The Risk and Reward of Pay


So, I’ve been thinking about how people don’t get why athletes, actors, and other celebrity-types get paid more than teachers, garbage collectors, and other people without whom society couldn’t function. My guess: the higher paying jobs are just that much harder to get and maintain in the first place.

For example, it’s relatively easy to get a job as a teacher–once you get the necessary degree, that is. And once you get the job, you have to try really hard to get fired. And yet, despite how much people praise your efforts to contribute to society, you barely get paid enough to pay the mortgage each month. Still you could have that job for the rest of your life, if you wanted, and for that, you have a steady income.

On the other hand, there’s the life of an actor. It doesn’t take a degree to become one, but the selection process is extremely…well, selective. Even if you manage to get a gig, you only hold that pay for the duration of the project, and depending on how big that gig is, it can either pay you for the rest of the next three years or not enough to even buy lunch. And then, you have to hunt down the next gig, and the next one, and so on and so forth. Yes, each gig can pay almost ludicrously well, but you can’t hold it for long, and getting it in the first place is a real chore.

As nonsensical as it may seem on the surface, that’s how I see it happen. The higher paying the job, the harder it is to get in the first place, much less maintain.