Intellectual Indignation

Do they keep the money up there?

I’m smart.  Shouldn’t I be rich?  Isn’t income supposed to increase with intellectual achievement?


Remember the Reagan era insult? “Those who can do; those who can’t teach.”  I heard a Radio 4 interview while a grad student in the UK.  The bigwig, I can’t remember who he was, reported his undergraduate supervisor at Cambridge told him that he was too able to hang around for a further degree.  He could ‘make it’ without extra years of introspection.

Academics perpetually complain of underpayment.  We assume that if we worked this hard in the private sector we would be rich.  Problem.  We assume that the private sector pays the smartest the best.  It doesn’t.  Great jurists may well make less than ambulance chasers.  Brilliant neurosurgeons need not out-earn the guy who ‘lifts’ faces for a fortune.  The guy at Goldman who swindles clients with sweet talk probably pockets more than the genius programmer who conceives of the algorithm that enables his earnings.

Might doesn’t make right and brilliance doesn’t mean bucks.

Do you want some fries with that?


About elizabethlewispardoe

Mater: de Facto et de Jure
This entry was posted in Academic Life, Biography and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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