On 60 Minutes today, Andy Rooney talked about unemployment. Mr. Rooney heard that 10 million Americans are unemployed. Andy refuses to believe this–I guess his friends’ kids are working and his powers of observation don’t extend any further than that. He’s the Inspector Clouseau of commentary.
If many people *are* unemployed, Mr. Rooney knows why–people these days won’t work hard. Why, he worked in a paper mill (for a few months when in college) for $0.45/hour. Convert that from 1939 dollars to 2008 dollars and we have $7.08/hr, higher than today’s minimum wage of $6.55/hr. Of course today’s workers have more taken out for Social Security and Medicaid. In 1939 there was no Medicaid and the SS tax was 2% while today they are 15.3% combined, so today’s single worker takes home $5.97. Mr. Rooney’s short term college job is looking pretty good.
Andy Rooney is as out of touch as John McCain, who said in the Republican primary that American workers won’t take jobs picking lettuce for $50/hour, a whole collection of wrong ideas.