A job, but there's a catch: a 1,000-mile commute

Discussion in 'Economics' started by Banjo, Feb 22, 2010.

  1. Banjo


    JANESVILLE, Wis. – In the early dawn, after another week building cars, Michael Hanley leaves his job in Kansas. He quickly zips into Missouri, then heads up a ribbon of highway past grain silos and grazing deer, across the frozen fields of Iowa, over the Mississippi River and into the rolling hills of Wisconsin. Finally, he pulls into his driveway — 530 miles later.

    It's one heck of a haul: more than 1,000 miles roundtrip, 16-plus hours of driving, every week.

    "I like to say I gave up an eight-minute commute for an eight-hour commute," he says wearily, running a hand though salt-and-pepper hair as he watches his two sons play basketball for the first time this season.

    After the aging General Motors plant where he worked for 23 years was idled about a year ago, Hanley faced a Hobson's choice: Stay with his family and search for an autoworker's salary ($28 an hour) in a county where more than 40 percent of its manufacturing jobs disappeared from 2006 to 2009. Or hang on to his GM paycheck and health insurance and follow the job, no matter where it leads.
  2. Or MOVE.

    I took a job a year ago while living in northern NJ. The job was in Baltimore, MD. It was much better pay and a better company. We opted to move, and it took a while to sell the house in this market.

    So for 6 months, I got a cheap apartment down in Baltimore and lived down there during the week to commute home each weekend. I didn't get to spend a lot of time with my little boy either. Then, 4 months later, we sold our house and moved.

    That's the choice. This guy in the article needs to do the analysis to see how much he spends in gas. But to simply whine about it doesn't solve anything.
  3. 1000 miles in a 20 MPG car and thats 50 gallons of gas. Lets make a high figure of 3 dollars per gallon and he is spending $150 per week on gas. Can he get an apartment for $600 per month in his new city? Maybe. Add in utilities and such and he is probably saving money commuting though. If he is making $1100 per week ($1500 if he works overtime) its kind of a drop in the bucket. I would probably move if i where him though. My time is very precious to me and spending 800 hours per year in my car isnt a pleasant thought. For those of you that didnt do the math...thats 1 straight month of driving or 33 days. I cant imagine spending 1/12 of my life in my car.
  4. Milwaukee, WI airport is 80 miles from his home in Janesville, WI and Kansas City, MO airport is 7 miles from his office in Fairfax, KS.

    Kayak.com has tickets priced approx. $170 for return trip between these airports and travel time is 1 hr 30 min each way.

    Why on earth is this guy spending $180 on gas, putting 1,000 miles on the vehicle and driving 16 hours?
  5. I dunno, Ivan. I was a mobile professional like you and was willing to move around chasing higher pay and opportunities.

    Many people are rooted in their communities and would work at WalMart before relocating. I won't pass judgment on people like this and say it's stupid, etc.

    In retrospect I wouldn't have moved around as much, mainly because of the stress it caused my wife and kids. I've been advising my kids to move around when they're young and single and to settle when they have families.
  6. This is news ?

    There are at least 1000 people who live in Philadelphia and commute to New York every day. That is 94 miles one way, 188 miles roundtrip a day or 940 miles a week.

    There are other people who live in Philadelphia suburbs that have an even longer comuute to New York. I have even heard of people commuting from Wilmington, DE to New York (123 miles one way, 246 miles roundtrip a day or 1230 miles a week).
  7. Bob111


    for each auto worker story like this one i can bring 10 IT guys story's.
    and those are people with much higher education level than assembly line workers..
  8. I'm not saying he should move. I'm saying he should move rather then whine about it. If it is his choice to stay where he is, then he accepts the fact he'll have to commute that much. But seeing a news article about it makes me go, "hey buddy, you DO have a choice, you know!"
  9. LOL baltimore is a shithole
    #10     Feb 22, 2010