by Leslee Kulba
Wild West blogger
An article in the local daily has me scratching my wee little noggin again. Now, I can definitely agree that Economic Development Specialist Tom Tveidt has a way of staying in front of the local media, and I can agree Asheville has crummy jobs. Normally, it’s the maids and waiters in the tourism industry who are cited as having indecent wages. But when the idea of lousy outputs from local business is the subject, as it is in this article, I think of the alternative healing parlors, tattoo parlors, piercing joints, fortune tellers, positive energy sellers, etc. This year, I expect to make between $20,000 and $25,000 as an independent contractor working well over 100 hours a week, paying employer taxes, and having no benefits. At that, everybody I know considers me not just rich but filthy rich.
So, I’m wondering how we reach the conclusion that in 2013 the Asheville MSA had an average household income of $43,916. People aren’t working 200-400 hours a week, and what couples remain for doubling up on household income are splitting up. With few exceptions, the only people getting married anymore are gays, and they don’t make up more than 10 percent of the population surely. So what? Is Tveidt factoring in alternative markets like drug sales, or do child support and food stamps count as income? Are the unemployed, or perhaps people making less than $20,000, just dropped from the stats? It’s hard to follow the money when you can’t even begin to sniff a trail.