William H. Magill on Wed, 9 Jul 2003 10:50:17 -0400

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Re: [PLUG] Tech jobs and politics, and IT diploma mills

On Wednesday, July 9, 2003, at 12:21 AM, Art Clemons wrote:
William H. Magill:
>So a starting salary (which, I believe is for a Bachelors with no
>additional credits) of $30,000 is pretty massive when compared to the
>median for the rest of the city. And above the medians for both the MSA
>and the suburbs.

Be careful with your use of stats from the census. For example, the figures you cite aren't as usable as you think. They are broken down per person, but are per household. The Philadelphia median you cite is particularly disappointing. What you really need is a breakdown of salaries for the college educated for the metro area (which can be retrieved with the Ferret program on the census.gov site if you want to learn how confusing things can be and how to set parameters). Comparing someone with a high school education earning $9 per hour with a college educated teacher leads to funny results and not realistic ones. $30,000 is not a great deal of money per year especially after taxes hit.

However, the Median Philadelphia Household Income IS that low, and it has been for years. It has seriously lagged the MSA for at least 20 years. That's what "inner city" poverty is all about.

I cited the Household Median figures from the 2000 Census (Lewis Mumford Center at University of Albany). All data comes from the Long Form Census questionnaire.
http://mumford1.dyndns.org/cen2000/CityProfiles/Profiles/ 6160msaProfile.htm

The Median HOUSEHOLD income for the US was $39,657
In Pennsylvania, it was slightly less,     $38,938.
In the Philadelphia METRO (MSA) it was     $47,345.
In Philadelphia it was                     $29,947.
In the Philadelphia suburbs it was         $55,823.

Median "per capita" income for the MSA was $28,874.
and for Philadelphia it was                $16,147.
and for the Phila suburbs it was           $27,385.

Median Household Income: This is the median income for all households. A household includes all the people who occupy a housing unit as their usual place of residence. The median income divides the income distribution into two equal groups, one having incomes above the median, and other having incomes below the median.

"The Per Capita Income: This is the average income figure obtained by dividing aggregate income by total population of an area."
And those Households represent:
MSA City Suburbs
% Below poverty 11.1 23.5 5.5
% College 27.7 17.3 32.2
% Professional 37.8 31 40.1
% unemployed 6.2 11.1 4.4

According to the Population Research Institute (Penn State):
[HTML version] general/pubs/working_papers/psu-pri/ wppa9901.pdf+median+individual+income+pennsylvania&hl=en&ie=UTF-8
[http://www.pop.psu.edu/general/pubs/working_papers/psu-pri/ wppa9901.pdf]

"The median personal income of college graduates at nearly $30,000 and graduate and professional degree graduates of $40,000 per year are three and four times higher, respectively, than that of high school dropouts in the Pennsylvania labor force.

As presented earlier, however, the largest number of Pennsylvania young stopped their schooling with a high school diploma. How do they do? These workers had a median annual income of just over $18,000 during the 1995 to 1997 period. By comparison, the annual personal income of college graduates is 63 percent higher and graduate and professional degree graduates 120 percent higher. Clearly, educational attainment has a dramatic impact on earnings patterns of young workers in the Pennsylvania economy."

The 2000 Census defines the Household "Money Income" MEAN (not median) quintiles:

I   $ 10,188
II  $ 25,331
III $ 42,359
IV  $ 64,727
V   $141,621

Note that the Mean is $22,199 for all US households.

[ From: http://faculty.ucc.edu/egh-damerow/U_S_Demographics.htm]

Minimum wage is a hotly debated issue. But we're talking about incomes which far exceed the minimum wage.

It's nice to say that compared to other college educated people, $30,000 is not a lot of money. But the fact is that it puts one squarely in the "middle class" (Third quintile.)
Not bad for a starting salary for one person.

I'm not arguing that we all don't want to make more money, but only that the whining by the Teachers Unions about being under-paid, is just that... whining. [And when you include the Paid Time OFF.. ie school holidays, it is only 9 months of work, not 10. Even when I worked for the University, I only got 26 days off per year, and that was about twice as many as any in other business except Government Employees and teachers.]

And by the way, there is nothing in their contract which stipulates that a teacher has to use their own funds to pay for "school supplies." That they want to do it may be a fine and nobel action on their part, but don't complain to me that they are forced to do it. ... How many of them are on 24x7 call with pagers and cell-phones? It's part of the job. Similar with grading at home -- 7:30-3:30 sounds like an 8 hour day to me. ... I'd love to have an 8 hour work day. Haven't seen one of those since I can't remember when. Coaching after school sports ... that's a paid proposition unless, again, the teacher is being nobel (and foolish). Every school coach I've ever known has been paid. (There are some nasty liability and insurance issues when they are not.)

If you want to talk about underpaid workers, talk about the sanitation department on a day when the temperature is in the 90s. It's a job that 90% of the "work force" is INCAPABLE of doing. (Try picking up your own trash can that you had to drag to the curb, and lifting it up into the back of a truck sometime.) Yet they get paid less than teachers. (...even in Philadelphia!)

I don't begrudge teachers what they get paid. I just resent their constant whining about it.

T.T.F.N. William H. Magill # Beige G3 - Rev A motherboard - 768 Meg # Flat-panel iMac (2.1) 800MHz - Super Drive - 768 Meg # PWS433a [Alpha 21164 Rev 7.2 (EV56)- 64 Meg]- Tru64 5.1a magill@mcgillsociety.org magill@acm.org magill@mac.com

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