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Isn't it interesting that the essential workers . . .

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Apr 8, 2020 - 6:43:54 AM
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Players Union Member

DC5

USA

10952 posts since 6/30/2015

are among the lowest paid? Grocery store workers, restaurant workers, nurses, custodians, teachers, truck drivers, postal workers. Where would we be without them? Yet they are so under appreciated. Let's add to the list volunteers, like EMT's, Volunteer Firemen, many hospital workers and interns.

But entertainers and sports figures can easily garner 6 figure salaries.

This is not a criticism of the salaries of sports figures or entertainers, just an interesting dichotomy.

Apr 8, 2020 - 7:02:12 AM

figmo59

USA

30949 posts since 3/5/2008

Really good point Dave...
Thankyou.... :0*)

Apr 8, 2020 - 7:33:17 AM
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Players Union Member

Neil Allen

France

900 posts since 6/15/2014

I know. It's a major problem. Shuffle money around, take a tiny commission on everything you do and you can make a fortune. Do an essential job in a care home, for example, and you get unfairly called "unskilled" and get paid a pittance.

It's just wrong.

Apr 8, 2020 - 7:41:12 AM
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Players Union Member

Neil Allen

France

900 posts since 6/15/2014

Let's see how long this one lasts until it gets locked! surprise

Apr 8, 2020 - 8:11:16 AM
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1543 posts since 2/12/2009

As my dad used to say, " politicians go for Summer recess for 8 weeks and, nobody misses them, garbage collectors withdraw their labour for 1 week and the country is crippled !" which is the most essential ?

Apr 8, 2020 - 8:25:48 AM
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9640 posts since 2/22/2007

Compensation is not based upon "appreciation", or any notions of fairness, it is based upon market value, which means, the number of people who can and will do those jobs if given the opportunity. Most anyone can deliver mail, which is not a low-paid job btw, but how many people can play sports well enough to have customers pay to watch them? If it is a job that most anyone can easily learn to perform, then that is the definition of "unskilled". It's an accurate description and not a value judgement. Jobs with a high wage generally have artificially limited access to the opportunity to work, which is the purpose of labor unions and many licensing requirements. They command their higher wages by preventing those who would willingly work for less from ever having the opportunity.
I agree that we should show our appreciation for all who labor and serve in needed capacities, and started a thread here about "thank you for your service" applying to these workers, but there is no "fair" way to get around market forces, as they are created by the sum of all of our free choices. We want employees to receive higher pay yet we shop for the lowest prices. To overcome market forces requires other types of force be applied to counter the results of our own individual decisions, and for all who are helped by this there will be some who are hurt.

Apr 8, 2020 - 8:30:51 AM
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Neil Allen

France

900 posts since 6/15/2014

Over here, anyone who has to keep going to their place of work (as opposed to those like me who can work from home) are getting a tax-free bonus of €1,000 (about $1,088) to be paid before June.

So it is nice to see some recognition of the essential work that is done.

Apr 8, 2020 - 8:31:17 AM
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m06

England

8730 posts since 10/5/2006

We truly and transparently define ourselves by who and what we demonstrate that we value (not by clapping and banging pot lids once in a blue moon only when it affects us).

Folks who work in nursing homes are among the most dedicated and caring employees I've ever met. My mother reached a decline in her health where she needed 24/7 professional nursing. Words don't exist to thank enough the staff who nursed my mum. And care workers find themselves in the frontline of dealing with Covid 19.

And then look at what they're paid. Comparatively a pittance for what are often exhausting 10 hour shifts of delivering consistent expertise, selfless care and generosity of spirit. Day in day out; year in year out.

That a stockbroker, lawyer or sports player can 'earn' more in a month than a care worker could earn in multiple lifetimes should be an intense source of shame and societal and individual soul-searching. But it isn't for the many who will leap up to 'justify' that value distortion and immorality. For distortion and immorality is what it is.

Edited by - m06 on 04/08/2020 08:43:28

Apr 8, 2020 - 8:33:08 AM
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Tobus

USA

2173 posts since 11/17/2015

The disparity in pay makes more sense when we think of them as essential tasks, but not necessarily essential workers. Collecting garbage, of course, is an essential task. It must be done, or society bogs down very quickly. But the actual guy who does it is not necessarily skilled or unique. Any able-bodied person can do the job. And in a normal labor market, a job that anybody can do is not going to command a high wage, no matter how essential the function is to society.

Obviously, the more skill or education or training a task requires, the higher the pay scale. And it's quite simply because there are less people who can do the job.

I know, it seems unfair that people performing essential tasks in the face of danger right now are not being paid handsomely for it. I get that. The only way their pay is going to increase is if the market for available people to do that job were to dry up. If, say, almost nobody were willing to collect garbage due to the virus, suddenly the wage would need to increase in order to get workers. But as long as there's an abundant pool of potential workers willing to do the work, the pay will stay low. That's simple supply and demand in any market.

Apr 8, 2020 - 8:37:53 AM
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DC5

USA

10952 posts since 6/30/2015

Bill, I get all of that, and have no issue with any of it. I understand market forces, and the lower skill it takes to do a job, the more of a labor pool, which keeps wages low. I just find that in these times of crisis, these are the people we most depend on. Massachusetts lost it's first grocery store worker to C-19 yesterday. They are trying to push for more PPE's. Sadly, these lower paid workers are also usually the ones who are living paycheck to paycheck and cannot afford to be laid off. I just find it ironic that we call them essential, which they are, but essential means necessary. Quarterbacks are not necessary, they are a luxury. Actors are not necessary, they are a luxury. Then again, coal sells for a lot less than diamonds, yet diamonds are not truly essential. We live in a world where many don't even bat an eyelash at spending $40,000 or more for a car, yet complain about the price of lettuce if it rises 20 cents. Not really complaining, just making note.

Apr 8, 2020 - 8:38:21 AM
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104 posts since 4/8/2013

Even entertainers and professional athletes still work for their money.

The truly wealthy don't do anything except leech off the labor of others.

Edited by - johnny5000 on 04/08/2020 08:39:38

Apr 8, 2020 - 8:41:13 AM
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Players Union Member

DC5

USA

10952 posts since 6/30/2015

quote:
Originally posted by Neil Allen

Over here, anyone who has to keep going to their place of work (as opposed to those like me who can work from home) are getting a tax-free bonus of €1,000 (about $1,088) to be paid before June.

So it is nice to see some recognition of the essential work that is done.


I like that plan a lot better than a plan to blindly give everyone $1200, whether they are affected financially or not. 

Apr 8, 2020 - 8:44:01 AM
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Players Union Member

Neil Allen

France

900 posts since 6/15/2014

By the way, banjo bill-e I spent 15 years working for an American investment company in London and Paris. I lost count of the number of people who I met in that environment who started out as brokers by simply opening an account to play the markets with their own inherited trust funds, learning as they went along and eventually moving into managing money on behalf of other people.

Now most of these people I met were perfectly fine folks in their own right and I have nothing against them, even though I am glad to have made my own way in life. However, I did find it mildly amusing that very often they had absolutely no clue that they were not where they were on merit and that they considered themselves to be self-made men...

Apr 8, 2020 - 8:50:38 AM
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m06

England

8730 posts since 10/5/2006

quote:
Originally posted by Tobus



>Obviously, the more skill or education or training a task requires, the higher the pay scale. And it's quite simply because there are less people who can do the job.<

 


That is, not to put too fine a point on it, generalised and cliched BS: put a stockbroker or lawyer in a care home and most wouldn't have the attributes, character or skill to last one shift.

A lot of grotesquely over-paid jobs need less skill and training than some underpaid but highly demanding roles. The real difference is whether a role generates a bucketload of profit or another person's care and wellbeing.

Edited by - m06 on 04/08/2020 08:51:59

Apr 8, 2020 - 9:04:20 AM
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chuckv97

Canada

48993 posts since 10/5/2013

I’ve driven a semi for 16 years. Every month I kept hearing about a driver shortage. Constantly, on the airwaves, in trucking magazine ads, etc. Not til 3 years ago did the paid rate per mile go up substantially. wth?

Apr 8, 2020 - 9:29:52 AM
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Tobus

USA

2173 posts since 11/17/2015

quote:
Originally posted by m06

 

That is, not to put too fine a point on it, generalised and cliched BS: put a stockbroker or lawyer in a care home and most wouldn't have the attributes, character or skill to last one shift.

A lot of grotesquely over-paid jobs need less skill and training than some underpaid but highly demanding roles. The real difference is whether a role generates a bucketload of profit or another person's care and wellbeing.


Hey Mike, do you intentionally try to come off as a jerk in all your posts, or is it just an honest lack of social skills?

Anyway, in your first statement you appeared to be disagreeing with me but you proved my point.  A stockbroker or lawyer would not be trained or educated to do the work required in a care home.  Just as a master luthier, regardless of his skill, is not qualified to do my job (structural engineering).  Each job has a limited number of people who possess the skills, education, or training to do it.  And the size of that labor pool largely determines the pay scale, along with how "in demand" the job is at any given moment.  Ergo, a garbage man gets paid virtually nothing when there are 10,000 others who can step right in and do his job.  But if suddenly the labor pool were to dry up, demand for his work would become a fairly precious thing.

As for these "grotesquely over-paid jobs" you're speaking of, name some.  Any normal highly-paid job is going to come down to either education, training, skill, experience, or scarcity.  This, obviously, excludes positions where one is paid simply because of who he knows (such as in cases of nepotism or political favor).  I'm talking about the open job market.  Highly-paid positions come with competition.

Apr 8, 2020 - 9:30:47 AM
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516 posts since 3/9/2013

A lot of those jobs listed by the op are not low paying jobs to me. Some are. Bill said it the best in his post. You can appreciate them and thank them but to say a lot of the jobs can’t be replaced is crazy. That lawyer might not be as well liked in the old folks home but he can surely do the everyday tasks. I’m an electrician. We go to school at night after work for 5 years and have to have 10000hrs of on the job training to become a journeyman. I tell apprentices all the time that they train monkeys to do our job in China. Half kidding. A lot of jobs are essential not special. And yes I’m still out there working.

Apr 8, 2020 - 9:34:32 AM
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m06

England

8730 posts since 10/5/2006

quote:
Originally posted by Neil Allen

By the way, banjo bill-e I spent 15 years working for an American investment company in London and Paris. I lost count of the number of people who I met in that environment who started out as brokers by simply opening an account to play the markets with their own inherited trust funds, learning as they went along and eventually moving into managing money on behalf of other people.

Now most of these people I met were perfectly fine folks in their own right and I have nothing against them, even though I am glad to have made my own way in life. However, I did find it mildly amusing that very often they had absolutely no clue that they were not where they were on merit and that they considered themselves to be self-made men...


Those who unfairly benefit from nepotism, cronyism and inherited money are always the very last to acknowledge that core relevant fact.

Some never acknowledge the fact. Maybe it's a self-protective mechanism against guilt and shame?

Apr 8, 2020 - 9:39:57 AM

ChunoTheDog

Canada

151 posts since 8/9/2019

quote:
Originally posted by Tobus
quote:
Originally posted by m06

 

That is, not to put too fine a point on it, generalised and cliched BS: put a stockbroker or lawyer in a care home and most wouldn't have the attributes, character or skill to last one shift.

A lot of grotesquely over-paid jobs need less skill and training than some underpaid but highly demanding roles. The real difference is whether a role generates a bucketload of profit or another person's care and wellbeing.


Hey Mike, do you intentionally try to come off as a jerk in all your posts, or is it just an honest lack of social skills?

Anyway, in your first statement you appeared to be disagreeing with me but you proved my point.  A stockbroker or lawyer would not be trained or educated to do the work required in a care home.  Just as a master luthier, regardless of his skill, is not qualified to do my job (structural engineering).  Each job has a limited number of people who possess the skills, education, or training to do it.  And the size of that labor pool largely determines the pay scale, along with how "in demand" the job is at any given moment.  Ergo, a garbage man gets paid virtually nothing when there are 10,000 others who can step right in and do his job.  But if suddenly the labor pool were to dry up, demand for his work would become a fairly precious thing.

As for these "grotesquely over-paid jobs" you're speaking of, name some.  Any normal highly-paid job is going to come down to either education, training, skill, experience, or scarcity.  This, obviously, excludes positions where one is paid simply because of who he knows (such as in cases of nepotism or political favor).  I'm talking about the open job market.  Highly-paid positions come with competition.


Strange, up here garbage men make double my salary easily with better benefits, and I work in legal/publishing and needed a university diploma. Go figure.

Apr 8, 2020 - 9:40:16 AM
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m06

England

8730 posts since 10/5/2006

quote:
Originally posted by Tobus
quote:
Originally posted by m06

 

That is, not to put too fine a point on it, generalised and cliched BS: put a stockbroker or lawyer in a care home and most wouldn't have the attributes, character or skill to last one shift.

A lot of grotesquely over-paid jobs need less skill and training than some underpaid but highly demanding roles. The real difference is whether a role generates a bucketload of profit or another person's care and wellbeing.


Hey Mike, do you intentionally try to come off as a jerk in all your posts, or is it just an honest lack of social skills?

Anyway, in your first statement you appeared to be disagreeing with me but you proved my point.  A stockbroker or lawyer would not be trained or educated to do the work required in a care home.  Just as a master luthier, regardless of his skill, is not qualified to do my job (structural engineering).  Each job has a limited number of people who possess the skills, education, or training to do it.  And the size of that labor pool largely determines the pay scale, along with how "in demand" the job is at any given moment.  Ergo, a garbage man gets paid virtually nothing when there are 10,000 others who can step right in and do his job.  But if suddenly the labor pool were to dry up, demand for his work would become a fairly precious thing.

As for these "grotesquely over-paid jobs" you're speaking of, name some.  Any normal highly-paid job is going to come down to either education, training, skill, experience, or scarcity.  This, obviously, excludes positions where one is paid simply because of who he knows (such as in cases of nepotism or political favor).  I'm talking about the open job market.  Highly-paid positions come with competition.


Ad hominem.

 

Debate the idea not the person. Ideally understand that before you start lobbing personal abuse. You demean only yourself by doing that.

My point is spot on-topic . Care workers have a huge skill set and are badly underpaid. That is counter to your generalised statement that people get paid more depending on their skill.

 

Go figure. It's very easy to see your contradictory statement without resorting to abuse.smiley

Apr 8, 2020 - 9:45:59 AM
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2611 posts since 4/29/2012
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quote:
Originally posted by banjo bill-e

Compensation is not based upon "appreciation", or any notions of fairness, it is based upon market value, which means, the number of people who can and will do those jobs if given the opportunity. Most anyone can deliver mail, which is not a low-paid job btw, but how many people can play sports well enough to have customers pay to watch them? If it is a job that most anyone can easily learn to perform, then that is the definition of "unskilled". It's an accurate description and not a value judgement. Jobs with a high wage generally have artificially limited access to the opportunity to work, which is the purpose of labor unions and many licensing requirements. They command their higher wages by preventing those who would willingly work for less from ever having the opportunity.
I agree that we should show our appreciation for all who labor and serve in needed capacities, and started a thread here about "thank you for your service" applying to these workers, but there is no "fair" way to get around market forces, as they are created by the sum of all of our free choices. We want employees to receive higher pay yet we shop for the lowest prices. To overcome market forces requires other types of force be applied to counter the results of our own individual decisions, and for all who are helped by this there will be some who are hurt.


Exactly. But this assumes that human economic evolution has reached some sort of unchangeable perfection with the rise of market capitalism. An analysis of why it shouldn't be this way and doesn't have to be this way. And how we can change it would get us locked pretty quickly.

And if I were an essential worker I'd value decent pay and conditions and job security far above a patronising "Thank you for your service". 

Apr 8, 2020 - 9:59:01 AM
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9640 posts since 2/22/2007

Sorry Mike, but any stockbroker or lawyer could learn the functions of a care associate in one day. They would not like doing it but if push came to shove, they could do the job. Would they be caring, kind, generous souls that could show empathy and compassion throughout their difficult shift? That would depend upon the individual, just like in the real world, where some care workers are saints and some are incompetent and uncaring and a few are sadists. But the reverse is obviously false, as the care associate cannot learn the functions of a lawyer or stockbroker in a day, or a month, or a year. You casually stereotype and slander all stockbrokers and lawyers as greedy callous people and elevate all doing menial labor as virtuous victims of a cruel society. That is not reality, only your prejudices on display.

Apr 8, 2020 - 10:13:17 AM
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9640 posts since 2/22/2007

AndrewD posted---"And if I were an essential worker I'd value decent pay and conditions and job security far above a patronising "Thank you for your service"."

Yes, but I can't give them decent pay and conditions and job security, because that is not mine to give. But I can show respect and gratitude.

I've been talking economics, not politics, but it is impossible not to recognize how one effects the other. A market economy is the natural result of millions of individual's free personal choices. Anything other than a market economy requires the overruling of those free choices with the imposed will of others. "We" can decide that fast food workers get paid a higher wage but we can't avoid paying higher prices for our order as a result. And a business cannot avoid shutting down when too many former customers decide that they do not wish to pay those higher prices. And then where are those higher wages, or any wages? Actions have consequences which cannot be wished away.

Apr 8, 2020 - 10:30:32 AM
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Mooooo

USA

7816 posts since 8/20/2016

Maybe entertainers and sports figures can stock the shelves and "give back to the community" like they so often claim.

Apr 8, 2020 - 10:31:26 AM
Players Union Member

Neil Allen

France

900 posts since 6/15/2014

Market economies are overruled all the while.

Just look at agricultural subsidies and minimum wages...

Apr 8, 2020 - 10:31:46 AM
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Owen

Canada

5518 posts since 6/5/2011
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I seem to recall reading/hearing that Dick Butkus once said/grunted/?? something akin to: "I coulda been a doctor, but I'm not smart enough."        Dumb luck??  [pun intended] 

Edited by - Owen on 04/08/2020 10:38:49

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