CNNMoney has published an awesome visualization by artist Bård Edlund showing how much various people make in one minute. On the chart (and quickly moving past it) are Kobe Bryant and Exxon Mobil Corporation CEO Rex Tillerson. Also included are median and minimum wage workers, President Obama, the average teacher, and the average doctor.
No surprises here: some professions make a lot more than others. But apart from the difference in wages between professions, a second-by-second breakdown of wages is fascinating. How long, for example, does it take Tillerson to make enough dough for a cup of coffee? Less than 10 seconds, probably. Considering how long it takes to order a cup, he's still going to be making money while waiting in line. So is Kobe (natch), and so is Obama, likely.
There's a wide enough variety of people and careers on the visualization that you can probably guess where your own expanding circle would fall, too.
Hmm. Kobe vs elementary school teacher.
$162.55 for each $0.43.
That means Kobe gets paid 378 more per <time interval> than a teacher.
Now lets take a look at what they do.
Elementary School teacher provides instruction to ~30 kids for 8 hours a day, for 180 days. So lets call that an annual 43200 instruction-hours.
Now let us take Kobe, who plays say, an hour per game, and plays maybe 20 games a year that each fan watches on average. Lets also be conservative and assume that he has 1 million fans, and be fair and divide that entertainment across all 10 players on the court at any time.
That gets us to 1hour x 20games x 1mil fans /10 players.
That gets us to 2 million fan-hours dedicated to Kobe per year.
So starting off, in terms of not what work they do, but what wealth (service in this case) they generate, you have the teacher providing 43,200 instruction-hours, and Kobe providing 2 million game-hours.
So starting off, Kobe generates 46.3 more wealth in terms of volume. So in order for his paycheck to be fair, people would have to value watching him about 8x as much as they value sitting in a classroom.
Find me anybody on the planet that wouldn't prefer a basketball game at least 8x more than sitting in a classroom.
Also, that money comes from endorsement deals mostly. His sports salery is likely less than half his income, so my guess is that all people would have to do is value school and basketball equally for this to be a "fair" allocation of wealth.
And this also ignores the scarcity of an equivalent basketball player vs that of an equivalent teacher. Competition and all that.
So, nice try popsci, but all you're doing is showing that their salaries aren't absurd, because they are being compensated based on the service they provide, and how much their customers value it. To argue against that system is to argue against people's freedom to choose what they want to spend their money on.
@Brian144, Thanks for the lengthy, overly simplified and tired market-only response to a critical and complex social issue. It serves as a particularly thorough explanation of why self-regulating markets cannot be allowed to set the priorities of a society.
Class Warfare Part2
Just looks to me like lots of minimum wagers like spending their money on tickets & jerseys.
@brian144 -- in addition to what @-hms- said:
1st, the video mentions the amount for Bryant does *not* include endorsements, which double his money.
But, if you want to break salary down to a utilitarian model, you should add to the sports-fans views the amount of time after the game they think about the game, or party, since that's part of the package. Maybe they add 2 hours to their 1 hour of viewing? I don't know (neither do you, of course).
But then you'll also need to add the value people get post classroom. Since your education allows you to live the rest of your life, and most waking hours are spent using what you learned in elementary school, and since everything any of us really needed to know we learned in kindergarten, maybe about 12 hours of every day is spent doing things that, without education, we couldn't do.
Which adds maybe 200,000 hours to the "value" of education.
All of this is pointless, of course, since these random numbers are just made up, yours and mine, and the value of a persons "service" is not something that can ever be accurately put down into numbers and figures.
Instead of complaining about how much some people make ,we should be complaining about how little most people make.
It seems that everyone forgot that there is only one Kobe... Yet almost anyone can teach.
"Yeah, I totally gave this inspirational speech to Bill Gates when he was young, and that helped him drop out of college and gamble on Microsoft. So that speech has gotta count for like... a billion dollars in wealth I generated today."
You can't claim you generate the wealth OTHERS generate from your product. Teachers do not make the wealth of the educated. They educate. That is THEIR wealth generation. Obviously education is a good investment, but you can't just assign a share of the fruits of student's future labor to teachers.
And I do NOT want to turn it down into a utilitarian model. You and -hms- make the same mistake here in thinking you have the right to "set priorities of society". Utilitarian modeling implies some rubric of "good" society is measured by.
I'm simply stating that everybody gets to choose their own "good". And then they trade their wealth to get it. If they want to spend $50/month for cable, and watch 20 Kobe Bryant games, then great. If they want to spend $50 per ticket and see him live, great. If they're like me, and don't watch sports, they pay $0, and that is also -GREAT-. The aggregate "good" all United States individuals assign to watching Kobe play totals 400x that of a single teacher teaching.
Who are you to think you get to lump everybody into "society" and then set their priorities for how they want to allocate their wealth? My only assertion is that leaving people to their own wants, values, and tastes, it is very understandable that Kobe makes 400x that of a teacher. Because the total wealth he provides is valued by the rest of society to average ~400x as much.
Notice that the champion bowler of this year isn't mentioned on this info-graph. I don't even know his name. Why? Because I don't value watching him bowl, and neither does a large majority of society. So he doesn't make as much as Kobe. And neither does a teacher.
Is it right? Is it wrong? Are people's priorities wrong? Who are you to say. You're just another person. What makes you so elite that you know better than others whats rewards they should seek for their effort?
another social issue on poopsci? shocking. I give up.
Today's magic is tomorrow's technology.
@brian144, you are thinking in a very limited scope. Without teachers, the vast majority of people would be suitable for little more than manual labor. Our economy would tank.
The fact is that a teacher's job is to increase the value of another person's time. Their value is measurable in the increase in value of the student's time over the course of those 43,000 teacher hours.
If you consider the median salary of a high-school graduate is about $26,500, the average value that a teacher adds to a class of 30 students per year (considering their labor is worth nothing when they are 5) is around $66,200, which is significantly less than the median teacher's salary of $40-$43,000 (depending on the age of the child)
I believe in the free market. Kobe is paid what the market can bare. So are teachers. But you can't say that Kobe adds any value to society by playing a game. I submit that if all professional sports stopped immediately, after the riots, the condition of life in this country would improve greatly. People would drink less, exercise more and spend their time and money on things that actually matter.
The same cannot be said of teachers or even the stock boy at your local grocery store. These people add value to society. Professional athletes (who act unprofessionally much of the time, so why aren't they called unprofessional athletes?) remove value from society.
But the market will do what it wills.
Actually, I can -and do- say he adds value. Not to me particularly, but other people enjoy watching him, and so he adds value. "Value" is subjective. Is entertainment not value?. Again you mistake your opinion of 'value' for the "right" opinion. Quit with this delusion that you exist on some elevated intellectual plane, and "know whats valuable".
Not, "without teachers". Without EDUCATION many people could only do manual labor. And that's ignoring that what constitutes "education" varies (that's why people pay for different college degrees). The difference is how you educate them.
For instance, what if I create a series of videogames and movies that teaches half of the country up through middle school? Do I deserve to get a third of our $300 Billion education budget? Nope, because someone else will offer to do it for only $50 Billion. And there is a decent chance he'll be undercut as well.
I personally learned all my non-trivia knowledge through elementary school via several of The Learning Company videogames like "Gizmos and Gadgets" and the "Jumpstart X Grade" series and "Math blaster", as well as watching The Magic School Bus. It also covered all the "school curriculum" science up through middle school, and all the science necessary to ace the Science ACT. All my math beyond middle school I learned 1-3 years ahead of time doing a Math Competition. Teachers didn't teach me math from 4th grade until Calculus, and that is 3 years beyond the High school Standard curriculum. My operational vocabulary came from a few hundred books I've read in my life, plus the endless stream of text from video-games. My reading level was at "college" level by the 6th grade, according to my school's own testing system (as were many of my friends).
So what did my science teachers get paid for in elementary school, and what did all of my other teachers get paid for during high school?
By your logic, me or my parents owe that package of videogames and TV shows and books tens of thousands of dollars. I think all en tol they ran maybe $500.
That is not to say my experience was typical. I'm simply pointing out the fallacy of presuming that teachers are the only method of instruction or education.
You also make the mistake that we pay people equal to the wealth we receive from them. If we did that then everything would be a zero-sum game and there would be no progress. Why would I pay a teacher $100,000 so my kid can make $100,000 more in his lifetime? That's hardly a payoff.
We generate most of our wealth through trade. If I have 100 slices of ham, and my friend has 100 slices of bread, most people would trade 50 slices for 50 slices, and now we'd each have 50 sandwiches. We haven't created anything new, and yet we both traded because we both valued half as many sandwiches more than our deli components. We both walked away with more value; more wealth.
The reason we would pay a teacher $43,000 is because the teacher demanding $45,000 wasn't any better, and the one offering to work for $40,000 didn't seem like he could add. I'd pay a teacher $50,000 if he could get the same educating done in a 6 hour day instead of an 8 hour day, because I value my son's free time. And I wouldn't pay a teacher $100,000, because I'd rather take 3 hours a day and teach my kid the same thing, because I value $100,000 more than 540 hours of my time.
"The market" is not some faceless force. It is the aggregate demands of the population. Economic and social problems are not separate things. A free market is simply everybody getting to offer a price for their services, and money for the services of others. The economy is the sum of the deals that go through, based on when what people offer and demand line up.
To demand a different system is to demand that people not get compensated what they feel owed, and demand that people pay for what they do not want. Many people, of course, find this appealing, because they imagine themselves in charge of setting society's "values". They know you'll get what you want. And anyone that doesn't just has the wrong attitude and fails to see their infinite wisdom.
I suppose brevity of thought is one thing I never did learn. Maybe that's something school could've tried teaching me. What a waste.
I think that many people here have never been a teacher. Teachers do not teach for money. And not everyone can be a teacher. In fact not all teachers are even effective teachers.
But @brian144, them be a lot of words, and keep in mind our responses were to your first post which ended with: "So, nice try popsci, but all you're doing is showing that their salaries aren't absurd, because they are being compensated based on the service they provide, and how much their customers value it. To argue against that system is to argue against people's freedom to choose what they want to spend their money on."
However, PopSci did not take a moral, ethical or any other stance on the issue. They simply linked to a visualization of the facts, leaving all judgement out of it.
You, however, not only provided judgement, but did so in a way that implied that PopSci was doing so as well. They didn't.
As for the end of your second response, I'm sorry you feel the education system failed you.
Im a little upset to see popsci post something so void of reason. I believe brian144 has a good point and any logical person would agree. However I respect others opinions and I will not use force oppon you to express mine. Now do you offer me the same courtesy to express my own opinions whithout the use of violence or force acted oppon me?
Yo, bro. If your mom was a teacher (like mine is) you would know that they DON'T work just 8 hours a day. They work more like 10- 12 hours a day. They Grade papers, set up, arrive early, stay late, and work hard! PLUs they work in the summer. Going to meetings, workshops and other stuff. Oh and @blastingbird DONT YOU DARE TELL ME THAT ANYONE CAN TEACH!!!. It takes a special person - they must be able to put up with stress and kids who are very annoying every day and parents who are angry at their kids bad grades. (the kids fault...) So Kobe can be Kobe. Teachers are their own breed. (at least GOOD teachers are)
A dramatic demonstration of the gullibility of so many.
Where is the proof that the numbers recorded here are true?
Someone assembles a moving image presentation and so many automatically assume the information must be true.
On NPR, their Cosmos & Culture section profiled a show brand that calls itself “Atheist” and claims that they have suffered discrimination in mailing their product, with the post office service deliberately mishandling or even losing its product. Given the viciousness toward religion of so many “science” devotees, it;s not surprising there was general acceptance of the claim. Almost no one asked what proof there was that the self serving assertions of the “Atheist” brand were true.
UFO's, chemtrails, Sasquatch all have far firmer evidence than the unsupported claims of the “Atheist” company or the phantom “numbers” that go into the demonstration in this article, yet these receive unquestioned acceptance, while there is nothing but viciousness for the topics the New World Order demands be viewed as “out of bounds”.
I think Brian114 makes some very valid points and I wouldn't mind if someone like him wrote the articles on PopSci. I don't necessarily have the socio-economic knowledge of some of the earlier commenters but I have certainly learned a great deal from the debate which is more than I can say for the article itself.
As for the issue of teachers working only 8 hours a day vs. more hours a day, I'd have to say that the amount of time my teachers actually spent teaching in school was about 2.6 hours. They taught 4 classes a day, each 39 minutes. The rest of the time they had study halls or free time. It took up to a month for teachers to get papers back to the students and at that rate the teachers and my professors in college only had to grade one test, paper, or assignment every day. I'm on board with Brian114, I learned much more from the educational television and video games I played (even the non-educational ones) the hundreds of books I read and the serious interest my parents took in educating me. Teachers honestly had nothing to do with my education.
The values this comparison uses for teachers or President Obama makes it quite dishonest. First of all, public school teachers, such as those in California, only work about 63% of the number of hours each year that the average private sector worker does. Also, the California public school teacher does not pay any social security taxes.
As for President Obama, besides his base salary, he also receives annual perks worth several million dollars more. He and his family get free luxury housing, free gourmet meals, free luxury travel on a private 747 jet, and free luxury hotel accommodations when traveling. Plus the President and First Lady receive the best medical care money can buy for the rest of their lives, courtesy of US taxpayers.
It would be nice to see how this comparison would play out using these more honest numbers for total salary compensation.