Originally Posted by Shamou
Originally Posted by Dan.Linehan
There are many jobs that provide a high intrinsic value when well performed but offer only low wages. Paramedic and teacher are two that come immediately to mind.
I fully agree with you there... however, on that level, we are getting into social justice... and as long as the "supply and demand" is the prime regulator in economics... I am afraid that we are not about to see any change soon...
Supply/demand is the prime regulator in economics for a good reason. In the case of jobs like teachers or paramedics, the salary is low because it's a job that a lot of people can be trained to perform. People get paid based on how how much value they can provide relative to other people, not based on an absolute scale. The latter makes no sense economically, and is why communism doesn't work. My father, who lived a lot of his life in the Soviet Union, told me that construction workers there were paid higher wages than engineers (he was an engineer). This artificial value assignment was an attempt to show that the working class was the most important part of the society.
The bottom line is that a lot of people can easily be trained to become teachers, police officers, construction workers, etc. so the supply is abundant and salaries reflect that. Becoming a brain surgeon however, is a lot more difficult and carries a lot more responsibility, hence there are far fewer of them and hence they get paid a lot more. This is how the most effective economies work, and trying to artificially change this like the Soviet Union did will only lead to disaster.