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Maths: cost/burger analysis

I heard a stupid commercial on the radio this morning. How stupid? So stupid that I turned off my radio to do math. The premise of the ad is that a guy quits his new job after he has been there for five seconds, but he wants to get paid for his time to go buy a burger. His boss tells him that, in the five seconds he has worked there, he has earned "about two bucks."

I'm no math whiz, but two dollars in five seconds sounded like a pretty decent pay rate, so I decided to do some calculations. This fictional job would pay $24 per minute, or $1440 an hour. But wait! Our protagonist is planning to take his phenomenal five-second salary and spend it all on a delicious, juicy hamburger. Which must mean that the $2 he has earned are his net wages after taxes. His hypothetical gross five-second income must therefore be higher than $2, but how much higher?

Let's assume that he is in the lowest possible bracket and he doesn't owe anything in federal or state income tax. Social Security, Medicare and unemployment still get deducted, for a total of 8.85%. That's not a massive chunk for most of us, but it bumps this guy's hourly pay up to around $1580 pre-tax. Which means that if he had kept the job instead of quitting after five seconds, he would have pulled in a gross annual income of $3,286,400. With that kind of cash, he could buy an awful lot of burgers... or a franchise.


drvono said...

Plus that's a very conservative estimate, assuming he doesn't participate in any of his company's pre-tax benefits like insurance, medical or 401k, which would decrease his net income.

This reminds me of a billboard that sent me on a rampage awhile back. It was a Holiday Inn Express ad that offered "high speed internet as fast as Jeff Burton!" That sure didn't sound very fast to me... those cars go about 150mph average, right? So what they're saying is that if I stay at a Holiday Inn Express and try to access a website hosted in, let's say, Silicon Valley (2082 miles away), it would take about 13.88 hours to load the page. Bah!

litsa said...

Burger ads are not meant for people who can think :o)