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Limit Professionals Compensation
Old 11-04-2007, 09:54 AM   #1
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Limit Professionals Compensation

Think that professionals should have wage controls on their pay.

Athletes, Rock Stars, Actors, lawyers, doctors and other professionals shouldn't get more than $50 an hour with just inflation adjustments thereafter. World would be a better place.
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Old 11-04-2007, 10:19 AM   #2
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Ignoring the free market question for the moment, what if the cost of their profession is $75 per hour?
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Old 11-04-2007, 10:39 AM   #3
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Well....I would first argue with your inclusion of athletes/rock stars/lots of actors being placed in the "professional" category. They may not be amateurs, but their jobs don't really qualify them as professions, according to the standard definition, obtained from Wikipedia:

A profession is an occupation, vocation or career where specialized knowledge of a subject, field, or science is applied.[1] It is usually applied to occupations that involve prolonged academic training and a formal qualification. It is axiomatic that "professional activity involves systematic knowledge and proficiency."[2] Professions are usually regulated by professional bodies that may set examinations of competence, act as an licensing authority for practitioners, and enforce adherence to an ethical code of practice.

And the market speaks. There is the economic mechanism for these people to obtain these astronomical earnings. Fans, patients, and clients are supporting them, with no questions asked and no complaints about how much it costs to access their services, talent, etc. (except for those who can't afford the cost of medical care).

But I would be very intrigued by how many people would go into some fields, including law and medicine, if salaries were capped. It may not be a fair argument to compare doctors earning what teachers do since there are so many more years of schooling required. I do think there might be some who would go into professional fields like medicine and law since there are people who do so in countries where they are not compensatd well at all.
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Old 11-04-2007, 10:49 AM   #4
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I think the world would become a very boring place to live. Until the revolution takes place that would overthrow this kind of extreme socialism.

Let's say I need some service that requires a high degree of education/skill/training that is difficult to come by - I actually WANT to be able to pay that person more than $50/hour. It helps to assure I will get the quality of service I need. Why would they put forth the extreme effort it takes to excel if there was not a reasonable reward for that effort?

Now, if you want to rail against CEO's making millions while they lay off employees, I tend to agree that may be a problem there. OTOH, those layoffs may be JUST what the business needs, and maybe the CEO is doing the right thing for the long term health of the business? Maybe

But I think any CEO pay issues are maybe due to there NOT being a free market - the BOD and the CEOs are probably too much of a 'good old boys' club. It is going to take a real shareholder revolt to overcome that, I think.

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Old 11-04-2007, 10:51 AM   #5
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There is a thread in a law blog where Walmart is wailing about professional fees: Law Blog - WSJ.com : Wal-Mart Memo To Law Firms: No More Rate Hikes!
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Old 11-04-2007, 11:05 AM   #6
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Given that some of my work made literally hundreds of millions of dollars for my clients, I didn't feel bad charging more than $50 an hour.
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Old 11-04-2007, 11:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTien View Post
Think that professionals should have wage controls on their pay.
Athletes, Rock Stars, Actors, lawyers, doctors and other professionals shouldn't get more than $50 an hour with just inflation adjustments thereafter. World would be a better place.
C'mon, Dan, it's clear from your avatar that you remember the 1970s, including the attempts at wage & price controls. Let's not go there again.

As far as the world being a better place, you can't even get an apprentice plumber or auto mechanic at $50/hour.
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Old 11-04-2007, 12:24 PM   #8
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Ok I do kind of remember the 70's.....and I wouldn't mind seeing what professionals rioting in the streets looks like....as far as earning 50 when costs are 75 - how about cutting operating costs like companies right sizing the working class do and then end-up give a $162 million going away present to the CEO who screws-up ...
Instead of price controls it would be easier to tax the heck out of the greedy bastards with progressive tax rates with no loopholes....so I amend my price-controls proposal to tax-controls
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Old 11-04-2007, 12:53 PM   #9
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I agree CEO compensation in some cases are way out of wack.
Perhaps it would be easier to tax the heck out of these 'greedy bastards', but the system falls apart.
The doctor needs many years of schooling. You don't lower his/her cost of that school by taxing the heck out of him.
So the doctors can no longer support themselves, much less a family, thus the new world you create has virtually no doctors. Doesn't seem to be a much better world to me.
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Old 11-04-2007, 12:56 PM   #10
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I really think milk is too expensive, so I think we ought to have a law that says that milk will never cost more than $1.00 a gallon. Naw, that's too much. Make it 50 cents a gallon.

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Old 11-04-2007, 12:59 PM   #11
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I agree CEO compensation in some cases are way out of wack.
Perhaps it would be easier to tax the heck out of these 'greedy bastards', but the system falls apart.
The doctor needs many years of schooling. You don't lower his/her cost of that school by taxing the heck out of him.
So the doctors can no longer support themselves, much less a family, thus the new world you create has virtually no doctors. Doesn't seem to be a much better world to me.
Cuba has a fairly good medical system
We can use the increased taxes to subsidize med school

As far as milk prices, not the same as lawyers making $300 an hour or ceos making 100's of millions
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Old 11-04-2007, 01:02 PM   #12
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But I would be very intrigued by how many people would go into some fields, including law and medicine, if salaries were capped. It may not be a fair argument to compare doctors earning what teachers do since there are so many more years of schooling required. I do think there might be some who would go into professional fields like medicine and law since there are people who do so in countries where they are not compensatd well at all.
I am not in favor of this idea. But shortages in fields like medicine are caused by educational and licensing bottlenecks, not by ideas that salaries may not be high enough. Like you say, only in America can someone with a +1.5 sigma IQ slog through medical training, and if he or she chooses the right specialty have close to a lock on a $350.000 ++ earnings. As you point out above, many advanced countries make do fine without shortages of medical personnel paying 1/4 of that. Medical education would have to be funded differently.

However, the truly abusive salaries in America are corporate officers.

These guys largely pay themselves whatever they want to pay, with minimal oversight from any contra-party, and with no real requirement for performance. If they mess up catastrophically they walk away with $100,000,000+ severance.

Ha
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Old 11-04-2007, 01:46 PM   #13
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Dan, are you seriously saying that no one should be allowed to make over $100,000 in a year?

What if it was investment income, from a lifetime of saving? Take it away (edit/add - even though it may be needed to cover a down year or two, or three?)?

If you don't mind me asking, how do you (did you) make a living?

Ha makes a good point that some of these fields may have an artificially constrained supply. A bit like the 'guilds' of olde?

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Old 11-04-2007, 01:59 PM   #14
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World would be a better place.

Actually, as history shows us it would soon start looking like a vast prison camp.
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Old 11-04-2007, 03:09 PM   #15
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As far as milk prices, not the same as lawyers making $300 an hour or ceos making 100's of millions
Sure. The laws of supply and demand only apply above a certain dollar amount.

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(feeling passive agressive today due to a disagreement with the ex -- don't take it personally, DT.)
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Old 11-04-2007, 03:50 PM   #16
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Cuba has a fairly good medical system
We can use the increased taxes to subsidize med school

As far as milk prices, not the same as lawyers making $300 an hour or ceos making 100's of millions
Are you drinking the Michael Moore kool-aid
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Old 11-04-2007, 03:57 PM   #17
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As for CEO going away packages.... I do not believe in what they get... BUT, these are not 'hey, you screwed up, go away for $100 million'....

The CEOs got a package WHEN THEY WERE HIRED or during their working career... they have a contract for a certain number of years with certain pay... and some have a severance package already negotiated.. and they get stock options along their career and also qualify for their retirement program...

So, if someone worked for a company for 30 years and their retirement program said they EARNED $1 mill a year for life it should be taken away because they are fired I don't think YOU would want that to happen to you... and if they had stock options on 1 million shares... do they lose it because they are fired I don't think YOU would want that to happen to you...

When they say the guy got a $100 mill package it is adding up all the stuff he already was due even if he quit... the better number would be what they paid him in addition to what he already had coming (if anything)...
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Old 11-04-2007, 08:01 PM   #18
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many professional schools charge more - or justify fee increases - because their students are supposed to make more...doesn't bode well for the suckers er my friends who decide to do public interest law or work at the community clinic despite the $100k's in debt they earn gettin those darn degrees!
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Old 11-04-2007, 09:16 PM   #19
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Cuba has a fairly good medical system
We can use the increased taxes to subsidize med school

As far as milk prices, not the same as lawyers making $300 an hour or ceos making 100's of millions
Might I ask why you're posting on an early retirement forum?

Surely it's not fair for some people to retire when others have to work. We sould have a government mandated retirement age that is fair for all.
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Old 11-04-2007, 09:35 PM   #20
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I think Dan is probably just seeing how much thunder he can stir up.

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