I love New York. I used to have to go there once a month and when I started going I hated it. Getting off a plane at LaGuardia at 10 in the evening and then putting your life in the hands of a New York cabbie was highly stressful. Then Rudy Guiliani came along and really changed things. My wife once asked if I would ever want to live in New York. Without thinking, I said only if I was single. That ended that but I still liked to visit.
The key word there is 'visit.' I wouldn't want to live there and maybe you shouldn't either because of taxes and reverse migration--people leaving rather than coming to the state.
First for salaries. Most people are smart enough to figure out that some places have higher costs than others and the pay is adusted accordingly. But starting out this is often not the case ie., the gap is narrower. So assuming there is no great monetary advantage to New York for somebody just starting out lets look at some things that are higher in New York, courtesy of Forbes magazine.
A married couple will hit the state's top rate of 6.85% at earnings of $40,000. That is $40,000 together. A single person gets hit with the top rate at $20,000. Put another way, if you make $50,000 in New York you pay an extra $2,055 in taxes than if you lived in Texas or Florida or one of the other states with no income tax. Ouch.
Forbes notes a few results of high taxes--people are fleeing the state and upstate New York is "an economic wasteland." I used to have to go to Buffalo as well and I loved the people but they all left.
So why are taxes so high in New York? Spending. The biggest expense is Medicaid which does not apply to you if you are young and half way healthy. You are paying for somebody else. Medicaid costs $46 billion in New York. So what? Put another way that is more than what Texas and Florida pay COMBINED. And there are a lot of old people in Florida. Why so high in New York? Fraud and politics according to Forbes.
If you want to get into theatre or fashion or work for the New York Times, head to New York and put up with the nonsense. If you don't, look to live somewhere else. Remember--it is not what you make that matters. What matters is what you take home.