Originally Posted by Baltar
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.
Unfortunately, as in Edwardian Britain, if you let salaries get driven down too far the workers can't afford to eat, let alone pay for brain surgery. Before Russia turned 'communist' or China turned Socialist, the people were quite literally starving in the streets.
Just because someone can be easily trained, doesn't mean something isn't hard work. I would not enjoy cleaning up sewerage, it would be 'easy', but hardly satisfying. If you clean up the middle classes sewerage and don't even get paid enough to feed your family, there's something out of whack. Without sewer workers, we'd be drowning in the proverbial, and just because sewerage workers are 'expendable' is no reason not to treat them like human beings.