Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Kevin, you're not in the middle class

In response to a letter to the editor of the C-J-- from a Ford union worker earning $71/hour in compensation.

I heard on the news that Mitch McConnell said that President-elect Obama's proposed tax cuts should include all Americans. I am assuming that this statement means that Obama's tax cuts would not pertain to the rich. Does this include the auto workers, or do we make too much money already?...

If being an auto worker puts me in the middle class (which I believe it does), does that mean I don't make as much money as McConnell thinks I make?...

By the way, does anyone know how much hourly compensation a U.S. Senator gets? I'm pretty sure its more than $71 dollars per hour.


If Mr. Prestigiacomo makes $71/hour in compensation, he is being compensated between 2.5 and 3 times more than the average worker. I can't find quintile data on-line. But I'd be shocked if that doesn't put him in the top 20%-- i.e., the upper-class.


At January 14, 2009 at 8:46 AM , Blogger Don Sherfick said...

Eric, I've heard somewhere that the figure touted as the typical unionized auto-worker at GM and elsewhere (which may or may not be the $ 71 and hour quoted in your item) has been arrived at by taking the total outlays related to labor costs, including retiree pensions, and then dividing it by the number of current employees. If that is indeed the case, I'm having trouble seeing how that gets termed an accurate measure of "what the automarkers are getting". It obviously represents employer costs to be liquidated, but projecting it as a measure of employee income seems improper. Any thoughts?

At January 14, 2009 at 9:30 AM , Blogger Eric Schansberg said...

Correct. There is a key difference, in this case, between "labor costs" and worker compensation-- given the prevalence of deferred compensation.

I don't know if his numbers are accurate; I was taken them at face value (given that, if he was in error, you'd think it would be to underestimate compensation to bolster his point).


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