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San Diego Family Of 3 Needs $63,000 To Be Self Sufficient

It costs a family of three nearly $63,000 to be self- sufficient in San Diego County, about $10,000 more than three years ago, according to a study released today by the Insight Center for Community Economic Development.

The organization tallied the price of housing, food and health care, as well as transportation costs, child care and taxes, for a family with one adult, a school-age child and a preschooler.

"Even three full-time minimum wage jobs doesn't make enough to make ends meet in San Diego County," said Clare Crawford of the Center On Policy Initiatives, a San Diego-based advocacy group.

Crawford said the federal poverty level is inadequate in high-cost cities like San Diego, and that the Insight Center figures give a truer picture of the necessary family income.

More than 1 million San Diegans are living in households earning less than Insight's threshold, she said.

A single adult raising two young children would have to make $30 an hour to meet expenses.

A single adult living alone needs to make more than $29,000 per year to cover all of his or her basic expenses, according to the report, the "2011 California Family Economic Self-Sufficiency Standard."

In the last three years, taxes increased 29 percent, health care costs went up 27 percent and child care expenses climbed 22 percent, according to the report.

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Avatar for user 'HarryStreet'

HarryStreet | October 5, 2011 at 4:15 p.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

....and a partridge in a pear tree!!

So what? Do you really think our government will fight to enforce a LIVING WAGE in the U.S.? It's only a matter of time before we revolt same as they did in the Middle East. The revolted because of a lack of educational opportunities, careers, jobs, freedom, equality. Any of this ring a bell?

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Avatar for user 'PaulHillery'

PaulHillery | October 10, 2011 at 11:36 a.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

@David65. So true, when even the intellectually superior San Diego region has or is trying to ban living wages, calling it 'managed competion', what can expected?

@ KPBS: More importantly, I could not find ANYWHERE in the Center for Community Economic Development report where taxes went up by 29% in the last three is quoted in all the 'news' outlets as the leading 'cost' increase. Seems important; just wish I didn't need to do the footwork and still come up empty handed.

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Avatar for user 'Tammy Carpowich'

Tammy Carpowich, KPBS Staff | October 10, 2011 at 2:58 p.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

@PaulHillery~ I've asked someone from the Insight Center for Community Economic Development and the Center On Policy Initiatives to respond to your question. Stay tuned...

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Avatar for user 'JennyChungMejia'

JennyChungMejia | October 10, 2011 at 3:56 p.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

@PaulHillery and @KPBC - Thanks for your question regarding taxes. The tax rates did not change between the 2008 and 2011 Standards, but because the cost of most of the items that make up the Self-Sufficiency Standard have changed (e.g. child care and health care specifically), in order to earn enough money to meet the increased cost of these items, the Standard is higher and therefore the taxes are higher. Hope this helps.

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Avatar for user 'randolphslinky'

randolphslinky | October 11, 2011 at 8:08 a.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

It is tough to make it here, and while it's tough all around CA's biggest problem is that it promotes a welfare state. If you work, pay taxes, and are here legally you are the enemy. Your state and local government is going to stick it to you and ensure that someone from some other country that doesn't speak English is going to get a break on getting into college, getting a job, and on driving without a license.

And if you complain about how unfair and how contrary all of this to our laws you will be called a xenophobe, racist, or worse. Yes folks, this is California, a place of perpetual sunshine and perpetual nonsense in government.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | October 11, 2011 at 1:08 p.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

If one can not earn enough to cover the cost of living here perhaps there are better places to reside. I hear there are some more affordable places just to the South.

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Avatar for user 'babouc'

babouc | October 13, 2011 at 6:36 p.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

Our city hosts a large refugee population. It's important to keep in mind, regardless of your politics or opinions on culture and race, that these communities of refugees have been forced from their homes and livelihoods, often experiencing atrocities beyond anything we born in the US have any true conception of, and then pressured by the UN with promises of safety and opportunity for their families (these promises are reinforced by the US) to leave the refugee camps they fled to in order to be resettled in the US.

The overwhelming majority of these refugees have no other option other than minimum wage work. And despite being among the hardest workers in their respective places of employment, they have little chance to support their families and little chance to experience the geographic and economic mobility those of us born or raised in the US have access to. These are contributing members of our society, pursuing citizenship at the earliest opportunity, serving their adopted communities and country with a selflessness that put the above commenters' and their self-righteous arguments to shame. Yet they are at the whim of the same social welfare policies that the above commenters imply should eliminated. Explain the justice in that.

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