Introducing the Time/Doritos Index

I was in a Target the other day, and I noticed that a "party size" bag of Doritos was going for $6.39. Whoa, I thought. $6.39 for a bag of chips, and it isn't even the biggest size, which would be "family size." You get about 180 chips in the party size, more than three and a half cents a chip. 

It got me to thinking about how expensive everything has gotten lately. How do people afford it?

I was still ruminating in this vein when I stumbled across a story showing that the minimum wage in Portland hit $15.45 an hour as of last week. Even if your tax burden is only 10 percent, that $15.45 scales down to $13.905. That's not too many Doritos, I thought. 

At that point, the lightbulb lit up over my head: I need to come up with a Time/Doritos Index that will track the true buying power of minimum wage workers. Messing around with some numbers, I have concluded that it takes such a worker 27 minutes and 1 second to earn enough to buy enough Doritos for a "party."

Here's how I get there. I averaged the prices of the party size bag at Wal-Mart, Amazon, Kroger, and Target. Wal-Mart has the best deal at $5.38, but Kroger wants $6.79, and so the average of the four is $6.2625. If you make $13.905 an hour after tax, you can buy 2.2204 bags an hour. To buy one bag, you need to work 27.022654 minutes.

And so there is this month's Wage/Doritos Index, folks: 27 minutes and 1 second. Please send the Nobel committee a link.


  1. Meanwhile, if they work in Salem, the city would like "a little less than" 1% of that $15.45/hr, thank you very much. Because, services, including homeless services.

    1. Between that new Salem Work Extortion Tax and the Family Leave Tax, I will lose over $100/month. With inflation what it is, this isn't the best time to stick it to working class Oregonians.

  2. Powell should incorporate this stat. Maybe roll in the Lay’s potato chip ratio and the Pop Chip ratio(for the progressives).:)

  3. I always liked the Economist's Big Mac index, comparing the cost in cities around the world.

  4. Potato chips should be an inflation indicator. They have gone up wildly in price during the last few years, and is one foodstuff that is very noticeable as far as price(s) are concerned.

    Fine by me, as I usually regret buying them anyway. The thought of them is always better than the actual experience of eating them. Not to mention AFTER eating them.

  5. The size naming is indeed confusing. Are we to assume the buyer attends parties that are smaller than their family? And what are we to make of the tiny Halloween candy bars described as “fun size”?

  6. What seriously goes up if I succumb to chipdom is my belly mass index...

  7. I guess it’s no big deal if you’re getting paid $200k/yr as an entrenched bureaucrat to schmooze w/developers & better be a community parasite w/company car?

    No wonder this place is going down the drain?
    What are we on the hook for here as the tax payer? $350k/yr w/retirement & benefits + a car to go?

    AZ the public employees get $40-80k or so/something rational without such ballooning costs, the arrogance, allow competing private contractors for bail/paperwork (which I don’t really like middle men, but even with their fees it’s still less than the govt. monopoly fee/prices here & way less if you are ok with there only being 2 MDV (amoral equivalent to DMV here)/ suffering mild inconvenience without the side of scolding, taxation with vengeance & ~7 layers of bureaucracy w/a ton of make-work redundant staffers and planners all with their salaries & fat PERS pensions like here that can also dodge income tax if they’re mouse fondlers/work remotely in the adjacent state….

    Bought a summer pair of decent flip flops for $6 on sale?
    Food and gas is way up.
    Electric bike, solar panels, figure out how to demolish the Permanent structure/not pay taxes on the house, have a nuclear missile if they dare tax you & collect rain water?
    Might as well if it’s going to be one govt. monopoly/bezos corporatocracy octopus w/slums/homeless camps and ‘no permanent structure’ there, either?

    Is Yellow trucking going to go under?
    Less competition & more consolidation there probably hurts end consumer prices as Amazon swallows ever more….


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