If you adjust for the cost of living, Eamon Moynihan says, you’ll find New York is the poorest place in America:

Based on data from C2ER, a company that has been producing cost-of-living estimates for years, someone earning $50,798 in Chicago or $62,741 in Washington, D.C. enjoys the same standard of living as someone earning $100,000 in New York City.

Once you apply that cost of living to 2006 estimates of median household income, you realize that New York State ranked last in the nation in purchasing power. The adjusted figure for New York was $38,986; for Mississippi, it was $42,984.

The result is that New York City residents have far less purchasing power than anyone seems to realize.

Moynihan has started the “Cost of Living Project” to help bring more attention to this so-called “problem”.

I’m not sure how much sympathy I have for the denizens of New York City. During my time living there, I found the vast majority of individuals I’d met were transplants. Non-natives. People who chose to move to New York City for whatever wild-eyed fantasy they’d dreamed up in their head of life in the big city. And while nearly all of them would complain about nearly every aspect of New York life, from the costs of rent, to the size of their apartment, the crowded subways, to the garbage-soaked streets, it was always easily outweighed in their minds by the other amenities of the city.

Yes, rent was atrocious, but living in New York was unlike any other city they’d lived in. The pace of it, the atmosphere of Gotham itself, seemed worth the price of admission. And either you agreed or there was something terribly wrong with you.