Sunday, September 4, 2016

Why Math is a Problem for Liberals.

A FaceBook/High School classmate posted this a few days ago.

Occupy Wall Street FaceBook Post
It, along with a couple of on-going protests, have been gnawing on me and I’ve tried to put my thoughts on the protests into some kind of semi-logical forms, but without success.  This on the other hand is pure stupidity I would like to talk about for a moment.
The picture comes from the folks at “Occupy Wall Street” and you can see the “facts” they lay out and the argument they make for increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour.  The picture, more so than almost everything I’ve seen illustrates why our education system  will leave the upcoming generation wondering what hit them when they are left to lead the nation.  The idea that people of my generation look at this stuff without question is disturbing, but there isn’t much I can do with that.
Let’s review the facts as Occupy Wall Street has laid out.
In 1981-82 college tuition cost $2,870 in a public university, and the maximum Pell grant a student could borrow was $1,800.  By working part time at minimum wage the student could hope to make $2,820 to cover the cost the Pell grant would not and provide some $1,750 to pay other expenses.  While I doubt the veracity of these numbers; since OWS calls them facts I’ll go with that.
If everything were adjusted for the rate of inflation[i] since 1982 everything would be 149% larger.  That is to say, tuition would be $7,157, Pell Grants would equal $4,489, and the expectation for earnings from a minimum wage job would be, 7,032.  But that is not what the “facts” show according to OWS.  They believe there facts show we need a $15/hour minimum wage to make everything right.
Pell Grant payments have gone up 220%, the OWS estimate on what you would earn at that same minimum wage job has gone up only 116%, but college tuition has gone up 581%. I easily grant that the minimum wage has not kept pace with the rate of inflation.  When you are looking for the government to do something they are notoriously slow in keeping up.  If you doubt this, look at whole debate on climate.
But lets focus on the real problem.  Where is the outrage over the massive increase in the cost of a college education?  How do the idiots that run OWS not see the most significant problem on their fact sheet is not the minimum wage, but rather the costs an individual is expected to pay for tuition to support the salaries of the tenured professors being paid in the mid to high six-figure range, or the administrators paid in the high six-figure range, or the coaches paid in the 7-figure range?  
By the way, one last thought… I don’t know what the average minimum wages are where you live, but if the $3.35 figure that OWS used were adjusted for inflation it comes out to $9.60.  Around here I think our minimum wages are pretty close to that.


1 comment:

W.B. Picklesworth said...

Good grief. The minimum wage is a non sequitur in the discussion of our economic ills. But I suppose a frank talk wouldn't do such a good job of pin-pointing the right enemy.

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