The Mysterious Easterbrook Justice Detector

From Gregg Easterbrook's The Progress Paradox:

Considering taxes, a person working full-time at the federal minimum would have to spend and entire days wages to buy a $7 Au Bon Pain sandwich combo for lunch each business week. This simply is not right.

I assume he means “each day of the business week.” Anyway, what a weird thing to say! $7 is a hell of a lot to spend each day for lunch. Not considering taxes that's $35 a week, $140 a month, $1680 a year. Is it a baseline of justice that the daily $7 lunch be within reach of each and every one of us. $140 a month is a reasonable monthly food budget including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. My guess is that you can easily make a better than Au Bon Pain quality combo at home for way less than $3 a day. Should you be able to do it on $1.50? $.25? Where (oh where!) can one purchase an Easterbrook economic rightness-o-meter?
What else? A person working full-time at the median wage would have to spend an entire week's wages eating every work day at the Outback Steakhouse, and that's simply not right? Could be? But how do you tell!?

Author: Will Wilkinson

Vice President for Research at the Niskanen Center