Minimum Wealth, part 8

Images herein are included for commentary and critique under Fair Use.

The infograph ad produced by ZenInvestment and published by Business Insider as if it were not paid content advises people making less than $15,000/year not to spend 1/15th of that on cable TV. “Get an antenna and watch free broadcast channels” it suggests, betraying extremely out of date information. 

Broadcast television signals are digital these days. To watch without cable you need either a digital converter tuner box ($30-80) or a TV made after 2007. Poor people keep using things that work, so my TV set predates flat screens. An aerial antenna on the roof (of your rental apartment somehow) will not work on its own. 

“Get an annual Netflix subscription” it scolds, as if poor people did not invent the idea of cobbling together free and affordable pay services like Netflix and Hulu to avoid unaffordable cable bills. For some reason the $7.99/month for the lowest cost Netflix plan isn’t calculated as part of a minimum wage worker’s expenses. Like moving and bicycles, it’s apparently free. 

Somehow the investment bankers responsible for this travesty in accounting determined that a year of internet service will not cost more than $400/year. That works out to only $30/month. In the listed cities checked internet rates for, the price for 5 Mbps internet service – the minimum speed to watch Netflix – bottomed out at $40/month, or $480. The Internet Tax Freedom Act does excuse the lack of taxes factored into this particular equation.  

Finally the graphic cheerfully recommends, “Better yet, stop watching TV and go outside!” Ah yes, outside, or as you call it now you’ve sold your car as instructed in step three “hot bright cold wet commute”. You’d think after biking to and from a grueling eight hours on your feet in food service, you might be permitted some down time in a climate you controlled, but you’d be wrong. 
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