the metrics of bacon

In the United States

it’s harder to bring home bacon today

than in the worst year of The Great Depression.



The US instituted the minimum wage in 1933

at twenty-five cents an hour,

or about $4.25 in today’s money.



Even though two dollars a day might not seem like much,

bacon was only eleven cents a pound at the time.



Working for one hour at the minimum wage in 1933

would have yielded approximately two and a half pounds of bacon

for you, your spouse and two and a half children.



You used to have three kids,

but times were really tough.



the United States minimum wage is $7.25

with the price of bacon over $5.00 per pound.

That means you, your spouse and 1.75 children

can only afford a pound and a bit

for that same hour’s labor.

To clarify, in this scenario

there are still three children,

but everyone is missing parts equally

because you’re a good parent.

They’re all living happily on government disability programs

with the missus always on the lookout

for cute little mom & pop shops, or small businesses

without wheelchair ramps

to sue

because again,

we are Americans in this scenario.


Even if socialist Bernie Sanders got his proposed $15 dollars an hour

which would bring the bacon ratio back to Depression era levels,

any difference would be squelched by higher taxes

so you can have free health care

where the doctor

practicing preventative medicine

advises that to avoid heart disease

you should cut back on bacon.

Touche, Dr. President Sanders.

36 thoughts on “the metrics of bacon

  1. Funny. So you are suggesting instead of 1.75 kids, tradition, equality and sensitivity compels us to continue having 3 kids, each just chopped down to 58.3% the size of a normal? That would really screw with the child safety seat standard – my 15 year old would not like being strapped in like that. Still, where the average adult male height is 6′, each kid would be just 3’6″. Guys like us would be like Shaq in that basketball league …

    • Mostly via census data, the library and old photos of price lists from the era. The figures for bacon were determined by the cheapest available at the time (unsliced). Much of the surviving data for that time reflects the costs in major cities, which were slightly higher than the national average. The eleven cent figure takes that into account.

  2. EI, this is dynamite. (Also it has conjured up a memory of an American friend’s unwritten epitaph on his homeland, spoken in casual conversation back around 1990, when I was resident in that land): “The land of milk and honey – it’s like a snack without any bread.”

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