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Analysis for Sally with compassion

Monday, 24 October, 2011

Start with this. We’ve all seen the image in question. It sticks to the AM radio/Rev. Moon financed think tank version of reality so closely it has attracted something of a cult-like following.

The above linked article attempts to discredit the claims of the subject of this photo, based on an analysis assuming her location is Seattle. Seattle is a pretty pricey place to do business. I have presumed this person is in a smaller town in the West, Mid-West or South. A comment to the article reveals, perhaps inaccurately, the fiscally poor 1%er attends a college in Middle Tennessee. For the following exercise, basically running the numbers again for another part of the world, that is good enough.

What I do not know is whether “Sally” lives in the town her alleged U is placed, specifically Murfreesboro TN, or the greater metropolitan area.  For the purposes of this exercise I assume she is a resident of Greater Nashville and does not withstand the higher cost of living in suburban Murfreesboro for which figures are a little more difficult to find anyway.

I am being vague even with information publicly available because revealing information about someone who is not a public figure seems a little creepy.

I am following Mr. Blonde’s analysis metric for metric.

If she is taking a full load, her tuition for 18 hours is $3641. Because 90% of her tuition is somehow paid for through scholarships and the like she is paying $728.20 annually with a cost of $1325 per semester for “books”. Bringing her annual cost of University, assuming no frills, to $3378.20.

Assuming Sally is on the classic four-year plan, $13512.80

By her own admission she is not living “at home” and has a modest living arrangement. A cursory glance at Nashville’s Craigslist implies she will not get away with less then $400 even in a roommate situation. That’s $4800 per year or $19200 during school.

You find the implication she assumes automobile ownership to be beyond question. The town where she attends school has a modest public transit system which did not exist before 2007. She has a car. For the purposes of this analysis I shall assume the car is and shall remain mechanically flawless and does not require any maintenance at all. Furthermore this car is a hand-me-down from her family or is otherwise paid for and currently does not cost anything for a note.

Her auto insurance alone will cost, according to Progressive (21 year-old female currently enrolled in college in 37205 driving a ten-year-old Toyota Camry), $836 per year. Because we are dealing with a student this may or may not be rolled over into a household policy held by her parents. Perhaps even paid by them. So we’ll do math with and without the $3344 for insurance. She surely wouldn’t drive without insurance.

We cost fuel assuming she drives one-half the presumed normal amount of miles, that is 6000 miles per year, and achieves fifty-percent above the fuel economy of the car I picked out for her, which would achieve 36 MPG in mixed driving, her annual fuel cost at current gas-buddy prices for Nashville ($3.169) would be $529.22 or $2116.88 for the full term.

Phone: Virgin mobile is $39/mo. So, $468/year or $1872.

I will stick with $200 per month for food. I think this is low, but I am addicted to $8/gallon chocolate milk. Sally is doing without health insurance or is otherwise covered because of those drastic changes whatshisname made, alone, to the nature of health insurance. Over these four years she has had no health issues whatsoever. $9600 for eating and health issues.

Sally’s total costs, not including clothing replacement or entertainment and ancillaries, comes to $48984.80 for the four-year plan with car insurance $45640.80 without car insurance.

Now let us assume since she was seventeen Sally has held the same tied-to-minimum-wage job. Tennessee does not have a distinct minimum wage law, so the federal $7.25 per hour is the standard. Sally does seem to be a diligent and proactive person so we shall assume she has worked her way to a 25% bonus above minimum wage over the four years of her employment. That is, $9.06 per hour.

Sally works 30 hours per week. That is, $271.80 per week or a take-home pay of $480.86 biweekly. Her income, for our purposes, is $12502.36 annually. The year she was working before entering University she dumped literally everything into a savings account. That is, she had $12502.36 in savings before the first costs for school arrived. Of course, she would not have worked for her employer enough for this employer to gift her an additional 20%, but I’m sticking to the program and not using reason. Why should I be the only one?

Counting her saving every penny she didn’t even make and her income during her school years, Sally brings in a total of $62511.80. Her implausible best case scenario cost of lodging, eating and school is $45640.80 leaving a deficit of $16871 or $351.48 per month or $281.81 if she has car insurance.

You know what? In objective reality she just might be able to pull this off. She may well be the only one. Don’t worry Sally, by the time you have a useless degree and are still working for $9.06 per hour before you pay for your health insurance the Occupy Movement will be there. If I see you on Legislative Plaza on my way to some other Sixth Street at Jefferson Street I’ll give you a hug or a much needed sandwich or something.

Sweety, work on your handwriting. I know it’s difficult in this century because my handwriting is degraded also, but … You write like a twelve year old.



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