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April 19th, 2005

Five People Who Should Make More Money Than They Do

  1. Teachers
  2. Stay At Home Moms
  3. Janitorial staff
  4. Construction workers
  5. Non-doctor hospital staff

Posted in Everyday Life

FROM: Chris [E-Mail]
DATE: Tuesday April 19, 2005 -- 9:24:39 am
You are forgetting your Econ 101 Ryan. Wages are determined by supply and demand of people that can do the job, not by social worth. Anybody can do any of the above jobs, thus wages are held down by new entrants into the system willing to work for less. Only a handful of people can throw a baseball 100 miles per hour accurately, thus Roger Clemens makes $15 MM per year.

Anyway, Stay At Home Moms are paid in a way, just not with cash. I think most of them would tell you that what they do get as a SAHM is worth far more than salary and benefits.



FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Tuesday April 19, 2005 -- 9:29:33 am
I'm sorry, but where are traffic reporters on this list? You remember me and this Ping next time you are caught in a jam on I-95 with nowhere to go. ;)



FROM: Chris
DATE: Tuesday April 19, 2005 -- 10:19:29 am
Chris' Law of Traffic Reporters:

The probability that the WTOP traffic reporter will mention the traffic jam you are in is proportional to your vehicle speed.

In other words...the worse the traffic jam, the less likely you'll hear about it on the 8's.



FROM: heather
DATE: Tuesday April 19, 2005 -- 10:50:11 am
I loved this topic. I have felt the same way for years. Cops and fireman should be added as well.

I loved that you put SAHMs on there. My friends and I have often said that we wish we could figure out how to get paid for what we do (one income and no health insurance can be a hard trade off sometimes). So while Chris thinks anyone can do this job (hahahahahaha) I thank you Ryan for your inclusion on that list.



FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Tuesday April 19, 2005 -- 11:10:53 am
one income and no health insurance can be a hard trade off sometimes

Or, as is sometimes the case, no incomes and no health insurance (single moms deserve even more since they're doing the work of two people).



FROM: Chris
DATE: Tuesday April 19, 2005 -- 2:12:21 pm
And where exactly is all this extra money going to come from? If the government arbitrarily decreed that all teachers will receive a 100% pay increase what do you think will happen? I can tell you - the number of teachers will decrease by 50%. If the govt printed a few extra trillion dollars to pay all these folks, that would just cause inflation, costs across the board would go up and nobody would be better off. However, everybody that didn't get the govt provided raise would be worse off.

I guess the government could just raise taxes on the evil rich Republicans and give all that money to this long list of people that deserve it. Of course the wealthiest 50% in this country already pay about 96% of the taxes - so I'm not sure how much more you can squeeze out of them.

It's funny how when anybody other than the government forcibly takes money from a person that earned it we call it theft. When the government does it some of you call it fair.

Oh, and Heather, you might want to poke around my weblog a bit before you go off criticizing me. You'd be hard pressed to find a more vocal advocate for SAHMs than me.

Here is just one very recent example.
http://www.odonnellweb.com/mtarchives/001605.php



FROM: Paul
DATE: Tuesday April 19, 2005 -- 3:04:31 pm
And where exactly is all this extra money going to come from?

Uhm, the War on Terror?



FROM: Chris
DATE: Tuesday April 19, 2005 -- 3:26:00 pm
All that money is borrowed. Even if the war on terror stopped tomorrow, there would not be any excess funds to spend elsewhere.



FROM: dave
DATE: Tuesday April 19, 2005 -- 3:52:25 pm
Wow, rage much? How about dumping "faith-based" grants? And eliminating tax exemptions for churches overtly involved in political activity (on both sides)? And letting people buy their meds from Canada rather than passing a huge Medicare bill that is really a government subsidy for the pharmaceutical industry? And subsidies for tobacco farmers. Should I keep going?



FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Tuesday April 19, 2005 -- 4:27:17 pm
And where exactly is all this extra money going to come from? ...

Dayum...

This wasn't intended to charge a political debate. I just wanted to do my own thing to show appreciation for people that often don't get their just due.



FROM: Chris
DATE: Tuesday April 19, 2005 -- 4:31:13 pm
I'm all for every one of those things. Keep going, you'll find it difficult to come up with spending cuts I'd oppose. The federal government should only do those things that the citizens or states can't handle. National defense, treaties, and trade policy are a couple that come to mind as legitimate functions of a federal government.



FROM: Joseph
DATE: Wednesday April 20, 2005 -- 11:50:36 am
Nice Ping. It'll never happen.





FROM:
DATE: Wednesday April 20, 2005 -- 3:53:32 pm



FROM: Lisa
DATE: Wednesday April 20, 2005 -- 6:54:43 pm
I agree about teacher's getting paid more, but hey, they get all holiday's and summer's off, with pay! How can you beat that! Plus, SOME teachers spend half of their class time working on football/sports strategies, if they were to get paid, it should be very selective.



FROM:
DATE: Wednesday April 20, 2005 -- 10:29:28 pm



FROM: John
DATE: Wednesday April 20, 2005 -- 11:42:35 pm
Not to get in the middle of a debate that already got much more political (and personal) than I suspect our hosts wanted, but I wish to respond to the comment that teachers get "holidays and summers off, with pay!" I am a teacher. My contract pays me for precisely 180 days, and I am obligated to be at work for 183. My checks stop coming about a week before the last day of school. So, umm... those facts just aren't true.



FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday April 21, 2005 -- 9:28:18 am
My parents are both teachers and I seem to remember them having an option to have their pay spread out for the whole year evenly... I could be wrong about that, but perhaps that's what Lisa's thinking of.



FROM: Greg
DATE: Thursday April 21, 2005 -- 12:58:35 pm
Union construction workers:
Foreman: $100/hr
Apprentice: $75/hr
Journeyman: $50/hr

Many of these guys don't even have any college education. Think about that next time you're paying a school loan.



FROM: Paul
DATE: Thursday April 21, 2005 -- 1:22:45 pm
Aw, man, not the Union argument, Greg!



FROM: Joseph
DATE: Thursday April 21, 2005 -- 1:47:44 pm
I think apprentice is lowest on the scale, then journeyman, then foreman.

Good luck finding the unions, though. I did construction for years after the unions collapsed. Here's a breakdown of the real pay:

Apprentice: $6 an hour, no benefits, no retirement + had to file Schedule C as independent contractor, pay double social security. At the end of the day, did I make any money?

Journeyman: $13 an hour, no benefits, no retirement, see schedule C argument.

Foreman: Owned the company, probably made $30 to $40k per year, no benefits, no retirement. Probably felt like a jerk having to hire kids for no money to float an economically unsupportable business. We all thought he was rich. But, when the IRS took his house away we decided that we should get real jobs.

Another boss of mine was killed on the job, leaving behind a wife and two small kids. I think about that a lot as I pay my school loans.

The union guys got paid well--when they were working. But they often were without work for most of the year. A lot of them scabbed with us. Shhhhhhhh.



FROM: Joseph
DATE: Thursday April 21, 2005 -- 1:53:31 pm
Reverse-scabbed, I guess. What is it called when a union guy works on the side (full time) for a non union company?

There really weren't any unions anymore in those days anyway. I hear the unions are back and things are better for the workers.

Everyone I knew who was building in those days has moved on to something else. That should tell you how bad it really sucked. It's true you don't have to have an education. But to be any good, to be a useful construction worker, you have to be able to take direction, have some vision, and be smart. The dummies fall by the wayside fast (or the people who were smarter than I was and realized quickly that there wasn't any money in it). It's a tough job with a lot of risks.

I doubt I'll get killed at my desk job, though. I don't work at the post office, after all.



FROM: jk
DATE: Thursday April 21, 2005 -- 2:28:30 pm
Joseph, it's horrible to say, but I think you'd be in greater physical danger as a teacher.



FROM: Lisa
DATE: Thursday April 21, 2005 -- 5:33:32 pm
Yes Ryan, that is what I was referring to. Thanks.



FROM: Greg
DATE: Friday April 22, 2005 -- 11:47:45 am
Paul - "Union" was mentioned only because that's who I have working for me currently and who I've had to bill for. Aren't you proud of me for staying away from the teachers? :)



FROM: Joseph
DATE: Friday April 22, 2005 -- 1:22:00 pm
But to be any good, to be a useful construction worker, you have to be able to take direction, have some vision, and be smart.

Not to mention the physical requirements: you also have to be in shape and able to lift, be somewhat acrobatic and also be unafraid of heights or wary of climbing up on precarious assemblages of materials otherwise known as makeshift scaffolding.

I don't personally know any teachers who have been injured or killed on the job. I've heard of those who have been shot and maimed in school tragedies. Construction workers get killed every day. I've seen my share of broken limbs, and other disgusting injuries.

I was on the job once when an electrician got electrocuted badly. They get shocked all the time, but this one time was different. He had to be revived. I heard him scream; I smelled his burnt flesh. He was finally able to return to work after a full year of recovery.

After the injury, the legal nightmare just begins. If you have a big accident like that, where someone gets badly injured, you're out of business.

Less dramatically, no one ever mentions how construction workers often get laid off for months at a time no matter where you work. In that way, it's kind of like being a teacher--except you don't know when your long vacation is going to occur. For example, I've been laid off for months because of too much rain.

A W-2 and student loan checks once a month for me, please!



FROM: Paul
DATE: Friday April 22, 2005 -- 4:59:02 pm
Paul - "Union" was mentioned only because that's who I have working for me currently and who I've had to bill for.

Yes, but you have to remember part of the reason that unions exist today: to prevent companies from really screwing over workers. Not everyone in a union is perfect, but not everyone outside of one is either. Wal-Mart is a fine example, but that's another Ping.

Aren't you proud of me for staying away from the teachers? :)

ooooh... you don't think they deserve more, either?



FROM: Skyforum [E-Mail]
DATE: Sunday December 25, 2005 -- 2:05:45 pm
You all forgot one.
Tow Truck Operators.

They put their lives on the line every day to lay down on the side of the freeway to change your tire with cars wizzing by their heads at speeds exceeding 70 mph, or stand in accident scenes on blind corners trying to load a crashed car with drinks actually aiming at the little flashing yellow lights.

Most of them make less than 25 grand a year.



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