Article Gets Slammed for Saying Wealth Can Be Created on Minimum Wage

Regardless of how you feel about the federal minimum wage, including how much it should be, or even if there should be one at all, there are likely few out there of the opinion that wealth can actually be successfully built if one is earning no more than the currently-stipulated $7.25 per hour.


As is reporting by way of an article over at their site, a few folks got themselves in a bit of a jam with readers when they appeared to suggest that very thing.

It started with an infographic that appeared a few days back on the usually-solid website, a personal finance site based out of San Francisco that serves as the platform for a lot of interesting articles offering up quality information. The image is meant to serve as an illustration of how people earning minimum wage could actually do rather well for themselves.

To really get the full effect, you’ll want to head over to the article embedded here to see it for yourself, but the high points include illustrated suggestions that people earning $7.25 per hour who are willing to relocate from expensive locales to places where the cost of living is exceedingly low, get roommates, commute to work on bicycles, eat all their meals at home, and only do free things for recreation…can make out swimmingly.

Anyway, the infographic was picked up by Business Insider and republished on their popular site, leading to anyone who had anything to do with putting this curious analysis together the target of some backlash on social media. Among the criticisms of the graphic and accompanying article was one person on Twitter who went to the trouble of accurately pointing out that the image did not account for taxes at any level (state, county, etc.), other than federal.

It’s just a bit of a “hot mess,” as the kids would say.

The bottom line is that no one is building wealth earning a minimum wage if they are having to fully cover regular expenses, even if those expenses are able to be minimized. They’re just not. It might be possible if that’s what you’re making and your spouse happens to have a truly great job, or your situation is characterized by another odd wrinkle that insulates you in a “false economy” that does not demand you abide by a straightforward, correlative relationship between what you earn and how you live.

If that’s not you, however, then the strategies outlined will afford you the possibility of getting by…not getting rich.

For his part, Jeff Desjardins of Visual Capitalist, under whose name and banner the infographic was republished over at Business Insider, told CNBC that “after re-publishing the infographic [from InvestmentZen], we ended up retracting it from our site,” adding that “in hindsight, we realized the tone of the piece was wrong and we removed it after receiving many fair criticisms.”

The information contained here is for general information purposes only. The Financial Writer blog and Bob Yetman disclaim responsibility for any liability or loss incurred as a consequence of the use or application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein. Nothing contained in this article, or any other article featured at this blog, should be construed as a solicitation or recommendation to engage in any financial transaction. You should seek the advice of a qualified professional before making any changes to your personal financial profile.

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