Philip Greenspun wrote up an interesting little piece today about the poor having to choose between having a car and paying rent.
But it seems like these problems are generally found around urban areas where there is intense competition for housing and jobs. I wonder how much of this happens in rural areas. I’m sure it still does, but lower housing prices and minimum wage should compensate enough to allow people to at least rent, assuming that is, that they can find jobs.
I’ve often wondered why, instead of outsourcing things like call centers to other countries, why certain states with low property values and costs of living didn’t offer steep tax benefits for companies to offer training and employment to residents to increase standards of living. The local governments could provide low cost housing and workers could make a somewhat decent living off of minimum wage. Minimum wage itself may be too much for many companies currently out sourcing to other countries. And there is always the danger of setting up little corporate towns, run and dictated by the companies, essentially keeping their workers enslaved (coal miners anyone?).
Eventually we’re going to have to deal with this issue.