Of the country’s 25 most populated cities, San Jose has the highest median household income: near $77,000, compared to the national median of $51,000. San Jose’s success is thanks in part to its high-tech culture.MarketWatch lists the five richest, with median incomes:
- San Jose, $77,000
- San Francisco: $70,000
- Washington, DC: $63,000
- Seattle: $61,000
- San Diego: $61,000
On the flip side is Detroit, with a $25,000 median income—the lowest of the 25 cities. Just 13% of its residents age 25 and up have college degrees; the national figure is 29%. The bottom five:
- Detroit, $25,000
- Philadelphia: $34,000
- Memphis: $35,000
- Baltimore: $39,000
- Indianapolis: $39,000
The People’s Republic of San Francisco San Franciscans passed a proposition in 2003 that requires the city to increase the minimum wage each year, using a formula tied to inflation and the cost of living.
Karl Kramer of the San Francisco Living Wage Coalition said a decent wage for a single adult without children in the city would be $15, and that doubles when you have at least one child or more. But like other advocates of better wages, he’s still pleased that San Francisco will be the first in the nation to top $10.
“It helps workers’ morale in a time of economic crisis; they feel that they’re able to tread water and get some relief from the recession,” said Kramer.
While the city is at the forefront of attempting to provide a decent living wage, most employees say it’s still not a wage to live on, that the 32-cent hike seems like peanuts. And some employers say it could lead to layoffs by small businesses already forced to pay federal, state and city payroll taxes as well as a slew of other city-mandated taxes.
What the average San Franciscan may not know, he said, is that business owners also must pay another $1.23 to $1.85 an hour per employee for health-care coverage if they don’t offer health insurance. San Francisco is also the only city in the state that charges a payroll tax of 1.5 percent; it also mandates nine paid sick days annually per employee.
He said that by the time you add up all the mandates and taxes that city employers must pay for their minimum-wage workers, the payroll burden is at least 25 to 40 percent higher than other Bay Area cities.
San Francisco’s Happy Meal ban kicked in last week, but McDonald’s has found a very simple way to dodge it.
The law bans restaurants from including a toy with a meal if that meal doesn’t comply with the city’s nutritional guidelines, however, McDonald’s is selling Happy Meals without toys—and selling the toys as an add-on for an extra 10 cents.
Before the ban, McDonald’s customers could buy the toy for $2.18 without having to buy a Happy Meal. That option no longer exists: Parents must buy the Happy Meal to access the 10-cent toy option. That means San Francisco’s law is likely to result in the sale of more “unhealthy” children’s meals—and make more money for McDonald’s, SF Weekly notes.