+

In 2014, Wall Street bonuses totaled $28.5 billion.

First, congratulations, Wall Street! I'm sure you really earned each and every dollar. Now let's break that down to a figure the rest of us can wrap our heads around. According to the New York State comptroller, Wall Street employees (167,800 of them, to be exact) received an average bonus of $172,860.


My math put it at just shy of $170,000, but when you're rolling like that, what's a few thousand dollars? Especially considering this figure doesn't include their salaries, which are almost certainly very generous. But hey, they're doing God's work.

Meanwhile, in the vast land of minimum wages, a million workers earned about half as much as Wall Street made in bonuses alone.

The average Wall Street bonus is three times higher than the median U.S. household income.

While those 1 million minimum wage employees also include tipped workers who are probably earning more than the federal minimum, let's be real: A server's earnings are a far cry from a six-figure bonus on top of a six-figure salary.

$28.5 billion would be more than enough to pay living wages to millions of low-wage workers.

If the term "living wage" is new to you, here's the short of it:

A living wage is "an approximate income needed to meet a family's basic needs." Today's minimum wage doesn't even come close. According to MIT's living wage calculator website:

"The minimum wage does not provide a living wage for most American families. A typical family of four (two working adults, two children) needs to work more than 3 full-time minimum-wage jobs (a 68-hour work week per working adult) to earn a living wage."

Putting more money in the pockets of low-wage workers does more for the overall economy than Wall Street bonuses.

Before we dig in, try to put yourself in the shoes of a Wall Street worker. What are you going to buy with that $170,000 bonus? Remember, this is just extra cash on top of your salary, and all of your basic needs are well taken care of. And how much of it are you actually going to spend? Got some stuff in mind? OK, hold that thought.

Now, put yourself in the shoes of a minimum wage worker. What are you going to buy with that paycheck? Remember, housing costs will put a big dent in your finances. Then there's your utilities, and you have to eat, right? Oh, and if you have a family, it's probably dwindling even more quickly. See where I'm going with this?

The Institute for Policy Studies writes:

"Wall Street bonus season may coincide with an uptick in luxury goods sales, but a raise in the minimum wage would give America's economy a much greater boost. To meet basic needs, low-wage workers tend to spend nearly every dollar they make. The wealthy can afford to squirrel away more of their earnings. All those dollars low-wage workers spend create an economic ripple effect."

What would happen if that $28.5 billion went to low-wage workers instead?

We already know that minimum wages are barely, if at all, providing the lowest earners with what they need to get by. A modest boost in their wages from the federal minimum of $7.25 to $15 an hour would allow them to more fully meet their needs, and that spending would stimulate the economy.

The person with an extra $170,000 on hand isn't likely to spend it all because, well, there's only so much a human being needs. Sure, that might fund a vacation home, a boat, maybe some expensive trinkets — but for the most part, it just becomes accumulated wealth. And stockpiled cash does nothing for the economy.

"Every extra dollar going into the pockets of a high-income American only adds about $0.39 to the GDP. By contrast, every extra dollar going into the pockets of low-wage workers adds about $1.21 to the national economy. These pennies add up considerably on $28.5 billion in earnings."

Considerably, indeed. A wage increase totaling $28.5 billion to minimum wage workers would boost the country's gross domestic product by three times as much as the same amount going to people who are already well-off, like Wall Street employees.

Raising the minimum wage to a living wage serves everyone's interests — even the short-sighted people who would argue otherwise.

And lastly, consider this: Those massive Wall Street bonuses? Those are rewards for exactly the kind of risky decisions that tanked the economy in 2008. Doesn't that seem a little backward for a country that says it values an honest day's work?

via Chewy

Adorable Dexter and his new chew toy. Thanks Chewy Claus.

True

Every holiday season, millions of kids send letters asking for everything from a new bike to a pony. Some even make altruistic requests such as peace on Earth or helping struggling families around the holidays.

But wouldn’t the holiday season be even more magical if our pets had their wishes granted, too? That’s why Chewy Claus is stepping up to spread holiday cheer to America’s pets.

Does your dog dream of a month’s supply of treats or chew toys? Would your cat love a new tree complete with a stylish condo? How about giving your betta fish some fresh decor that’ll really tie its tank together?

Or do your pets need something more than mere creature comforts such as life-saving surgery?

Keep ReadingShow less
Celebrity

U.S. Soccer star expertly handles an Iranian reporter’s loaded questions about race.

Tyler Adams’s response proves exactly why he’s the captain of the US soccer team.

Tyler Adams expertly handles Iranian reporter's question

Reporters are supposed to ask the right questions to get to the truth but sometimes it seems sports reporters ask questions to throw you off your game. There's no doubt that this Iranian reporter who was questioning Tyler Adams, the US soccer team captain at the press conference during the World Cup had an agenda that didn't involve getting to the truth.

It's not clear if the questions were designed to throw the young player off of his game or if the goal was embarrassment. It really is hard to tell, but Adams handled the unexpectedly harsh encounter with intelligence and poise when some may have found it justified for him to get angry.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pets

Idaho pet squirrel amazingly thwarts a would-be burglar in resurfaced viral video

The suspect was identified by the scratches the squirrel left.

Idaho pet squirrel thwarts a would-be burglar.

Ahhh, yes! The attack squirrel. Every home should have one, or at least, that's what an Idaho man whose home was protected by his rescue-squirrel-turned-pet might think. Adam Pearl found Joey, his pet squirrel, in his yard, abandoned as a baby and unable to fend for himself. Pearl took him in and bottle-fed him until he was big enough to eat on his own.

The unique pairing continued for 10 months until a man looking to burglarize Pearl's home got the surprise of a lifetime. He was attacked by the squirrel! The fluffy-tailed critter thwarted the man's plan to rummage through Pearl's belongings.

One can only imagine the confusion and terror of being attacked by something that would've gently eaten out of Snow White's hands. The burglar was apparently after the homeowner's guns and likely wasn't expecting a squirrel to go, well, nuts on him. It gets even better though.

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 07.22.21


As if a Canada goose named Arnold isn't endearing enough, his partner who came looking for him when he was injured is warming hearts and having us root for this sweet feathered couple.

Cape Wildlife Center in Barnstable, Massachusetts shared the story on its Facebook page, in what they called "a first" for their animal hospital.


Keep ReadingShow less
via Pexels

Three different types of blood donations.

The AIDS epidemic that began in the early '80s cast a stigma on all men who have sex with men, regardless of their HIV status. The idea that gay and bisexual men were somehow dangerous to the general public because of a health crisis in their community added to the stigmatization that already came with being LGBTQ.

In 1983, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned all men who have sex with men from donating blood. This rule stood until 2015 when the FDA lifted the lifetime ban for gay and bisexual males and limited it to men who had homosexual sex within the past year.

In 2020, the FDA eased restrictions on men who have sex with men again, due to a blood shortage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The abstinence period was shortened from a year to three months.

Keep ReadingShow less