Friday, April 5, 2013

Happily mislead

I keep hearing ridiculously inflated numbers that are supposed to be adjusted for inflation, but when one digs deeper they find it was something else.

Elizabeth Warren's $22 hourly minimum wage claim is the latest example, but I've seen plenty of others. Here's a run though of what happened.

Warren said that if someone took the minimum wage of 1960 and held that proportion of the economy constant, it would be $22, so why isn't the minimum wage at that number?

Progressives who only read the headline or possess a limited understanding of economics interpreted that as a claim about inflation.

Those same progressives get it into their brains that adjusted for inflation, the minimum wage of 1960 would be $22. Elizabeth Warren does not go out of her way to correct this.

That number is incredibly easy to check. One simply needs to find the minimum wage of 1960, which is $1 an hour, and run it through an inflation calculator. It comes out to $7.65, slightly more than the current minimum wage of $7.25 but still less than the $9 the president wants.

So be careful with those inflation claims, lefty readers, those surprising numbers you're picking up may be saying something else.

1 comment:

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