Sunday, September 09, 2007

How much was YOUR increase last year? 

In yesterdays news there was the little factoid that the average Venezuelan got a salary increase of 30% in the past 12 months with average earnings going from 558,645 boliareas last August to 727,137 bolivares in August 2007. Sounds good, and it is.

Of course, peoples purchasing power didn’t really go up by 30% - there is this little thing called inflation. If you check the I.N.E. web site you see that inflation between July 2006 and July 2007 (the most recent they have and only off one month from the salary increase period) was 17%. So using the arithmetic they taught me in the second grade it seems that the REAL salary increase Venezuelans got in the past 12 months was (30% - 17%) 13%.

Damn, Venezuelans got a 13% REAL salary increase last year. I’ve never gotten that. In fact last year I got a 3% nominal increase and after taking into account inflation of 2.4% comes to a measly .6% increase in real terms. That is right six tenths of one percent. Pretty freaking lame.

So there we have it. Venezuelans have a booming standard of living allowing the to them to buy all sorts of new goods. Meanwhile, overworked O.W. – who doesn’t live in Venezuela – gets stuck with a puny raise that maybe affords him a couple of Snickers bars. Doesn’t seem fair does it?


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