paramedics don’t make $15 and they save lives!

Detroit Fox Reporter to Fast Food Worker:

“Paramedics don’t even make $15

and they save lives!”

OR WHY I PAY ATTENTION to rightward news—because that’s the riveting headline of an article on the RawStory website by David Edwards (November 10, 2015). And no, RawStory ain’t rightwingy, but that FoxNews does occasionally forget that it’s supposed to fair and balanced and it goes about skating on some pret’ near thin ideological ice . . .

“A reporter with Fox 2 in Detroit asked a fast food worker why she deserved to make $15 when paramedics were paid under that amount. Timed to correspond with the Republican Presidential Debate, fast food workers took to the streets on Tuesday morning to call attention to the need for a living wage.

One worker told WJBK’s Roop Raj that workers needed a union and a minimum wage of at least $15 an hour because it was impossible to live on current wages.

‘Some people say that paramedics don’t even make $15 an hour and they save lives,’ Raj told Lakecha Jackson. ‘So, why should fast food workers get that?’ ” 1

See, I did not know that pay was based on how many lives one saved! I always held up CEO pay as the benchmark, and that’s tough when trying to determine what paramedics should be paid . . .


One life saved equals $5,000 per hour

Believe it or not, the median salary for an American CEO is approximately $10,000,000 per year. Just to keep this easy, we will use 40 hours per week at fifty weeks per year as a base figure for all comparisons here. We could give these hardworking Joes credit for an additional eight hours a week at time-and-a-half and another eight at double-time, and but that is too complicated for this argument and not needed to make the point. 2

Another way of putting this might be, “We underpay paramedics, why shouldn’t we underpay you?

So then, the math is simple: 10,000,000 ÷ [40 x 50] and voila! the average CEO in the US makes $5,000 per hour.

And that’s for saving how many lives per year?

So then, the math is simple: 10,000,000 ÷ [40 x 50] and voila! the average CEO in the US makes $5,000 per hour.

And that’s for saving how many lives per year?

I took a guess here and figured that the average American CEO saves less than one life per year. But for the sake of this argument, we can credit them with one (1) human life saved per year, heyna?

Using that criteria, one life saved equals $5,000 per hour.

See, so using a form of Mr Raj’s logic, we would have this equation:

$5,000 x [40 x 50] x [lives saved in a year]

Do we use the number of lives saved by the average paramedic in a year over the last five years?

Ten years?

Or should that figure be based on each individual paramedic’s career?

Mr Raj did not get into that so neither will we? 3


I know: the cover of this issue of California CEO has absolutely nothing to do with this article. But hey!, the cover art by Court Jones was too good to pass up so enjoy!

And they save lives

Along with the paramedics, I would want to see both police officers and foremen also have their pay adjusted to the CEO benchmark.

It behooves me to point out that should we pay people what they are worth based on the lives they save using CEO salary as the base, we might have a wee bit of trouble with inflation.

To avoid too much inflation too fast, we could do these raises incrementally over the next ten years.

Then we need to do the same for members of the US military. Whooboy, it’s gonna be fun figuring combat pay for troops on the ground in Afghanistan saving more than 300,000,000 American lives a day from potential terrorism. 4

Would combat medics be considered saving additional lives above and beyond the population of the United States?

This could get confusing . . .



1   According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for paramedics was $30,710, or $14.77 per hour as of May 2011.

2   The actual math here would be even more complicated, but I am treating Roop Raj’s with the seriousness it merits, and this is how much math it merits.

3   The median salary of a morning news anchor in the US is $57,000 (or $28.50 per hour), but I could get accused of muddying the waters if I mentioned this, so I didn’t.

4   I am not going to insult the various branches of the US military, the US federal government, and we the taxpayers by figuring out what we pay these guys and gals for their service to our country, but it ain’t minimum wage . . .

This is the three-minute broadcast from WJBK television featuring Roop Raj interviewing fast-food worker Lakecha Jackson. Th-th-th-that’s all, folks!