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Evidence That Our World is Going in the Wrong Direction!

Consider this data (from the Bureau of Labor Statistics) on how long someone has to work today to buy a half gallon of milk...at $2.49/half-gallon?

  • Minimum wage earner (@ wage $7.25/hour): 21 minutes
  • Average wage earner (@ wage $23.89/hour): 6.3 minutes
  • Typical CEO (@ wage $4615.38/hour): 1.9 seconds
Question 1: Given Bill Gates reportedly earns $3,710,000,000 yearly, how long must he work to purchase a half-gallon of milk?

In 1963 a minimum wage earner earned $1.25/hour. Consider this relevant data on how long a minimum wage earner has to work to purchase something:

  • Tank of gas: 3.4 hours (1963) and 8.4 hours (2013)
  • Ford Sports Coupe: 61.9 weeks (1963) and 76.6 weeks (2013)
  • New home at median price: 6.7 years (1963) and 16 years (2013)
Question 2: Though depressing these statistics are, how long would a minimum wage earner have to work to purchase these items...for both 1963 and 2013:
  • Movie ticket: $0.86 (1963) vs. $7.96 (2013)
  • Beach Boys concert ticket: $4 (1963) vs. $45 (2013)
  • Tide laundry detergent, 49 oz.: $0.69 (1963) vs. $7.54 (2013)
  • Bread, 1 pound: $0.20 (1963) vs. $1.41 (2013)
  • Coffee, $0.69 (1963) vs. $6.01 (2013)
  • Pork chops, 1 pound: $0.88 (1963) vs. $3.53 (2013)

Source: AARP Bulletin, September 2013, p. 46