It’s entirely true that not everyone can know about everything. I myself am lamentably short in understanding why Simon Cowell for example. But there are still some things which all should grasp, even if not all all. One of those things being why fun jobs pay so little money.
Knowing that would save this lady from perplexity:
I’m not advocating communism but I have never understood why some jobs are worth 10 times more than others. I feel I should be earning more. I’d like a bigger house with an extra bedroom so we can have friends to stay and space for the hundreds of books I have in storage. And I’d love more land so we could start a smallholding.
She is something akin to a churchwarden at St Magnus on Orkney. And Adam Smith could – indeed did – tell her why her salary is so lamentably low. The job’s great fun.
Smith did actually point out that all jobs pay the same. These days we’d mutter about skill levels and so on – we do not mean that collecting supermarket trolleys and running the country pay the same. Nor even that they should – the first is far more valuable a service. But that when you add up the job satisfaction, deduct the bad bits like stink and boredom, throw in the monetary consideration, then all jobs requiring the same sort of skill levels pay about the same.
In more modern terms we’d start to talk about utility. That’s the thing that people maximise so what you gain on the swings you lose on the roundabouts. Something that’s really fun to do doesn’t pay much cash. Lousy jobs require people to be bribed with more moolah to get them to do them.
So, the explanation of why this jobs pays so badly?
Having said that, our quality of life is very high if you love ancient monuments, fantastic scenery and wildlife, and a rich social and cultural life. I’m happier here than I’ve ever been anywhere.
That’s why, as Adam Smith did indeed say.