Sunday On CBS Tackles Jackson Hole’s Bogus Economy
It has become so expensive to live in Jackson Hole Wyoming that the long-running TV show Sunday On CBS did a special feature on it.
You can watch their report in the video below.
Teton County in Wyoming is home to the widest income divide in America, with a median house price of more than $3.5 million and an average income of $312,000. Correspondent Ben Tracy looks at how the wealthy, drawn to the state's picture-perfect settings, have been squeezing out the middle class – the very people needed to keep the community running.
The story features a resident named Elizabeth who moved from Massachusetts because she loved the area.
She took a good job that would have made her a living anywhere else. But in Jackson, she spent the first half a year living in her van.
In the past 4 years, she has lived in 8 or 9 places, with multiple roommates.
The average income in Teton county is $300,000 a year. The average home price is $3,000000. That's a lot of zeros.
So people with average jobs just can't make it. They can't even afford a basic apartment.
There is a saying in town that a person either has 3 homes or 3 jobs.
Many of the people who live and own in Teton County moved there because Wyoming does not have a state income tax or a cooperate tax.
Yet all the money they spend in the area is pricing out folks who, under any other conditions, would have a nice home and a good life. There is no middle class left in Jackson Wyoming.
Most of the story revolves around what they consider "income inequality."
Yet the way free markets work, if the situation is left to run its course, the problem will stabilize on its own.
If the rich want to keep their nice homes looking nice and keep their restaurants, stores, and coffee shops, they will have to figure out some economic changes.
Market history shows us that the people who need employees will find a way to attract them, and keep them. That will change the market structure of the area in time.