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It seems to me that for most jobs or professions, there's a pretty clear market pricing system in place. Teachers don't get paid much because society (stupidly) doesn't value them too much. Don't like it? Become a computer programmer.

The problem is the corporate executives who have interlocking compensation committees, a small community of moochers agreeing with each other that they are worth thousands of times as much as teachers.

by asdf on Tue May 4th, 2010 at 10:54:37 PM EST
It seems like you have set up your market pricing system with horizontal demand curves, in order to have a single, supply-independent "value" placed on any profession by "society".

But in the US, most teachers are employed in publicly funded positions, and most computer programmers, not.

Teachers in the US know that they are not going to get rich, and so those who are primarily driven by income opportunities do not enter the profession. And of course, some would be cheap at four times the salary and others would be worth giving a raise to get them out of teaching.

But the "demand" is not an amorphous mass of consumers with the marginal consumer wanting education provided hiring the marginal individual willing to do so at the wage just sufficient to get them to work - it is an organized process of determining qualifications and requirements and recruiting students into education degree programs and then placing them in school and then a highly politicized process of bargaining between the teachers and the school and the funding government(s).

Indeed, the "customers" in K-12 education are required by law to be there and are not charged (except of course in the US for a whole host of side fees and charges because of highly politically organized refusal to provide effective public education across the board).

Its as far from a market mechanism as the pay for CEO's, the difference is the institutions o depress teacher's pay and the institutions to inflate executive pay.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Tue May 4th, 2010 at 11:50:14 PM EST
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I happen to be a computer programmer by training. And have been a teacher.

In my country, the average computer programmer makes less than the top teaching position. It makes around half of it.

Intra class inequality makes inter class comparisons hard.

by t-------------- on Wed May 5th, 2010 at 07:15:15 AM EST
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You need to move to 'merica. An entry level programmer--really web site developer--without any sort of degree but some degree of fluency in Java makes around $35,000 per year. A high school teacher with ten years of experience and a master's degree in biochemistry makes around $50,000. And you need at least a BA even to be a teacher.
by asdf on Wed May 5th, 2010 at 09:57:51 PM EST
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