RUSH: Look, right here. LA Times: "Short First Names Mean Bigger Paychecks, Study Says." The LA Times, the paper that the Koch brothers are threatening to corrupt by taking over. Still waiting on half the staff to walk out there.
"What's in a name? Apparently the key to people's earning --" Oh, and do you know that the federal budget may show a surplus in April? In fact, the federal budget, Obama's economic policies, combined with the sequester, have been so successful, the federal budget may show constant surplus by 2015. And that's from Jim Pethokoukis at the American Enterprise Institute. I knew if we were just patient that Obama's policies, combined with the industriousness of the American people, this economy would eventually rebound and the policies of Obama would be appropriately credited for this rebound and this upcoming surplus. This surplus is expected to be announced in 2015, right into the campaign of Mrs. Clinton to become the next president. See how this is all setting up?
Now, back to the LA Times. "What's in a name? Apparently the key to people's earning potential, according to a recent study. The shorter your first name --" like Jodi, J-o-d-i, "-- the more you will earn on average, online career site "TheLadders" found in a study. In fact, every additional letter to a name correlates to a $3,600 drop in annual salary. Those who go by a shorter nickname also out-earn counterparts who go by the corresponding full name, the study found." So if your real name is Rush, you're gonna clean up, but if you use El Rushbo you're gonna lose money. If you're Archibald it's over. It's all right here.
"Bills usually score a bigger paycheck than Williams." See? If you go by Bill, you're gonna earn more money than if you go by William. "Debbies earn more than Deborahs."
There's a companion story here, the LA Times has a link to it. "How Much Do You Know About California's Economy?" Answer: zero. Don't even bother to click on it.
"Even those who have the same name but spell it differently will see a wage difference. Michele with one 'l' will earn more than Michelle with two 'ls.' Philip will speed past Phillip on the wage scale. And the same with Sara vs. Sarah." The Sara without the H earns more money. "The top five highest-paid male names are: Tom, Rob, Dale, Doug and Wayne -- all five letters or fewer. But women break the pattern a bit -- the highest-paid female names are Lynn, Melissa, Cathy, Dana and Christine. ... But here's some food for thought for soon-to-be parents: The top 25 most popular names will earn $7,000 more, on average, than everyone else."
Exhaustive research done by an online career site called "TheLadders." This is what will determine how well you do in life.
RUSH: Dexter, Michigan. Hi, Tom. I'm glad you waited. Great to have you on the program. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. It's good to be here. I want to jump back to a report you ran at the very beginning of the show about the short names having a beneficial effect on income. I have a theory about this, and I'm wondering, did it say anything about last names?
RUSH: Nope. Not that I saw. All it said was short first names. In fact, that is the headline: "Short First Names Mean Bigger Paychecks, Study Says."
CALLER: All right. 'Cause my theory is just that they fit better on business cards. And in my case, fits better on novels. Short first name, short last name. I have only two syllables in my entire name.
RUSH: Well, why would that make somebody pay you more?
CALLER: Well, I think it just makes things fit better. It makes it easier to remember people's names 'cause you don't have a lot of syllables in there.
CALLER: So it brings your name to the surface more quickly. It certainly makes 'em bigger, you know, more prominent on a business card. In fact, if I put all my credentials I have more letters after my name than I have in my name.
RUSH: What do you mean?
CALLER: Well, I'm an architect, so you've got AIA, NCARB, LEED.
CALLER: That stuff after your name, your credentials. I've got more letters after than I've got in the name.
RUSH: I see, I see.
CALLER: And on my books, you know, they can put my name right across the top, all the letters. They don't have to break the name up into a first name, last name thing. Some authors have really long names. They wrap around the cover.
RUSH: Well, let's see, Dan Brown sells a lot of books.
CALLER: Tom Clancy, nice short name, two syllables.
RUSH: Clancy sells a lot of books. So you think there might be something to this?
CALLER: There may be. I think it makes it easier for people to remember. Even your name which has more letters in it, still Limbaugh, two syllables is pretty easy.
RUSH: Yeah, but --
CALLER: People like all the terrorists got these really long names, lots of syllables. Even the Ariel lady or whatever has got three syllables and five letters, that's a lot of syllables.
RUSH: Yeah, that is, that is clutter. That is a cluttered name, Ariel, there's no question about it.
CALLER: So I think those of us with short names, you know, are easier to remember. Maybe we're just nicer people.
RUSH: In my case, you really have a good point. You don't even need my last name for people to know who I am.
CALLER: Yeah, you've gone completely to one name.
RUSH: That's right. Folks, if you are just joining us, saying, "What the hell is this?" There is a story in the Los Angeles Times today, the shorter your first name, the more you will earn on average, and this is according to a study done by an online career site that's called TheLadders. The people at TheLadders went out, did a study and found that every additional letter to a name after four letters correlates to $3,600 drop in annual salary. Those who go by a shorter nickname also outearn counterparts who go by the corresponding full name. So if your name is William you should go by Bill. You'll earn more than going by William. And Debbie earns more than Deborah, so forth and so on.
Now, the top five highest paid male names are -- and I don't know how they know this. I don't have the methodology here. I just have the LA Times story. Tom, Rob, Dale, Doug, and Wayne. All of those are five letters or fewer. Now, women break the pattern of that. The highest paid female names are Lynn, Melissa, Kathy, Dana, and Christine. I do not know one actress. Lynn? Do you know an actress named Lynn? Lynn Redgrave. That's a dinosaur. Melissa? Kathy? Dana? Kathy Bates. She's not among the highest paid actresses. Dana? See. Christine. Christine Lahti, the only one I know.
But look at the top five most admired Americans. Tom Hanks. Tom Cruise, but he's not one of the top five, he's down there. Sandra Bullock, Maya Angelou, Meryl Streep. There may be something to this, although I don't know, as I say, the methodology.