Well, yeah, O.K. ha ha, rich economist constantly holds forth on the evils of income inequality, whatever, that’s not really the point. But just in case you were wondering, here’s the back-of-the-envelope math.
Not counting the $20,000 in non-transferable travel budget, moving bennies, etc. that they offered him, CUNY is paying Dr. Krugman a nine-month salary of $225,000. I presume he won’t be working summer semesters, so let’s say that’s all his salary from CUNY for the year. Now normal tenured senior professors at CUNY make at most $116,364 a year. Adjuncts at CUNY make about $3,000 or so per course; you can teach at most 9 hours a semester. So let’s say you’re an adjunct maxed out at a 3/3 load; you make about $18,000 a year for that. So if Dr. Krugman he could pick out 6 adjuncts at CUNY and double their yearly income, just by giving away the amount of money he makes over and above what the best-paid senior faculty make. If he were willing to do the job () for a nominal fee (as you may know, Prof. Krugman has another line of work), he could literally pick some lucky adjunct at CUNY and double their entire year’s income — *every month of the year.
(* Which, let’s be clear, involves no teaching load, and seems to mainly mean that maybe he’ll drop by the office every few months to share his brilliance with whoever happens to be there. The point for CUNY is almost certainly to purchase some of the aura from his name on the letterhead.)
In late February, the City University of New York announced that it had tapped Princeton economist and New York Times blogger Paul Krugman for a distinguished professorship at CUNY’s Graduate Center and its Luxembourg Income Study Center, a research arm devoted to studying income patterns and their…
Last week, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers announced an astonishing breakthrough in an ongoing campaign to win wage increases for 80,000 -100,000 seasonal laborers picking tomatoes for Florida farms. Even more surprising, C.I.W. announced that the
“Mexican food [from worker-owned street vendors] was also seen as a threat to white workers, both through unfair competition and labor radicalism. Nativist opponents of immigrant workers claimed that the Mexican diet of tortillas and chili, like the Chinese staple rice, undermined the nation’s standard of living. . . . Mexican food was also associated with anarchism and union organizing. Tamale vendors were blamed for the Christmas Day Riot of 1913, when police raided a labor rally in Los Angeles Plaza. Milam Plaza in San Antonio, where the chili queens worked in the 1920s, was a prominent recruiting ground for migrant workers. Customers could eat their chili while listening to impassioned speeches by anarcho-syndicalists of the [Industrial] Workers of the World and the Partido Liberal Mexicano. [*]” (Jeffrey M. Pilcher, “The Rise and Fall of the Chili Queens,” in _Planet Taco: A Global History of Mexican Food_, p. 113)
Look if you think market competition and different times preferences are all the reasons you need to explain why worker-owned food businesses can’t compete effectively with big corporate chains, then you are wrong, and you need to think harder about this.