by Phoenix A. Desertsong, Staff Writer, Healer & Advocate
In August 2018, Denver Business Journal reported that a couple of recent economic studies had Colorado as one of the top state economies in the United States. One report had Colorado 4th in the nation and another had Colorado first! The report talked about statistics such as poverty rate, home ownership, job growth and education. While these stats aren’t wrong, and Colorado ranks quite well in all of these things, I actually got really mad reading this.
Oftentimes, statistics are very deceiving. While the numbers don’t lie, and there are things going well in Colorado, the reality is that it’s not as good as it looks. I live in Denver. Sure, home ownership is at an all-time high.
The problem is that most people can’t afford homes here now. Rent is actually even higher than most mortgages. So, there are a lot of homeless people walking around. A lot of them have jobs, but they can't afford the skyrocketing cost of housing!
Sure, they keep building affordable housing here in Colorado. But, the lists are so long for it - years long. That’s because business in Denver is so concerned about bringing people in from out of state. They come in and buy a large majority of the properties on the market. That leaves behind the people that were born and raised here to fight over very limited leftovers! Because the competition is so intense, rent and mortgage costs skyrocket.
While I myself came from out of state, it was because of people who were already here that I came here. Over the years, I’ve seen how many people have to all cram into one house to be able to afford to live and some of them have fairly high paying jobs! You can't say people are being lazy.
Yes, the unemployment rate is low. That’s because people are working! They still can't afford to live. When you see seven cars owned by different people (this isn’t an exaggeration) at one house, you know something is wrong. Sure, Colorado's economy is growing, but at the expense of people that live here! There’s nothing wrong with people coming in from out of state, but there is a problem when it costs the people that live here the chance at affordable housing.
If things keep up the way they are, most people are going to end up homeless. The middle class is shrinking and poverty is growing. Many people are treading water, and if they take any sort of pay cut or reduction in hours, they will be on the street. There are plenty of jobs, but they don't pay enough to even be close to reaching the increasing costs of living!
Wake up people! Colorado’s economy may look good on paper right now, but it’s enjoying a bubble. It will burst sooner or later, if people here don’t realize what a problem there really is.
~ Phoenix <3 ~
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