Wednesday, August 31, 2011


I know that I wrote about this in March but once again we are having this discussion. It began when the Wisconsin State Journal about the CEO salaries of the health insurers in Madison. Then there were the overpaid teachers in New Berlin. Finally in today's Capitol Times Paul Fanlund was writing about the high cost of UW Football games without mentioning that the coach makes somewhere around $1 million and his assistants are in the 6 figure range. This may not seem related but they are. Teachers making around $50-60,000, CEO's of companies with revenues in the $100+ million, public employees making about what the teachers make, the chancellor of UW Madison making $400,000 all are overpaid. But, CEO's of other companies the same size as the health insurers earning 10 times more and football coaches making more than twice the chancellor and far more than a full professor are not overpaid. Some argue that it is related to how people are paid. This does not appear to be the case, coaches are paid with public money just like other public employees. It would appear that we don't like people that we have to deal with frequently earning more money than they do. But even that isn't the case because there currently is no outrage over doctor's salaries and lawyer's salaries. In fact being a lawyer is now considered more honorable than being a teacher or public employee (except a big time sports coach) and lawyers used to be the most hated profession. It would appear that the problem is just with those who are considered the stereotypical public employees and they are just not making that much money.

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