Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Pay Me

Start your own company.

Start your own company and decide what your salary will be.

I've been taking this stance lately with certain professionals who believe their compensation is unjust. Start your own company and you'll soon learn what the market thinks your value is. You can then complain to your customers that you don't charge them enough. Good luck with that.

Underpaid and overpaid is an opinion and I'm in the opinion that there are plenty of both in a thriving economy. I'm also in the opinion that most people are paid their market value. One could argue that as fact because the number that is your salary/compensation is a fact and you are part of the labor market. However, unlike some unapologetic capitalists, I don't believe the market is infinitely intelligent and always right. In some cases, the market can be's happened many times in human history therefore the market is not necessarily always correct or inherently right. But the laws of supply and demand do a pretty good job in determining what a Snickers Bar costs and what a middle manager is paid.

If you feel your underpaid then I'm afraid you will need to prove it to an employer or a market....or both.

I don't particularly like that an amazing school teacher might make 50K a year while a clearly average hedge fund manager might make that in a week. But I'll take that over a bureaucrat in a planned economy deciding my salary.

All of the above has been true for as long as free market capitalism has existed. Globalization has taken this truth to another level.

There is no "fair". When the unknowing tobacco farmer was told 60 years ago that his crop kills people, he had to make a decision. When your W2 says you made $37,000 this year, you too might have to make a decision. Don't make the decision to assign blame. Accept it or make an all-out effort to change it. If you can't change it, be grateful for what you have. More than 3 billion people on this earth live on less than $3 a day.