Wednesday 23 December 2009

A Bit Rich: Calculating the real value to society of different professions

to what extent does what we get paid confer ???worth???? Beyond a narrow notion of productivity, what impact does our work have on the rest of society, and do the financial rewards we receive correspond to this? Do those that get more contribute more to society?

Our report tells the story of six different jobs. We have chosen jobs from across the private and public sectors and deliberately chosen ones that illustrate the problem. Three are low paid ??? a hospital cleaner, a recycling plant worker and a childcare worker. The others are highly paid ??? a City banker, an advertising executive and a tax accountant. We examined the contributions they make to society, and found that, in this case, it was the lower paid jobs which involved more valuable work.

The report goes on to challenge ten of the most enduring myths surrounding pay and work. People who earn more don't necessarily work harder than those who earn less. The private sector is not necessarily more efficient than the public sector. And high salaries don't necessarily reflect talent.

in my experience, the NEF report tells us nothing we didn't intuitively suss out before, only the probability of realizing their result appears to be directly proportional to one's real talent and engagement, and inversely proportional to one's occupational remuneration.

Put another way, could it be people are in fact proportionally paid specifically to overlook this reality?