Clara Barros/ Staff Writer
Miami has a Hollywoodian fame.
South Beach, celebrities and yachts.
Internationally, it’s viewed as a glamorous, wealthy, modern paradise — one of the most popular shopping destinations in the world.
But Miami isn’t like that for everyone.
In fact, the city is like that only for a minority of people. Many Miamians experience a completely different social reality in the very same geographical space.
In 2012, Miami was ranked by Forbes as the most miserable city in the United States. Some of the factors examined were violent crime stats, unemployment rates, foreclosures, taxes, home prices, political corruption and commuting times.
The magazine highlighted Miami’s housing crisis. It “has cost multitudes of residents their homes and jobs,” according to Kurt Badenhausen, Forbes’ Senior Editor.
Foreclosures have been rampant, and affordable housing is as scarce as ever.
To afford a simple one-bedroom apartment in the city today, a minimum wage earner would have to work 94.5 hours per week, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
A study by Trulia also showed that restaurant workers can’t afford 99 percent of Miami homes – a reality that coexists with luxury condos.
“Life is good for the likes of LeBron James,” Badenhausen wrote, “but if you’re among the 75% of households with an annual income under $75,000, it can be a hard place.”
Forbes also drew attention to Miami’s violent crime rate – considered one of the highest in the country – and to widespread corruption among politicians.
The latter problem actually pervades the entire Florida, which has been labeled the most corrupt state in the U.S. by nonprofit Integrity Florida.
Generally speaking, Miami has been seeing a scary growth of social inequality. In 2016, Bloomberg ranked the city as having the widest gap between rich and poor in the country.
Some counter-argue that Miami has more jobs today than before. While that’s true, there’s an important detail: “the quality, the wages, and the income of those jobs created have been significantly lower than they were in the past,” as Kevin Greiner, a senior fellow at FIU, told Bloomberg.
Miami is in even worse shape compared to other Floridian towns. A 2016 WalletHub report found it to be the city with the poorest residents of the Sunshine State – and, to top it off, they face very lengthy daily commutes.
In a word, what all research indicates is: living in Miami is hard if you’re not rich.
It’s not a city designed for the majority of us. It’s a city designed for people like pop singer Enrique Iglesias, who’s selling his Miami mansion for $8.9 million.
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Photo by James Gillespie on Unsplash.