# “Men make four times less than women.”

General

I heard this on television about a week ago.

Problem:
The statement implies that men make a negative salary.

Explanation:
The Bravo TV channel aired an episode five days ago from its “Make Me a Supermodel” reality-television series.

As the episode went into one of its commercial breaks, Bravo presented a snippet about what male and female supermodels earn.

The visuals indicated that male supermodels earn about \$2,500 per day and that female supermodels earn about \$10,000 per day.

In referring to the disparity in earnings between male and female supermodels, the announcer said something to the effect that “Men make four times less than women.”

Argh!

Okay, so maybe I should not expect the Bravo folks to be good with mathematics, but give me a break!

Consider what Bravo showed on the TV screen: Female supermodels earn \$10,000 per day.

Four times \$10,000 per day is \$40,000 per day, right.

Negative \$30,000 per day is \$40,000 per day less than \$10,000 per day.

In other words, negative \$30,000 per day is four times less than \$10,000 per day.

So combining the claim that female supermodels earn \$10,000 per day with the claim that “Men make four times less than women.” would mean that male supermodels earn a NEGATIVE \$30,000 per day.

But Bravo showed on the TV screen that male supermodels earn \$2,500 per day, which is one fourth of what female supermodels earn. This gives us the solution.

Solution:
“Men make one fourth of what women make.”