Thursday, February 28, 2013

Plan Accordingly

Today on Wall Street, several hundred people who were at their high school prom 10 years ago will make more money today than you'll make in the next three months.

Meanwhile, an inner-city teacher will put in extra hours of their own time to help three bright kids whose mothers have a taste for crack the way you have a taste for Hazlenut. For the day, after taxes, that teacher will take home $126.91.

The market decides. I don't like the above example of the market at work but it beats the hell out of a planned economy in which a political ideology decides what you earn.

I'm a headhunter but I wasn't always. I worked for some recognized companies in the past and for that reason alone, headhunters would call me. Roughly 4 nanoseconds after my saying "hello", I was asked how much money I made last year. Before I could answer or decide if I wanted to answer, the uber-aggressive headhunter might ask about the last three years of W2's. It pissed me off but the guy was playing the odds and, quite frankly, doing his job. I'm a salesguy and he wants to know how good I am. If I made a ton of dough but wanted to change jobs, we might be able to help each other out

The market- unbeknownst to certain Tea Party nutjobs- sometimes doesn't always reflect value and rarely truth. There are millions of underpayed and overpaid people. The reasons for this are too many to list here but often it's because a person or hierarchy that makes such decisions puts the money somewhere else. If you think that's not fair- you're right- but you need to fix it if it really bothers you.

The world in infinitely unfair. Where and to whom you are born is where you're positioned at the starting gate of life. I was born and raised in New England. What if I was born and raised somewhere in Somalia? There's no bootstraps to pull yourself up there. If you're professionally and/or financially successful, be thankful. If you contribute meaningfully to society with your work- I thank you. If you feel the need to pat yourself on the back- go for it. If you get dealt a good hand at birth, it's up to you to find your own way.