Do the top hedge fund managers really make more than all kindergarten teachers combined?

During her campaign  re-launch rally on Saturday, Hillary Clinton decided to take a swat at fat cats (with the present company excluded, of course).

Her applause line:

“The top-25 hedge fund managers making more than all of America’s kindergarten teachers combined.”

Really?

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Since I didn’t hear the media do much fact-checking, I took a shallow dive into the numbers.

The answer may surprise you …

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Let’s set the baseline.

According to the BLS there are 158,240 kindergarten teachers in U.S. public schools.

That works out to between 2 and 3 kindergarten teachers per school

Sounds about right.

Also according to the BLS, the average kindergarten teacher rakes in about $50,600 for the 9-month school year.

OK, let’s do the arithmetic:

158,240 kindergarten teachers times $50,600 per teacher equals about $8 billion in annual pay.

So, do the Top 25 hedge fund managers combine to make more than $8 billion? 

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Answer: Yep, they sure do.

According to Forbes:

“The highest paid 25 hedge fund managers were paid a collective $11.6 billion in 2014.”

Whoa.

It’s not even close.

In fact, Hillary could have made a sharper point:

The top 7 hedge fund managers – which include uber-liberal George Soros – make more than all kindergarten teachers combined.

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Or, Hillary could have broadened her assault on Wall Street by pointing out that the average Wall Streeter gets paid about 6 times what an average K-teacher makes.

According to the New York Comptrollers office, the average bonus paid to New York bankers, traders, and others employed on Wall Street was $172,860 last year.

The average Wall Street bonus last year was nearly four times as large as the total pay of the average American worker. And this is just the bonus.

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OK, point to Hillary … but, I’m not exactly sure what point she’s making.

If she wants to tax the hell out of Wall Streeters and hire more kindergarten teachers, I say “Go ahead”.

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Now, the bigger point.

I think we should start equating all spending to a common metric: the equivalent number of kindergarten teachers who could be hired for a year.

Let’s call the metric #KT … number of kindergarten teachers.

Here’s the way it works …

For the past couple of years, Hillary has been hauling in about $225,000 per 1-hour speech.

That’s worth 4.5 #KT … for an hour’s work.

Not bad, right?

Or, try this one on …

Daughter Chelsea got paid $600,000 to do a couple of cameo pieces for NBC.

That’s about a dozen #KTs for Chelsea because she’s, well, Chelsea Clinton.

The takeaway:

Next time you hear bout money that the Clinton clan rakes in, ask yourself:

“How many kindergarten teachers would that have paid for.”

Remember: #KT

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3 Responses to “Do the top hedge fund managers really make more than all kindergarten teachers combined?”

  1. Scott Says:

    If Hillary’s point about teachers vs hedge fund managers was made on an after-tax basis (payroll and income tax vs carried interest for fund managers) it would have been even more compelling.

  2. ST Says:

    I’m guessing that Hillary’s numbers were actually more accurate: in looking at the budget of the three surrounding school districts where I live, the amount of money paid to teachers in benefits (pensions, health plans, etc.) equates to about 59.3% of base pay compensation and is expected to grow as underfunded pension obligations come due (total primary and secondary teaching salaries: $51,176MM; total benefits for the same group: $30,325MM). Assuming that this same compensation is reflective of public school districts across the country, it means that total Kindergarten compensation is actually $12.76B. Her point is still well taken (as is yours), but I’m guessing she knew that someone was going to do the analysis and use it to prove that she was ignorant of the full costs of teacher compensation and the burden on taxpayers of a pension system run amok,

  3. chadcarroway Says:

    Reblogged this on chadcarroway.com and commented:
    For the past couple of years, Hillary has been hauling in about $225,000 per 1-hour speech. That’s worth 4.5 #KT (Kindergarten Teachers) for an hour’s work. Not bad, right?

    Daughter Chelsea got paid $600,000 to do a couple of cameo pieces for NBC. That’s about a dozen #KTs for Chelsea because she’s, well, Chelsea Clinton.

    The takeaway…

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