I think we can all agree that the most important jobs in our society (in alphabetical order) are: doctors, farmers/ranchers, firefighters, the military, nurses, police, teachers, and skilled tradesmen. On average, these important jobs pay about $60,000 a year, meaning that half of them pay less than that.
Our military personnel, many of which risk their lives on a daily basis, get paid an average of $26,000 a year.
Our police and firefighters constantly risk their lives as well, and get paid around $55,000 a year.
Our teachers, who many of us give credit to for helping to shape our lives, make an average of $36,000 a year.
If these jobs are what we consider to be the most important jobs, why do we not pay these jobs the highest salaries?
There are hundreds of jobs that out there that pay substantially more than our list of most important jobs.
The most egregious differences in pay emerge when we look at what entertainers are paid. Why do we value and reward entertainment so much, when the entertainment field is arguably one of the least important of all?
It is definitely an enigma wrapped in a conundrum.
What kind of differences am I talking about? Well, let’s take a look.
Beyonce makes more in one day than what an average doctor makes in an entire year.
LeBron James makes over TWO THOUSAND TIMES a year what an average teacher makes.
Tom Cruise could pay the entire police force for the City of Green Bay, Wisconsin, or for Albany, New York, for a whole year, with what he earns for making one film.
The average baseball player earns $8,000 every time he goes up to hit. That means the average baseball player (not even the players that make the most money) make more in one game than a member of the military or a teacher earns in a year.
The average NFL player makes about $2 million a year.
The average MLB player makes about $4 million a year.
And, the average NBA player makes around $8.5 million a year.
The highest paid players make over $30 million a year. The highest paid entertainers make over $75 million a year, all the way up to $130 million a year.
And who pays for all of these exorbitant salaries? All of the poor slobs with the “important” jobs. We buy tickets, we pay for TV, and we pay when we buy all of the products that pay for advertisements related to all of the above. We pay a hidden price for every beer or soda we drink, for every hamburger or pizza we eat, and for every call we make or text we send on our phones.
On top of that, we are forced to endure political and social scoldings from all of these fortunate people that we allow to entertain us and lead these extravagant lives.
I really wouldn’t begrudge our entertainment stars making a really comfortable living, but we have moved way past comfortable and into the ridiculous neighborhood.
Ah yes, it’s a wonderful life.