One of the reasons I left NJ was because I could not make ends meet. Do to a sluggish economy finding other work was not possible. I was driving taxi for BELMAR CAR SERVICE. After child support payments were taken out, I averaged $80 to $90 a week in take home pay. Tips might have been $75 a week when I left. Our regular alcoholics who used our service several times a week started to get tighter with the buck. Sure, no problem dropping $40 at the bar. When they were paying the fair I'd get a sob story about how tight money is. If anyone in NJ can explain to me how I could survive on less than $175 a week for 60 hours work, I'll come back. The latest word I have heard through the grapevine is that business is even slower. This summer probably won't be anything to boast of on the shore.
EXHIBIT B: The cost of living in New Jersey. I had left a one bedroom garden apartment in Neptune City NJ. that I was paying $1,100 a month for. $1,100 a month to listen to neighbors play loud music and deal crack. I moved to the cheapest I could find. When I left the Garden State, I was trying to pay $700 a month to share a house with two others. That's a total of $2,100 a month for a three bedroom house. Winter rental, meaning when the summer came, the landlord intended to boot us out so he could try to rent it for about $10,000 a month in the summer. To top it off, the landlord would daily let himself in unannounced to use the bathroom and turn the thermostat down to his preference. Last fall he told one of us that a drinking buddy of the his would be in from out of town for a few days and would be crashing on our couch.
I mentioned the above to my current landlord and he was appalled and dumbfounded that anyone would pay that kind of money to rent a house, let alone put up with boorish landlord. I didn't even tell how the one roomate would come home at closing time and try to cook. A few nights I was woken up at 3 AM by smoke alarms. One morning when I came home the house was filled with gas from him not turning off the stove properly. A tiny spark would've launched the dwelling into the stratosphere. Here in New Orleans I am paying $75 a week for a room in a decent area without the bullshit.