The actual idiot who caught my attention, however, was an ancient -- but well-preserved -- geezer on Fox News saying he was happy to be paid 85c/hour when he was in high school.
I got the wrong Bob Luddy. The Bob Luddy I should have gotten is the one in North Carolina who
was born in the early-mid 1940s and would have been 17 under Kennedy. His 85c/hour would work out to $3.04 when I was in high school and $6.38 now.
He's not strictly speaking a geezer at all, and isn't as it turns out, well preserved; TV makes him look older than his not-quite-70 (or maybe TV just depicts him accurately, but I'm prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt).
Don't blog in haste and anger, I guess. My bad. If I had realized he was this age, I probably would have just rolled my eyes, because I know way too many people from that cohort with that set of opinions. I was a bit shocked to run into someone as old as I thought he was with that dippy an idea about how to adjust for inflation. Another factor in his objection to the proposed $10 national minimum wage likely reflects the circumstances he has been accustomed to through the course of his entire life (North Carolina, vs. living in northern states with higher wages/benefits and an higher expected standard of living, better schools, etc.).
And I will commit to pausing longer before blogging when irritated by someone talking about When I Was Young. I should at least work harder to get the age calculation right. :(
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- EVERYTHING BELOW HERE IS TOTALLY WRONG! Sorry -=-=-=-=-=-=-=--=-=-
I understand geezer is rude, but I mean it: this guy is _old_. Googling turned the heard name to an actual name of "Robert Luddy", and a little additional googling (a census record from 1940 may have been involved) suggests he was born in 1928. So he's actually a pretty well preserved 84 or thereabouts.
Anyway. Let's assume his "high school" job was held at age 17, give or take, and then plug his 85c/hour into a CPI inflator to figure out what that would be in today's dollars.
Luddy should not be complaining about raising the national minimum wage to $10/hour and then using his 85c nominal wage from 1945 as evidence against ON A BUSINESS NEWS PROGRAM.
What the hell is wrong with you people? Think we can't do math? Think we can't look at a geezer and go, dude, you're over 80. 85c back then _was_ a decent wage. That's all we're asking for people now, is what you got back then.
ETA: For reference purposes, when I was working a minimum wage job in high school, I was getting $3.35, IIRC (google suggests I recall correctly, but you just never know). CPI inflator for his 85c/an hour sez $5.18 in 1986.
Here's the inflator I use:
If you are really anti-government and have an inflator you prefer to use, don't hesitate to share. But my experience has been that most alternative inflators don't show _less_ inflation, so for these purposes, those will just tend to make my point even pointier.
ETAYA: Hmmmm. Now I'm wondering if I got the wrong Luddy. Maybe he's not that old. . .