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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

 
A rich news celebrity seems to think she knows what it is to be poor

by digby

So, I was in a waiting room today and happened to read an article about Barbara Walters and her storied life as the daughter of a club owner and an early woman pioneer in news broadcasting.  But I was struck by this:
When Walters first went on the air "they paid me $750 a week, and I was grateful for it," she says.
That would have been more than 50 years ago.  And Walters apparently feels like she was really scraping by.

Imagine if she had the vaguest idea about how the rest of us live in the here and now:
Median weekly earnings of the nation's 105.5 million full-time wage and salary workers were $771 in the third quarter of 2013 (not seasonally adjusted), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.  
Highlights from the third-quarter data are:

 Seasonally adjusted median weekly earnings were $777 in the third quarter of 2013, little changed from the previous quarter ($775).

 On a not seasonally adjusted basis, median weekly earnings were $771 in the third quarter of 2013. Women who usually worked full time had median weekly earnings of $698, or 82.4 percent of the $847 median for men.

 The women’s-to-men’s earnings ratio varied by race and ethnicity. White women earned 82.8 percent as much as their male counterparts, compared with black (87.1 percent), Asian (77.4 percent), and Hispanic women (90.8 percent).

 Among the major race and ethnicity groups, median weekly earnings for black men working at full-time jobs were $682 per week, or 78.6 percent of the median for white men ($868). The difference was less among women, as black women's median earnings ($594) were 82.6 percent of those for white women ($719). Overall, median earnings of Hispanics who worked full time ($587) were lower than those of blacks ($630), whites ($794), and Asians ($922).

 Usual weekly earnings of full-time workers varied by age. Among men, those age 45 to 54 and 55 to 64 had the highest median weekly earnings, $970 and $1,001, respectively. Usual weekly earnings were highest for women age 35 to 64; weekly earnings were $775 for women age 35 to 44, $755 for women age 45 to 54, and $769 for women age 55 to 64. Workers age 16 to 24 had the lowest median weekly earnings, at $430. 
According to Frontline, Walters makes "a base salary range of $4 million with additional fees for her specials that add up to an annual salary in the $7 to $8 million range."

We shouldn't be surprised that these people are so completely clueless should we? "Their eyes are full of ... money."

Update:

@digby56 fun fact: $750/wk in 1963 is $5,712/wk adjusted for inflation. I'd be grateful, too.
— uffe (@uhgns)



Some of us aren't making 8 million dollars a year.  So every little bit helps:



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