#OVERPAID: Why It Is Pointless To Compare Salaries Between Certain Occupations

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Over the years, I’ve seen so many memes and pictures in which the message is something to the effect of comparing salaries between occupations. Of course, the main complaint is that one is considered as “overpaid” (professional athlete, performing artist, actor, etc.) while the other is considered as “underpaid” (military, teacher, law enforcement, etc.)

First off, I am in the military. I appreciate anyone who speaks up for us in any way. So this isn’t to slap you all in the face.

However, whenever I see anything like that, I don’t feel like rejoicing in any kind of way, mainly because the comparisons, while I get the thoughts behind them, are pointless. Here’s why.

For one thing, what exactly is “overpaid,” anyway? Who decided what is considered as being paid “too much” for a certain occupation? If I asked ten different people what a rapper should be paid, I would likely get ten different answers.

Two, one thing people really need to understand is that often (not in every case, so I don’t need for you to point each one out that doesn’t fit this) those who are viewed as “overpaid” are paid more based on sort of a customer base (for lack of a better term) as opposed to the other occupations.

Also, those paying each of these occupations are entirely different entities. For example, a professional football player is paid by a billionaire owner. A teacher is paid by the state he or she resides in. That billionaire owner has millions upon millions of dollars coming in to where he or she can do whatever they choose with the money. The money coming in to pay teachers is limited. It isn’t as if the same person is deciding who is to get paid what they do. It’s really apples and oranges.

As far as this “customer base” is concerned, I would suggest researching (without judgment) who all is interested in professional sports, singers, actors and the kind of money generated by each of them. Again…without judgment. No need for “holier than thou” attitudes about who likes what. Talking about how horrible of human beings those who like rap are will NOT change anyone, so it’s pointless to even go there.

For me in the military, my salary isn’t based on fans or any kind of customer base. It’s from the government. People don’t pay to come and see me do my work as they do with the other occupations. I’m not paid from a private billionaire per se. So unlike with them, the “pool” of money doesn’t change as it would for someone who pays pro athletes and so on.

In short, the money made by people in certain occupations is based on the money they generate. However fair or unfair you may feel that is, that’s the way it works.

And it isn’t about whether YOU like whatever it is. Again, no need for the judgment. That’s why I suggested above that you research. Because for you to not like something doesn’t mean it isn’t worthy or that others wouldn’t to justify what they’re getting paid. I don’t listen to today’s rap very much, but that doesn’t mean others do not. It’s not all about me. Nor is it all about you.

Let’s take actors and actresses for example. If you like one more than another, chances are, you would find some way to justify why one is paid so much over the other. But again…it isn’t about whether or not you like them. It’s about the money they or their name generates, whether you feel it is unfair or not.

So again…as a soldier (who will reach 20 years of active service in two weeks), I GREATLY appreciate those who speak up for us, as I’m sure teachers, those in law enforcement and other similar occupations do as well.

But this is a bit like throwing gasoline on a fire and wondering why it never goes out. You can do it as much as you want, but it really won’t solve anything or stop what has been going on for decades. I think that it will do us much better to try to understand how it works (again, without necessarily having to agree with it) than to just spend all our time putting down those we feel are in the “overpaid” category. Chances are, it won’t make them feel bad anyway.

Then again, why should it? Speaking of “holier than thou,” let’s come down off the high horse for a second. If you worked in an occupation that generated millions upon millions of dollars, you’re telling me honestly that you wouldn’t try to get some of that for yourself? If you were offered, you’re saying you would turn it down because your moral compass would kick you in the ass?

I didn’t think so.

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