in case you missed it | Apocalypse not now


Apocalypse not now

Breaking news: The world didn’t end on May 21. For those of you keeping score at home, this is approximately the six fucktillionth predicted Apocalypse that has failed to materialize.

According to news reports, California preacher and radio host Harold Camping, the man behind this latest game of “throw a dart at the calendar,” has apologized for his mistake.

His excuse? He didn’t have the dates “worked out as accurately as I could have.”

What, did he forget to carry the one or something?

Forget for a moment that he was predicting the End Times, convincing people to give up their worldly possessions and generally being a nutcase who believes he has an equation for predicting when the world will end. He’s basically telling the world that he just half-assed his math, no big, he’ll get it right next time. We’re wondering how often he uses this excuse in his daily life. He probably “miscalculates” his wife’s birthday all the time and “incorrectly reckons” when his mortgage payment his due.

And while most of us took Camping’s “calculations” as seriously as a Magic 8 Ball prediction, thousands of people poured some — or all — of their life’s savings into this hack’s ministry. You have to be pretty hard-hearted not feel at least a little bad for those folks. And now they can’t even turn to Camping or family radio for help on what to do next.

“We’re not in the business of giving financial advice,” he said on his radio program Monday. Well, thank God for that.

Rent control revisited

According to a national report released on Monday, May 23, the average “housing wage” in Colorado has climbed to $17.76 an hour. That’s the amount needed for a family to afford rent and utilities in a modest home here in Colorado — almost $36,940 per year.

In Boulder, the wage is one penny higher at $17.77 and $36,957 per year.

The report, “Out of Reach 2011,” was jointly released by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, a Washington, D.C.-based organization, and Housing Colorado. The report details housing affordability data for every state and metro area in the country and reveals that Colorado has one of the most expensive rental markets in the nation.

While rents are high, earnings are not, with the average renter earning about $13.46 per hour, far beneath what they need to make rent, pay utilities, buy food and manage the other necessary expenses of life. In order to afford the Fair Market Rent for a two-bedroom apartment at this wage, a renter must work 53 hours per week, 52 weeks per year.

If this describes you, then we’re sad to offer you confirmation that, yes, your life sucks.

A study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University showed that almost 25 percent of Coloradans spend more than half of their income on housing and tied bud get crises related to housing with food insecurity, health-care problems and, not surprisingly, children’s school performance.

Hey, we don’t even have a real beach in Colorado, so what’s with the insane rental costs? How much profit do landlords need to make anyway?

We’d like to see the “free market” resolve this, but it seems the “free market” doesn’t give a shit about families. Rent control, a topic broached in the ’90s, ought to be back on the agenda.