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Barry Ritholtz is almost as bad as Ritchie here

Here’s where things get interesting: A full-time worker (40 hours a week) in the U.S. making minimum wage earns only $15,080 a year. For some context, median individual earnings are $40,404 a year (BLS), while the U.S. poverty level is $23,550 (HHS). Full-time minimum wage earners make 62.7 percent less than median income and are 36.0 percent below the poverty level. (The number you probably hear quoted most often is median household income at $51,017, according to the census. The minimum is 70.4 percent below that).

That’s a truly appalling piece of statistical manipulation.

That minimum wage is the single earner wage. The median is also individual earnings. That poverty line is actually for a two parent, two children, household.

The poverty line for a single person is $11,490, for a two person household, $15,510.

That really is egregiously misleading. Just horrible. I’m amazed that Bloomberg are letting that stand.


5 thoughts on “Barry Ritholtz is almost as bad as Ritchie here”

  1. That’s not the only dishonesty.

    Working a minimum wage job at McDonalds is supposed to be the kind of job teenagers do while living at home, and before they either go to university, move up through the excellent McDonalds chain, or leave for a better job (armed with a good reference from McDonalds, a few new qualifications and proof they can get up in the morning and go to work).

    Sure, some people end up there longer than they would like, but that’s usually because they have failed to take proper advantage of the free education everyone else has paid for, or have mad eother stupid de cisions (have children by successive gangsta fathers, for instance).

    It is not supposed to be the sort of thing that a family can live on.

    Increasing the cost of those workers will merely increase the cost of the burgers and/or lead to automation.

    Utter cunts, these people.

  2. I think the one ‘point’ (or, at least, not fully rounded bit of wibble) is the concern that the Minimum Wage sets the actual wage for an unreasonably large range of jobs. While I have no actual evidence for this, it seems a justifiable hypothesis.

    However, the answer the whiners will never accept is to can the minimum wage, not to increase it …

    My salary moved from unpaid, to “only can afford it as I’m living at home” at 17, to “enough for a student” to “reasonable dosh on graduating” and eventually to what, outside London, is a reasonable wage.

  3. SE you are absolutely on the money with that comment. When one of the Channel Islands introduced a “minimum wage” they effectively set the wage for a huge range of low paid jobs. Before the minimum wage there was a market with employers paying a range of hourly rates between 5 – 12 pounds per hour. Once the minimum wage came in they all offered exactly the same rate.

  4. “For some context” – only one country in four has a GDP/head above $15,080 – though a fairer measure is GDP/head on a PPP basis where nearly 36% are above $15080. Barry Ritholz wants every minimum wage job to support two adults and two children (whereas the average US job supports 1.7 people) so let’s just say that two countries out of five have a GDP/head less than one-quarter of that $15080.
    If every job in the USA only created $15080 then GDP/head would by $8852, more than five out of every eight countries in the world.
    Every burger-flipper at the bottom of the US rankings already has a higher income that most of the rest of the world. Barry Ritholz thinks that they should have a higher income than the average GDP/head of The Bahamas, South Korea, Portugal – in fact half the countries in the EU and five out of six countries in the world – and well over twice that of Mexico. Minimum wage in the USA more than twice GDP/head in Mexico?!? Well, I suppose employing a million border guards might reduce unemployment …

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