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If all work is paid fairly and according to the amount of effort required, which job will pay the most and which one will pay the least?

I just started working in travel retail. Earning twice as much as my previous job for basically just standing there, which just got me thinking.

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25 Comments

  1. Fairness is such a difficult concept. Physically fair (eg construction vs lawyer)? Experience (apprentice vs journeyman)? Impact (personal assistant vs teacher)? Are they actually good at the job?

    Politicians would make the least, followed closely by the kardashians. Teachers (good ones) would be highest.

  2. Another point that would be taken into account would be the health risks taken for that job. People in the office risk having some slight wrist and back discomfort if they don’t sit properly and get sometimes. Workers in the shop risk continually wounding themselves with powertools, stress their muscles a lot more, risk back injuries, are often in contact with dangerous substances, often work in disgusting weather/heat (ever heard of a factory that had AC?) And on top of that, are expected to do stuff that the office people wouldn’t even consider trying themselves.

    As a composites materials factory worker, i could go on about this for hours…

  3. This touches on many things mainly that capitalism as well as any other form of government isn’t the answer to this question. Reality is most important jobs are the ones that keep society moving. Garbage sewer shipping education fire police etc. I’m sure there are a lot more mission critical jobs but most of us dont have one of them. The rest are nice to have things that give us first world problems. As far as what’s a fair wage that depends on what things cost. Just to add more to the rabbit hole. My two cents.

  4. Define working hard. Is working hard physical labor? Is working hard mental labor? Is working hard dealing with Black Friday traffic and customers?

    Most people that work hard do it in their own field and I don’t think it should be tiered. Because no one is truly right or wrong on what working hard it.

    One could say that teachers deserve the most because they deal with kids all day.

    Another could say it’s the Dr that has to mentally be in the exact place while preforming brain surgery.

    Mean while someone else can say it’s the poor guy having to lug 200lbs of concrete a trip at the construction site.

  5. All I’m saying is I got like 2000 bux a paycheck to get shot at and blown up by the taliban…. I’m not ungrateful or anything just that…. I feel like I should have gotten maybe a smidge more funds for being carbomb bait every day lol

  6. wages are based on a multitude of factors and economic phenomena. The idea that people are “paid fairly, according to effort” is a just an ideal concept- but it has at least two glaring problems: 1) “fairness” and “effort” are very *very* subjective terms 2) it’s just a basic concept that appeals to casual arm-chair thinking. It’s insufficient for determining actual wages, since many factors have to be considered.

    So, no, work is not paid according to fairness and effort. It’s mostly based on the scarcity of the specific labor pool relative to its demand, and other things.

  7. Are we talking just effort? Or taking into account all of the impact of doing the work?

    Lots of jobs have so many hidden areas that can really take their toll even if they seem otherwise easy. Like, retail isn’t physically difficult for most people, but dealing with shitty customers and a schedule that changes constantly can be a lot to handle.

  8. It’s hard to say. What’s fair and how do we define effort? You can say traveling requires a lot more effort then just standing around in a retail store so you’re extra pay could be considered compensation. It’s easy to say teachers deserve to get paid more, at least in America they’re one of the lowest paid educated professionals. But other then that it starts to get very complicated very quickly.

  9. Maybe we could let the market determine how much to pay people. If someone is willing to do the job for less money, let them.

    If you are in travel retail, at least a portion of what you are paid is a function of how you look and how well you relate to people.

  10. Some sweatshop worker doing hard physical labor 16 hours a day would get the most while people with a solid investment portfolio would get the least if effort translated to earnings. Weird how in reality it’s mirror opposite.

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