Wednesday, August 06, 2008

In Praise Of....Houston?

I came across this Ed Glaeser piece Houston, New York Has a Problem in the NY Sun praising Houston, of all places. He compares and contrasts NYC and Houston, and (more specifically) the growth the two cities have seen. The whole thing is worth reading, but the essence of what he thinks Houston brings to the table is this:

Houston's great advantage, it turns out, is its ability to provide affordable living for middle-income Americans, something that is increasingly hard to achieve in the Big Apple. That Houston is a middle-class city is mirrored in the nature of its economy. Both greater Houston and Manhattan have about 2 million employees.

Basically: unless you are extremely wealthy, you can't live too big in NYC. Recent immigrants in NYC have a very low standard of living by American standards, but generally still well above what it was where they emigrated from. If you're a run of the mill native American with a 'normal' middle class job, your dollar stretches much farther in the home of The Geto Boys.

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