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

Es­ti­mated reading time is 4 min­utes.

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

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.

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

See, so using a form of 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?

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 . . .


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