An income of $10,000 dollars a year, in the Depression year of 1936, was a huge, fabulous fortune, controlling a major buying power for food and cars and housing. (A fine brick home for the solid middle class family of five would’ve cost well less than the 10K per year—which means that this 1936 income would correlate somewhat to a 300,000/year income in 2009 dollars so far as buying power goes.) Unfortunately the author of this pamphlet directed it at doctors who could supplement or insure their income by selling their patients the pamphlet’s products: “Anabolic Food Products”, a quacky vitamin supplement that evidently had really little use except to expand the income.
This reminded me of another pamphlet from a slightly earlier
period on the over-worked working poor. Report
to the Louisiana State
That big bump in the bar graph for factory wages shows that
the most frequent average weekly wage for women and children was about $3.75, with about a quarter of all of those
polled workers making less than that, and about half making 5.00 a week or so.
Multiply those figures by 52 and they don’t come out to much—specifically, they
don’t really approach the average income for a worker in the U.S.
The conclusions the pamphlet reached are inescapable: “we can arrive at but one conclusion, namely: that no matter what are the causes determining wages, the earnings of women in industry are exceedingly low in a great many cases, and scarcely enough for subsistence……the striking facts is that nearly three-fourths of all women in industry are between 18 to 35 years of age, meaning that they are spending the best years of their lives …at the lowest rate of wages…”
In 2009 women are still paid less than men--about 77-cents on the dollar less. Generally speaking the U.S. now imports most of its child labor produced goods--out of sight, out of mind.