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    This whole story that good people won't enter careers without financial incentives seems highly suspect to me. I don't know how on earth you'd verify that empirically. You obviously can't rely on what people think they would or would not do, as that's completely unindicative.
    I think its much more plausible that with most public sector careers, such as medicine, politics and so forth, plenty of people would be motivated to enter them for lower pay simply because they offer intrinsic motivational rewards with respect to serving society. Furthermore, many might prefer the working culture, ethos and atmosphere of such an environment. The amount of people I know who knew that they were destined to become doctors since age 7 is ridiculous. Its the same for me and academia. I'm not motivated to enter it because of the salary, and it seems preposterous to suggest that this could have much to do with it. I work hard to get into that field purely because it offers the kind of tasks and work environment I feel I would be most suited to.

    The best we can do to test this myth is to look at an existing counterfactual. So tell me everyone. Is the third sector short of people killing themselves to get in? Hell no! Hoards of bright, talented and educated people fight over unpaid internships and other such opportunities with the sole aspiration of working for charities or NGOs that cannot offer significant financial renumeration in the long term. And they know full well that their career will involve late nights sending off funding bids and claim forms.

    I'm all for a social arrangement in which incomes across the population are considerably more equal, and - to pick on a feature mentioned by others earlier - we have sensible restrictions on the typical number of hours workers are required to put in.

    (Original post by Hopple)
    Given the way our political system works, I don't think we do want to incentivise people with money either. If it were performance related, with their constituents deciding their salary based on how well they felt they were represented (i.e. what an MP is supposed to do), then the two goals would align. As is, though, with the pre-election suggestions of a right to recall bad MPs having fallen through, the money incentive to work hard crops up only once every five years, and even then it's not based on how well they perform, just do enough of the constituents believe they'll outperform the next best person.
    Agreed.
    (Original post by Hopple)
    I think it makes sense that the PM should be the highest paid public sector employee, but to compare it to the private sector is unfair - people complain about private sector salaries (which are passed on to the customer in the form of higher prices) by buying stuff from elsewhere, but we don't have that option in the public sector (where high salaries are passed on to us in the form of higher taxes) so clearly we have to be more vocal.
    I don't think the cost of higher salaries in the private sector are passed onto buyers in practice. Much more commonly they are funded by using the cheapest labour possible. And in some cases, by compromising quality.
    (Original post by Rob da Mop)
    In my opinion it's roughly the right salary. I don't see the argument "It's more than the average salary" as being particularly valid, as these are well-educated, intelligent, hard-working people - above average employees and should be paid as such. It makes a lot more sense to compare their salary to the average salaries of those in careers requiring similar levels of success. I can see an argument for it being more, as it is underpaid in the long-term when compared to the progression possible in other, more mercenary careers; however it would be political suicide to bring it before parliament and is therefore unlikely to happen and therefore something I can't be bothered to form a strong opinion about.
    What kind of comparison is that? Over the last few decades people have been able to earn higher and higher salaries. This is nothing to do with the value of their work, and - in many cases - everything to do with the accelerated financial deregulation that makes it easier and easier for firms and corporations to extract profits.
    The kind of high salaries some members of society earn is in no way down to merit, and is completely unjustified.

    As to politicians being intelligent? You've got to be joking. We all know that those who make it into politics are already the most privileged members of society, and sent through the most elite educational establishments. Their success has nothing to do with raw intelligence, and everything to do with privilege and advantage. Plus, if Gove, Willetts and Osbourne are models of intelligence, God help us all!
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    There is a theory it might be better to give them a pay rise. Say £100 000 a year but abolish all expenses. That way if they want to travel first class they can - but must pay for it out of their own pocket. If they want a second house they can have one - but must pay for it.
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    (Original post by jacketpotato)
    60k is not "senior banker" or "oligarch". You can get that as a newly qualified solicitor, junior manager or first year investment banker. Its a decent salary but hardly showstopping.
    being brown nosed by those people (oligarchs & bankers after a favour) makes mp's think they should at least be in the same earnings bracket, they won't stop moaning till they get there. I think they'll be after a 10k raise every couple of years in perpetuity because of the outstanding sort of people they consider themselves to be.

    I don't think you fully appreciate how difficult it is for a manager in a competetive business to actually earn as much as 60k. you won't be dozing off on a leather bench all day for that money.
 
 
 
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