Why It's Impossible To Live On $500,000 Per Year

The New York Times is absolutely obsessed with showing the world how wretched it is to earn just a half million dollars per year. Today it told the story with numbers.

The Sunday Style story was the Times' second on this topic in three days. Last time the paper relied on anecdotes.

Today Times "everything is a trend" reporter Allen Salkin provided a math lesson on how poor $500,000 per year really makes you. Oh it's just terrible:

  • $500,000/yr in federally-capped bank CEO salary
  • -$138,000 federal tax
  • -$31,000 Social Security
  • -$7,000 Medicare
  • -$35,000 state taxes
  • -$19,000 city taxes
  • = $270,000

And that's before you spend anything! Private school is $32,000 per student; nanny is $45,000 per year; mortgage and co-op maintenance fee are each around $100,000 per year on the Upper East Side. That's all your money right there, and you haven't even paid the driver, garage, personal trainer, ball-gown maker, restaurant tab, etc. etc. etc.

Sex And The City inspiration Candace Bushnell thinks this will emasculate our poor banker CEOs:

“People inherently understand that if they are going to get ahead in whatever corporate culture they are involved in, they need to take on the appurtenances of what defines that culture.”

And we wouldn't want to undermine the winning culture of Wall Street. That might ruin our economy!