According to this article, the median income in the US is currently just $32,879, which seems shockingly low to me. And the official poverty threshold for a single person is $11,201. I can't help thinking that the cost of living must be extremely lower in other parts of the country, because there's no way you could live on that little in Washington state. And though I make more than half of my countrymen (which surprises the hell out of me), I couldn't even dream about owning a home around here. Even if I were in the top 25%, making $66,532, I'm not sure I could afford a home without moving a long way from the city into a rural area, and even then the cost of commuting would be prohibitive, or I would have to find another job in the rural area which wouldn't pay as much. I just don't see how these numbers are possible.
The other interesting bit of news I found is this article. The theme is that in order to bridge budget gaps, the Golden Gate Bridge is planning on offering "behind the scenes" tours of the bridge. I'm not sure how much appeal that really has, none to me, but the writer of the article went one step further and asked what would people pay for. Go to Estee Lauder and create your own perfume? Pay Burlington Northern to let you conduct a train for a day? Pay Caterpillar to get to operate one of their giant pieces of construction equipment? The last one isn't bad, but what I really want is to find a demolition company that will let me push the plunger and blow up a building. Blowing up any building would be fun, but more specifically, I would love to blow up Fenway Park. When the Red Sox decide it's time to build a new stadium, instead of burdening the taxpayers of Boston with the bill, they should hold a lottery to blow up Fenway. Within minutes of tickets going on sale, they would make more than the cost of a new stadium from Yankee fans alone. I think this will become the new financial model for all new stadium construction.
Other things I think people would pay for include:
Riding shotgun in a NASCAR race. I would personally rather ride in a Formula 1 car, but there is a distinct lack of available space for a passenger. I'm not a NASCAR fan, but as far as I know they, along with some of the IMSA vehicles, are the only ones that could accomodate a passenger and I could tolerate hicks for the chance to fly down the front straight at 200+ mph.
Firing people on behalf of Donald Trump.
Riding in a tank, or any large military vehicle for that matter. Particularly if you can go out on a range and fire the cannon.
Ringing the opening bell at the stock exchange. Were I allowed to do this, I'm sure it would coincide with the next great crash.
That's all I've got for now.