Logic Of The Day: 25.06.2018.
Jobs are like clothes. More precisely: pay is like fashion.
The reasons that jeans are fashionable or that certain jobs are well-paid are, in both cases, quite random.
Yes, I’ll explain.
Fashionability is completely relative, and we know it is.
There are no ‘facts’ about whether something is or is not fashionable. When something goes out of fashion, it’s not like we have discovered a ‘truth’. It’s not like, “We thought jeans were fashionable, but the latest science shows that they actually aren’t”.
Rather, something goes out of fashion because of contingent, sociocultural factors.
As such, it’s a largely random process.
Likewise, when some career is well-paid, that’s not because it genuinely is important: the material rewards one receives for one’s ‘contribution’ to society are hardly connected to how valuable that contribution really is.
In our system, the amount of money paid for work done doesn’t depend on the importance or value of the work. Instead, like the fashionability of clothes, heights of salaries are governed by fluky, unconsidered processes.
~Maarten Van Doorn (The Startling Truth About “What We Deserve”)