Colorado Springs, Colorado–the most desirable place to live in America, according to the most recent trends. Home Affordability, lower cost of living, investments in local infrastructure are the main reasons. Falcon, Colorado, a suburb of Colorado Springs, has gone from a small farming community to a thriving suburb with those who commute to downtown for work. Yet, are the articles providing an honest assessment? Who actually has access to the market? What is affordable for some, is out of the question for many.
If you speak to native Coloradans and those involved in helping Colorado Springs grow, you will hear honest opinions as to why these communities are growing so quickly. Furthermore, you will hear opinions on which groups actually have access to the housing market. Here is what one local realtor had to say:
For the most part, those buying homes in the Springs work for the government. They either belong to the military, or they work for a government contractor that provides for the military in some capacity. If I were to put a percentage on it, I would say 90% of those buying homes in the Springs are either government workers, government contractors, or technology sector employees that indirectly provide for the government.
A community sales manager for a new home builder also echoed these remarks:
I have yet to sell a new home to anyone that works outside of government or big tech. If they don’t work for one of those, they are retired and at one point used to work for the military or the government.
So, why do local reports ignore the hard truths about what is driving the housing boom in their local markets? Well, it is undeniably America’s best kept secret: we are already a socialist nation where the majority of economic wealth is held in tech monopolies and the government sector. In fact, on average 1 out of 5 Americans work for the government. 2 out of 5 Americans are unemployed. And the remaining 2 out of 5 actually work for a living without stealing from their neighbor. The bureau of labor statistics does not account for those that work for government contractors either, as they consider those groups as part of the private sector. When you consider that fact, the data becomes alarming.
But….but…but…private sector employees have a better chance of making more money than government workers, right? Wrong. According to the Congressional Budget Office:
- Federal civilian workers whose highest level of education was a bachelor’s degree earned 5 percent more, on average, in the federal government than in the private sector.
- Federal civilian workers with no more than a high school education earned 34 percent more, on average, than similar workers in the private sector.
- By contrast, federal workers with a professional degree or doctorate earned 24 percent less, on average, than their private-sector counterparts.**
We put an asterisk next to this statistic, as the Foundation for Economic Education found that this data did not account for benefits and pension funds. All in all, they found that Federal government workers made on average 17% more than their private sector counterparts. The report also highlighted interesting observations made by those studying the opinions of government employees:
- “59 percent of federal workers say securing a paycheck was more important than doing something worthwhile.”
- “65 percent say job security was more important than helping the public.”
- “only 30 percent believe their organization does a very or somewhat good job of disciplining poor performers.”
Through and through, the ability to own a home for most is an integral part of what personifies the “American Dream.” While trendy articles promote Colorado Springs as “the best place to live,” that may be true, especially if you work for the government or a government contractor. It is a simple observation—if you make more money, you are more qualified to own a home. Especially if you are receiving multiple forms of retirement, which is standard for many veterans when they enter civil service. I have spoken to several veterans who receive 3 different forms of retirement—different job, different retirement fund. It is no wonder they are purchasing $800,000 homes and still have room to buy toys like RVS, motorbikes, ATVS, etc.
So, when considering this information—ask yourselves—are we still living in a capitalist free market?
Sauter, Michael B. “Public Sector Jobs: States Where the Most People Work for the Government.” USA Today. June 01, 2018. Accessed December 16, 2018. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/economy/2018/06/01/states-where-the-most-people-work-for-government/35302753/.
Agresti, James D. “A Look at Pay for Federal Employees Compared to Their Private-Sector Counterparts | James D. Agresti.” FEE. September 05, 2018. Accessed December 16, 2018. https://fee.org/articles/a-look-at-pay-for-federal-employees-compared-to-their-private-sector-counterparts/.