Thom Hartmann’s Bad Math

Just before 8:30 this morning, radio host Thom Hartmann was talking to the HR director of Goodwill Industries of Oregon on KPOJ. He made the comment that in past decades universities and other organizations limited the pay of their top executives to 20 or 30 times the pay of the lowest-paid employee and then stated that the compensation of the Goodwill CEO was “400 times” that of the lowest-paid worker.

Minimum wage in Oregon is $7.25. Full-time at minimum comes to $15,080 per year. Goodwill CEO Michael Miller’s pay (according to the Oregonian story yesterday) was $831,508. That’s a factor of just over 1:55, which may still be excessive, but it’s far off of the 1:400 Mr. Hartmann claimed. He should issue a correction. And maybe get a calculator.