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In the wake of the Dems' first health care victory (there will be more to come) MSNBC's Mornin' Joe Scarborough lamented average New Yorkers inability to pay the wealth tax. As Joe cried, with his highly paid talking head cohorts nodding in agreement, "you can't have a family in Manhattan for under $200,000!" So how does the Average Joe make it in Manhattan?

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In the wake of the Dems' first health care victory (there will be more to come) MSNBC's Mornin' Joe Scarborough lamented average New Yorkers inability to pay the wealth tax. As Joe cried, with his highly paid talking head cohorts nodding in agreement, "you can't have a family in Manhattan for under $200,000!" Advertising millionaire, Donny Deutch agreed that Joe was right but that overall health care reform was a good thing. Pundit Nor'easternaire, Mike Barnacle chuckles in agreement. (Does anyone have the video of the segment a week or so ago?)

Mornin' Joe had made this case more than once on his show and no one on his panel of elites ever pushed back. So were these guys for real; telling the truth? Hearing these on-air millionaires left me wondering how does the Average Joe make it in Manhattan? For if one can't have a family and a house in Manhattan without making 200,000 smackers then how on earth does the place stay so crowded (and noisy)?!?

So I've done a little bit of digging to see if I can get a better picture and thought I'd share with you all. According a March 2010 release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average weekly income in Manhattan is $1,520. That comes out to and average income of $79,040 per Manhattanite ($1520 X 52 weeks).

My figure comes close to the $76,800 figure provided by New York's, Center for Urban Pedagogy whose figure is based on 2006 data. The Center doesn't provide much in the way of how they derive their data, and they seem to equate the $76,800 figure as total family income. But they have created an interactive map that compares Manhattan income distribution which is revealing on a basic level. Just check out how the bar chart moves when you compare the Upper East Side to Washington Heights.  Or if you'd rather, here's a pdfof the total distribution.

From these data sources it looks like Mornin' Joe and his lackeys are full of coffee grind. Many of the people that live in Manhattan are getting by (squeaking by) on their income and I'm sure they are hopeful that health care reform will bring them some relief. I hope that someone finally calls Mornin' Joe on his warped view of the world and hits him with some data that shows what the Average Joes in this country are up against.

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Originally posted to squashua on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 11:41 PM PDT.

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