The more your job helps people, the less you're paid (and vice-versa)




As someone in technology who is married to a social worker, all I can is.. duh


Restate your title as "The more your job helps a person you interact with" and you'll be spot-on. Part of the reason that the caring professions get paid less is that more contact means fewer clients/patients/customers. That in turn means there's no economies of scale. Whereas some coder at Google extracts a tiny fraction of work from a literal billion users. That scale-out of jobs that don't help people in any direct way pays off. Yes, society is a little broken that way.
I can't help but be reminded of Crowley in Good Omens.


Here in the US, public school teachers are given hours of busy work and administrative work to do outside of normal work hours. Any complaint is met with, "You should be willing to do it for the good of the students" or similar.


What about medical doctors? They help people, and are well compensated.


A large percentage of doctors earn a lot less than you think. Doctors follow the same inverse path described above: elective plastic surgery is much more lucrative than anything to do with pediatrics or geriatrics.


The core value of Conservatism is cruelty. Everything else is derived from that value.


I feel like I figured out the happy medium. I'm a project manager (decent money) for the state Department of Human Services (helping people.) While those of us here in the technical field make less than we would in the private sector, we can hold our heads high knowing we generally do good work.


I have long opined that if work was fun, you'd be charged admission to get in. Not that it couldn't be made more fun, but then some fucker would expect you to pay to do it still. Indeed, jobs that are liable to bring satisfaction have a high entry price in the form of expensive training/degrees/connections/etc.


Doctors are at the top of a pyramid of other workers who do the vast majority of the work in keeping people healthy. Nurses, nurse assistants, technicians, janitors, clerical staff. For every doctor operating in a hospital, there are quite a few of these other folks earning far less and working harder. In some ways, doctors in a modern hospital can be seen as supervisors of care, rather than actual care providers.


That’s a bit of an exaggeration. “Selfishness” might be a better candidate. Or perhaps “tribalism”?


That may well be true in a modern hospital. On the front line, community health center doctors, NPs, and PAs follow the "more you help people, the less you're paid" rule very well.


Sadly, it makes a lot of sense. Sociopaths and psychopaths are excellent tacticians, since they aren't weighed down by things like morality and empathy. In the immortal words of Lord Dark Helmet: " you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb."


Depends. My uncle is the only doctor of any kind within an hour's drive for a tiny Appalachian community. He does better than most of his patients, but by general American standards he's making middle-class money, and not "upper middle class" either.

(On the other hand, up on top of a mountain that's enough to afford a six-bedroom lumber baron's mansion, and the kind of recognition where a local didn't want to take my check until I mentioned my uncle's address (not even name!), and then it was "Oh, you're staying with the Doctor? Why didn't you say so!")


Do people exist to serve the economy? Or does the economy exist to serve people? The market speaks so eloquently to the former, and there's no clear consensus about the latter. It seems like such a stupid question to be asking, but we're out of time to fuck around with this stuff any more.

I've always been frustrated with how little ambition labor unions seem to exhibit. I'm glad to hear it wasn't always this way. I don't think labor cooperative go far enough, we need more consumer cooperatives- lifestyle cooperatives, even. There's got to be a way to put a world back together again that doesn't give the market veto power.


There are plenty of people finding ways to opt out by hacking the economic system in some way or another. That's the root of all the much derided 'hipster' trades like artisanal cheesemaking or whatever.

But the only way to really do it is to take 3 giant steps back and quit farting around with money enough to realize that most of what we buy can be forgone altogether, and much of what we do is a self-defeating spiral of foolishness. Storage lockers, 2 hour commutes, endless tech upgrades, bazillion dollar houses, cars of almost any sort.


Your remuneration for working has lots of components, of which cash is only one. The personal satisfaction you can derive from your work is a big part of the total package. People who help other people on a one-to-one basis are very well paid indeed in that part of the package, so it's only fair and reasonable that the cash bit should be correspondingly lower.


I think cruelty fits pretty well overall…



Whomever has hoodwinked you into believing that "personal satisfaction" is part of your compensation is an evil shmuck.

Or did you forget your /sarcasm tag?


Protecting privilege and hierarchy.