How Much Is Enough?

Living Wage
5:42 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

South Florida Wages Not Growing Very Quickly

Wage growth in South Florida is tapering off.
Credit Creative commons courtesy of Flickr user Images_of_Money

Workers wages and salaries grew 2.4 percent over the past 12 months. That's down from 2.6-percent growth half a year ago. Which not only means there has not been a lot of growth, but that what we have had is slowing.

On top of that, total compensation, which includes things like salaries plus health benefits and bonuses, has not been growing at a comparable rate.

As the wage growth slows, other costs of living like housing, food and transportation continues to rise at a much higher rate--putting more pressure on peoples’ pockets.

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How Much Is Enough?
12:50 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Here's What It Takes To Make Ends Meet In South Florida

Should the contents of this, or similar, grocery carts be used to determine the poverty line?
Credit Wilson Sayre

According to the federal government, "enough" is a simple, five-figure amount: $23,850. That's the poverty line. It marks a distinction between who is poor and who is not, who doesn’t have enough money to make ends meet and who does.

But over the past month, I've asked you to tell me what you think it really takes to live in South Florida. Your answers averaged about $47,600 a year -- almost exactly twice the federal poverty level.

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Farm Bill
7:09 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Food Stamp Cuts Won't Hurt South Florida Too Badly

One of the first U.S. food stamps.
Credit Library of Congress

The U.S. House of Representative voted Wednesday to approve a new farm bill after a two-year standoff. It cuts $8 billion over the next decade from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, also known as food stamps, but the brunt of those cuts won’t be felt in South Florida.

The food stamp program accounts for almost 80 percent of the current farm bill. With pressure to reduce spending, it was inevitable that the program would be scaled back.

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How Much Is Enough?
8:24 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Pay For Pretty Peppers -- Farmers Will Donate The Ugly Ones

For lower-income families, fresh produce can be prohibitively expensive.
Credit Wilson Sayre

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one in seven South Floridians can't afford the food they need to stay healthy.

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How Much Is Enough?
8:39 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Riding The Bus Is Cheaper Than Driving. Isn't It?

The view from inside the 120 bus en route to South Beach.
Credit Wilson Sayre

On the surface, taking public transportation in South Florida is unquestionably cheaper than driving.

But there are hidden costs associated with a commute, stemming from the amount of time behind a wheel or sitting on a bus, and the value of your time in both financial and immaterial terms.

I wanted to find out: At what point is it more valuable to drive than to take public transportation?

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How Much Is Enough?
5:44 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Foreign Buys Drive Hopeful Homeowners To Spend More On Rent

The sight for many home seekers in Miami, 'for sale' signs are few and far between.
Credit Wilson Sayre

Foreign investors have been gobbling up properties all over South Florida, often paying with cash. And banks are less willing to take a risk with families who need financing in lieu of cash.

This affects the percentage of income South Floridians spend on housing, because when it's harder to purchase a house, more people rent. And when more people are renting, rent prices go up.

For six years now, home-seeker Lionel Lightbourne has been looking for a home with his wife and the seven kids they have between them, aged 15 to 28.

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How Much Is Enough?
5:42 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Who Is Winning The War On Poverty?

50 years after President Johnson's War on Poverty, how are we doing?
Credit Creative Commons via Flickr

This Jan. 8 marks the 50th anniversary of former President Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty, which left a checkered legacy after 1960s policies to combat growing poverty. We thought this marked an appropriate time to take stock of how local communities are doing.

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Viviendo En El Sur De La Florida
11:21 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Díganos: ¿Cuánto Dinero Necesita Para Mantener Su Estilo De Vida?

¿Cuántos de estos necesita?
Credit Credit Creative Commons via Flickr user Low Jianwei

Siguiendo la discusión nacional de salarios mínimos y la ayuda que el gobierno provee al respecto, el equipo de WLRN-Miami Herald News quiere saber cuánto le cuesta vivir en el sur de la Florida.

Nadie está libre de pagar por gastos básicos como la comida, ropa, renta y costos de utilidades. Algunos no tienen problema cubriendo esos gastos, mientras que otros luchan para llegar al fin de mes.

Queremos saber qué piensan al respecto para nuestro proyecto llamado "¿Cuánto Dinero Necesita?".

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Living in South Florida
2:33 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Tell WLRN: How Much Is Enough To Live In South Florida?

How many piggy banks do you need?
Credit Creative Commons via Flickr user Low Jianwei

Following national discussion about minimum wages, livable wages, and government assistance, WLRN-Miami Herald News wants to explore just what it takes to live in South Florida.

No one is exempt from paying for things: food, clothing, rent, bills -- the list goes on. Some of us can easily afford life's expenses, while others struggle to make ends meet.

We want to explore your views on these topics through a series called "How Much Is Enough?"

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