Disruption in the wage system

Don’t we all assume that our salaries correlate with our economic impact and responsibility? Therefore, a boss earns more than a case manager. And this is the logic whereby a university professor is paid more than a kindergarten teacher. She is responsible for the high potentials, he is responsible only for the small children. Obviously.

And then research comes and finds out that early childhood education has the greatest impact on people’s social and economic success of all educational phases. The later education begins, the smaller the effect on the income and social stability of its consumers. This raises the question: How would the educational landscape, the economic system and society develop if wage systems were actually impact-oriented?

The highest wages are paid to those in the world who care for children in day nurseries, as these lay the broad foundation for welfare. Then there are the kindergarten teachers, primary teachers, then the teachers in the upper and secondary schools, and finally, with the lowest salaries, the university professors, since they have the least influence on the educational yield of their pupils. According to the proverb: You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

In general this seems logical, but you will notice: This is brushed against the cat’s fur.

We do not think and act systemically and data-based logically. We prefer to believe that those who have invested a lot of time in their education should earn a lot. Your own investment in education should be worthwhile, the more the better – no matter what it really does for society.

We believe that wage differences between occupational groups have economic legitimacy thanks to the invisibly controlling hand of the market. Even the few galactic wages of a small group of managers, which cannot actually be justified on any scale.

What would happen if we actually looked at how much economic and social responsibility people have in their professional lives and how much they are systematically remunerated on the basis of this importance? Yes, that would be a nice disruption in the wage and education system.

Column by Esther-Mirjam de Boer, CEO of GetDiversity in the Handelszeitung of the 11th July 2019.

If you are interested and committed to early childhood education, please follow this link:

READY! Early childhood is crucial – https://www.facebook.com/ReadySuisse/ – https://www.ready.swiss/de