Marilyn is tricked by a stingy boss

Marilyn is Wrong Copyright © 1995-1998 Herb Weiner. All rights reserved.

Ask Marilyn ® by Marilyn vos Savant is a column in Parade Magazine, published by PARADE, 711 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017, USA. According to Parade, Marilyn vos Savant is listed in the "Guinness Book of World Records Hall of Fame" for "Highest IQ."

In her Parade Magazine columns of March 15, 1992 and June 7, 1992, Marilyn claims that a $300 raise every six months is better than a $1000 raise once per year, and that "the $300 raise continues to get better each year."

In her Parade Magazine columns of January 25, 2015, Nearly 23 years later, Marilyn repeats this ridiculous claim.

Sorry, Marilyn

Marilyn, you'd better double check your math on this one. A $300 raise after the first six months brings your salary to $10,300 per year. In the second six months of 1991, you'll therefore earn $5150 (not $5300). This totals $10,150 for the year. So in the first year, you really do come out ahead (by $150) with the $300 raise. From this point on, things only get worse. With the $300 raise, your salary on January 1, 1992 is $10,600 per year, or $5300 for six months. For the second six months of 1992, your salary is $10,900 per year, or $5450 for six months. Therefore, in 1992, you earn $10,750.

With combined 1991 and 1992 earnings of $20,900, you're already $100 behind the $21,000 you would have earned with the $1000 per year raise. With raises of only $600 per year ($300 every six months), you'll never catch up.

Could you possibly have assumed that the reader was asking about a $300 per half year raise every six months? This would be equivalent to a $600 per year raise every six months, or a $1200 per year raise every year. But this is not the commonly understood meaning of a $300 raise! last updated June 30, 1998 by

Posted at Mar 03/2008 05:43PM by Tommy:
It may be more efficient for some salaries over short periods of time, but $300 is for those who are staying for a little more than or less than a year.

Page last modified by Herb Weiner Wed Jan 28/2015 18:00