Our tradition is to devote an editorial column each year to the dollar values associated with the income or spending of various institutions, corporations, or classes of individuals.
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It is up to you to find whatever amusement, amazement, or irony is latent in these figures. All values are from published sources, but I haven't retained documentation.
Funds allocated by the Florida Bar Association for a public-relations program to improve the image of lawyers: $750,000. Median net worth of retirees 67 years old: $448,000. Salary of the president of Ohio State University: $352,000. Median price of a house: $173,200. Annual salaries of U.S. senators and representatives: $158,100. Salary of the Lakewood, Ohio, school superintendent: $136,000. Salary of the chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities: $133,700. Highest earnings (including overtime) for a maintenance worker on the Pennsylvania Turnpike: $99,757. Sticker price of the Volkswagen Phaeton luxury sedan: $95,215. Average earnings of a New York City police sergeant: $91,000. Average pay of a longshoreman at a West Coast port: $90,000. Average earnings of a New York City fireman with five years service: $76,000. Average amount borrowed by law students to attend a private college: $72,893.Top earnings (including overtime) for a toll collector on the Pennsylvania Turnpike: $70,425.
Median starting salary of MBAs with a technical undergraduate degree: $63,500. Median salary of human-resources specialists: $59,000. Median salary of manufacturing sales reps: $52,620. Federal funds allocated to a tattoo-removal program in Sal Luis Obispo County, Calif.: $50,000. Median salary of elementary-school guidance counselors: $46,850. Median household income for retirees at age 67: $36,000. Average starting salary of human-resources specialists: $31,963. Cost of a typical wedding: $24,000. Amount of money in a Monopoly game: $15,140. Average cost of the Coast Guard to rescue a person stranded on Lake Erie ice: $13,000. Credit-card debt of the average household: $9,205. Average annual cost to large employers for employee health insurance: $7,009. Cost of a brand-new Model A Ford four-door sedan, introduced in 1927, in today's dollars: $6,045.
Average U.S. spending per person annually for health care: $5,800. Average credit-card debt in 2001 of seniors age 65 and older: $4,041. Amount Nissan made on each car produced in 2003: $2,402. Credit-card debt of the average college sophomore: $2,000. Amount Toyota made on each car produced in 2003: $1,742. Amount Honda made on each car produced in 2003: $1,488. Average amount brides spend on a wedding dress: $799. Amount Chrysler lost on each car produced in 2003: $496. In a revamping of China's traffic laws, the proposed fine for drunken driving: $242. Amount General Motors earned on each car produced in 2003: $178. Average amount spent for a bridesmaids dress: $147. Amount Ford Motor Co. lost on each car produced in 2003: $48.00. Hourly wage of union production workers at Big 3 automobile plants: $26.00. Weekly cost of emptying a sidewalk trashcan in downtown Cleveland: $14.42. Hourly wage of Salvation Army bell ringers in Youngstown, Ohio: $5.15.
Finally, a little-known fact. In World War II, the branch of the service suffering the highest casualty rate was the Merchant Marine.
-- Ronald Khol, Editor
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