After watching Capitalism- A love story, I got into a heated debate with a few of my classmates. They were really sad that the airline pilots were having a hand to mouth existence, while high school dropouts who were promoted to the managers of fast food or supermarket chains were earning many times more. They believed that it was exploitation and this should be corrected. One of them went to the level that government should install strata, via regulation, in the payscale. This way there will be clearcut demarcation of how much should someone earn based on the number of years of schooling he/she has done.
My assertion was:
a. The store managers are earning more because they are good at their job and their skills are more valuable than others. It is not that the tax payer’s money is being used to pay an incompetent public servant, these high school drop outs receive a share of the profit they make for their establishments.
b. Not all pilots are having a hand to mouth existence. We are probably comparing the worst pilots with the best highschool drop outs. It must be noted that most high school drop do not get promoted.
c. The moral ground that since I have spent more hours at school and college, I should be paid more is also not valid. In most universities the students have a more leisure lifestyle allowing them to party, have a part time job and long vacations. While working in a sweatshop Is far more straining.
d. The moral assertion is further weakened by the fact that often it’s the society and not the individual that bears the cost of education. The wages of the professors, the scholarships, tuition fee grants/waivers, support for living expenses, subsidized accommodation and travel all comes from the taxpayers.
e. Lastly it should not be forgotten that many people forego their university degree. This could be because the employer might think that they are too overqualified for the job or because their degree has no relation with the job they are applying for. As a result the surveys are never able to correctly capture their statistics.