good living wage is $10-12 an hour to start in any area.”

“in any area”? NYC? San Francisco?

Let's stay local. Two employees, same age, job, same, let's say, $11 per hour job.

Employee “A”. Single male or female, 25 years old. One bedroom apt. Only has to feed one.

Employee “B”. Single mother of 3. Has a 3 bedroom apt. and has to feed 4.

Using your suggested “good living wage”, which one is living “good” and which still in poverty? “A” or “B”?

I suspect you are more of a “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need” kind of leftist anyway, but screeching “living wage” just gets less ridicule.

“But, there is nothing I can do to enact laws, unless they are put up for a public vote.”

Wait, didn't you recently say “I don't decide anything”? I took that to mean you no longer vote.

“it should be up to the companies to treat their employees better.”

It 's their business and should be up to them, according to you, but yet your leftist screeching continues.

LOL


Posted: Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Article comment by: V Stokes

"WalMart wants their customers to donate food for WalMart employees?"

Actually, no they don't. The collection boxes are in an employee only area such as the loading dock.

So you never took up a collection of food or money for a fellow employee who may have been going through a hard time? Oh, you have? I see. But yet you crucify a Walmart store for doing the same thing.

Please, tell us again...exactly what is a living wage? And does a person with 3 kids get more money than a person with none, for the same job? How about Granny who has to take care of her grandkids when Mommy goes to jail. Does she get a raise? Tell us how those laws would be worded.


Posted: Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Article comment by: Lori Gabriel-Dane

Case in point: Ohio WalMart holds food drive for their own needy employees so they can enjoy Thanksgiving. (MSNBC 11/19/2013)

So, WalMart wants their customers to donate food for WalMart employees? Unbelievable. You mean to tell me that Walmart couldn't donate some of their own groceries to their needy employees? Obviously, WalMart is aware that they pay their employees so poorly that some of them can't even afford to have a decent holiday.

Go ahead FLS, tell me again how good WalMart is to their employees and that WalMart doesn't need to pay a "living wage" to their employees.


Posted: Sunday, November 17, 2013
Article comment by: Lori Gabriel-Dane

Linda, you're absolutely right - everyone knows what you and I will say. I'll defend Obama, and you'll bash him. Nothing you and I could say will sway either one of us to think differently. But, try as we might, we keep giving it a shot!

I just have one question for you. Since you think the Tea Party is so "good," please tell me what they have accomplished since they started out dressing up in tea bags. As far as I can tell, the only thing they have accomplished is to tear the Republican party apart. Bush had a low rating by the time he left office, but since the TPs became an influential part of that party, their rating has hit rock bottom. Why do you think that is, since they're so good?

As for Sarah Palin, she was a major reason why McCain lost to Obama. Some women do make good wives and mothers, can hunt, fish, and all that other stuff, and some women know what they're doing when they get into politics. Palin did not belong in that second group. She should have stayed in Alaska where she knew what she was doing.



Posted: Sunday, November 17, 2013
Article comment by: Lori Gabriel-Dane

FLS, no "deflection" on my part. But you are "deflecting" from addressing your own mistakes. I had already sent in a post with answers to your questions before I sent the one listing your mistakes. Don't know why the Miner didn't print it. In it, I mentioned that even the Vatican, as of 2009, admitted that "alien" life may, indeed, exist on other planets. Don't believe me? Look it up. So keep making fun of me for believing we are not alone. The Vatican has their own observatories and astronomers, so, obviously, they know something that you don't.

As for your other questions, a good living wage is $10-12 an hour to start in any area. But, there is nothing I can do to enact laws, unless they are put up for a public vote. Until then, if ever, it should be up to the companies to treat their employees better. Especially companies like WalMart.

And no, I didn't feel the slightest bit foolish for what I wrote. I wrote it exactly how I wanted it - it wasn't a mistake on my part. WalMart WOULD run better if they had employees who worked harder for getting a decent wage.


Posted: Saturday, November 16, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking



"FLS, since you are so quick to point out that someone misspelled a word or put in the wrong puncuation,....."

Nice deflection. Really doing your best NOT to answer the very simple question I put to you. What is a living wage for Mohave County. I already know the answer to my other question. What laws will you enact to get it done? The answer to that one is that you never will because leftists cannot win elections here.

As far as puntuation goes, I quess you must have really felt foolish after finding out what you actually had said. Not at all what you intended, was it?

LOL


Posted: Saturday, November 16, 2013
Article comment by: Linda Athens

Lori:

Hope your health problem is much improved. Don't get too wound up on here if it compromises your health. I think everyone pretty much knows what you and I are going to say before we say it anyway. Hahahaha!

Meanwhile, I believe the good Tea Partiers are hated for just that reason....because they are good.

Sarah Palin has been crucified and she actually has done nothing more than be a good Bible loving, praying, church attending Christian, still married to the same guy, apparently good Mother to five, hunts, fishes, helps her man run a business, has accepted her special needs child with love and joy

And in spite of a large family, when she has seen needs from the lowest to highest level, she has stepped forward to fill that need.

I actually think most people also hate her because...she is good...and they are envious.


Posted: Saturday, November 16, 2013
Article comment by: Lori Gabriel-Dane

FLS, since you are so quick to point out that someone misspelled a word or put in the wrong puncuation, I just thought I'd point out a few of YOUR errors from some of your posts on this thread.

electected
even even
empoyers
un-(benevelent alian space)Godly
screech louder their profits
"much better"if
what a a living wage

If you intend to keep calling people out on spelling or puncuation errors (or typos), you'd better first proofread and edit your own comments before submitting them. lol


Posted: Friday, November 15, 2013
Article comment by: Lori Gabriel-Dane

OKR, that's right. Blame the Demorats. That's the Republicans answer to everything, isn't it? Of course, TeaRepubs had nothing at all to do with the economy, low-paying jobs, lack of morality, lack of well-educated young people... oh wait, wasn't it Santorum that called Obama a "snob" because the president had the gall to say that everyone should go to college? Wasn't it the Republicans and Bush who previously trashed this economy, the stock market, the housing market, forced businesses to close, sent American jobs to China, and tried to get rid of unions (you know, those unions that try to get good wages and benefits for workers)?

I do believe people need to get better educated. But, besides the outrageous cost of going to college, having a college degree does not guarantee you'll get a good paying job, not when it's cheaper for companies to send their businesses overseas and hire Chinese workers who will work for much, much less. So, people take any job they can get, which is mostly low-paying jobs. It all boils down to greed. And the one thing that Tea/Repubs ARE good at, is promoting greed.


Posted: Friday, November 15, 2013
Article comment by: H Q

Where's our elected officials regarding this issue? Hiding?
They need to be out front on this not silent. Obviously it doesn't effect them or there group of good ole boys who are the very people that are responsible. Why isn't this matter on the council's or the BOS agenda's for not only
Discussion but action? Where the jobs like Brotherton campaigned on? They only have the interest on matters that effect the few and the hell with the rest of us. I say the hell with them and we elect people who will make a real change that we all can benefit from not just them!


Posted: Friday, November 15, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

Companies like Walmart, whose profits are in the billions of dollars,..."

Yeah, yeah....capitalism is evil to leftists, we get it.

"knows full well what a living wage would be,..."

How do they magically know? I cannot even get you, or other leftists, to say what a "living wage" should be and how you would enforce it being paid. I'll keep it simple, tell me what it would be in Mohave County, and how you will make it the law that they do so.

"and should be willing to pay the employees that keep that business running, much better than they do now."

By the way, your use of the comma in that line changed it to say their business would run much better if they paid the living wage you screech for. College, or even grade school, didn't teach you that?

And since you seem to think they are already making such an un-(benevelent alian space)Godly profit, you would only screech louder their profits went up. So now, due to the comma, explain how their business would run "much better”if they did what you demand.

Seems like they are doing well enough to keep you leftists upset.

LOL


Posted: Friday, November 15, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

"Well, the Pharmacy Manager could, but certainly not the cashiers."

Go into WalMart or any large store and you may notice there are now checkouts that have no cashier at all. That alone should give you an inkling of a clue at just how valuable and neccessary they are compared to a pharmacy manager. Surpised that did not even occur to you.

By the way, I am still waiting for you to tell us all what a "living wage" is, and who will determine what that is. But if you say (big) govt. will decide.......Get busy getting your fellow leftists elected to public office.

LOL



Posted: Friday, November 15, 2013
Article comment by: Amaryllis Smith

"Hogwash" you step in it every day and don't recognize it!
I watched the hearings on C-Span with Kathleen Seblius and she admitted no background checks for so called navigators and they could in fact be convicted criminals.
I too saw the investigation of interaction between navigators and potential enrollees for OB and one on verge of confessing to smoking more than regular tobacco was stopped by the person and told to "lie" or rates would be higher, another confessed to working and taking money under the table and not reporting on taxes, also told by navigator not to claim it now.
WOW!! WHAT a HELL of a wonderful program and country we now live in with a President who just exudes integrity and wonderness, at least in the myopia of others!


Posted: Friday, November 15, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

"What it boils down to is that businesses that may be making billions, can legally get away with paying their employees no less then $310 a week (before taxes) for full time employees."

Thank you for using the word "legally". If you are so against people doing what the law says they are "legally" allowed to do, especially here in AZ there are remedies. Get your fellow anti-capitalism leftists electected to public office so they can change the law(s). Why, you could even even run candidates on a promise to enact laws that will require empoyers to pay "living wage", even though you leftists will never say what that is or how you can apply such a law over different areas with varying costs of living.

But like I said, you can try. You won't succeed in AZ, but it would keep you busy.

LOL


Posted: Friday, November 15, 2013
Article comment by: Origional Kingman Resident

"Try raising a family on about $250 takehome a week. That is not enough to pay for rent, food and utilities, let alone any other basic necessities. "

You are not supposed to raise a family on a minimum wage job. Try getting an education, or vocational skills, or being the best cashier at WalMart and then asking to learn the next job up and the next job up until you are a manager.

The real issue is that our society has moved from expecting young people to be responsible, (prepare them selves to be self sufficient and put off starting families until they are financially stable), to the young people expecting society to take care of them because "it's not their fault they have 3 kids and earn minimum wage". We can thank the Democrats' Great Society for that, except it turns out it's not so great after all.

The true free market solution to WalMart's wage policies would be for people to stop shopping there and frequent grocery stores that pay cashiers $21/hour, (you can find these stores in CA where grocery workers are unionized). The "problem" is that the groceries cost much more at the stores that pay $21/hour and minimum wage workers with 3 kids can feed their families much better at WalMart's prices.


Posted: Thursday, November 14, 2013
Article comment by: Lori Gabriel-Dane

Oh wow, just read that Arizona raised the minimum wage 10 cents an hour. Starting January 1, the minimum wage will be $7.90 per hour. Waitresses will be making $4.90 an hour, plus whatever tips they are lucky enough to get, which a portion of those tips are now considered taxable income.

What it boils down to is that businesses that may be making billions, can legally get away with paying their employees no less then $310 a week (before taxes) for full time employees.

Walmart does offer their employees lots of benefits. But, only making a couple hundred dollars a week, who could afford to contribute to a retirement fund, or stock options, or 401K accounts, etc?. Well, the Pharmacy Manager could, but certainly not the cashiers.

Profits are what is left over after paying all expenses a company needs to pay out, including wages. So no, we don't need government to demand companies to pay their employees better. Companies like Walmart, whose profits are in the billions of dollars, knows full well what a living wage would be, and should be willing to pay the employees that keep that business running, much better than they do now.


Posted: Thursday, November 14, 2013
Article comment by: Lori Gabriel-Dane

No, FLS, I never claimed to be a business expert, but when companies like Walmart are making billions of dollars in profits each quarter, I'm sure they can afford to pay their employees better. According to statisticbrain.com, Walmart rakes in "$36,000,000 (36 million) every hour of every day." Walmart cashiers (working full time) make, on average, $17,000 a year. That breaks down to a bit more than $325 a week, BEFORE taxes are taken out. Try raising a family on about $250 takehome a week. That is not enough to pay for rent, food and utilities, let alone any other basic necessities.

And, for those of you who claim that a college degree is not important, all I can say is that being "street smart" because of life experiences, won't land you a job making $139,000 a year, which is what Walmart pays their Pharmacy Managers.

Burger King pays $13,000 a year for crew members, $17,000 a year for Shift Managers.

McDonalds crew members pay varies across the country from $11,000 to $15,000 a year (full time), and $29,000 for Assisitant Manager positions.

College DOES make a difference.

What? You never heard of government-set Minimum Wage?



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