assateague wrote:I know, I know- "the market" is a far more concise definition of what you believe should dictate compensation. If you keep saying it enough,m maybe it'll be true to anyone besides you. "The market" "The market" "The market". Nope. still just a phrase with no real meaning.
So I'll ask again- what do YOU believe should dictate compensation?
I think I explained it quite consisely. "The Market".
I'm not trying to be a d!ck. I’m really not. My back is killing me right now and it hurts to type. I just wanted to let you know that because you're one of the few that I would spend the time to respond to in my condition.
The market determines everyone's wages, including mine. In fact, I took less money than I could've made elsewhere to work where I currently work. I considered many factors in my choice of employment. The deciding factors were not necessarily monetary. You may be surprised for whom I work. You'll know someday probably sooner than later but not now.
I know how market forces work to determine wages. I'm a victim of not doing my homework and understanding economics of wages before I chose to be a civil engineer. Pittsburgh was a Mecca of engineering servicing the massive industry in Pittsburgh as well as the world. It also serviced the energy sector with APC equipment and nuclear power (Westinghouse). Half the people that worked downtown were engineers. They made a good living. Then the collapse of industry happened in Pittsburgh and throughout the country. There were hundreds if not thousands of engineers out of work. Engineers were taking half their previous pay just to keep their jobs. This occurred all over the country but Pittsburgh was ground zero. Supply and demand can be a b!tch. The industry still hasn't recovered fully. It's hard to recover from that kind of devastation. It takes a while. Engineers have made gains in wages within the last 10 years because there is a lack of supply of engineers. But we still aren't paid what we would've made before the collapse of industry. Engineers make what they make and accept it. They complain but they still do engineering work. I cannot change now. I had circumstances in my life preventing me from new training. That's life. It's not fair that I had a few bad things happen to me. But life isn't fair really. I accept it. However, pay should increase because there are fewer and fewer engineers to do the work. Kids are smarter these days. They have more info readily available. It's easier to research jobs. Why should a smart kid go into civil engineering at the current salary when he could make 25% to 50% to 100% more doing other things it takes a smart guy to do? When salaries rise from lack of engineers, this will change. More kids will go to engineering school because they will be better compensated.
How does this apply to the military? It's the same principle. The army requires a certain number of people with various qualifications to perform specific duties. The army accomplishes its personnel goals through retention and recruitment. Since 9-11, they have had no problems with retention and recruitment except at the very beginning. When a person chooses to enlist, that person must consider many things including: death, lower pay, long hours, loss of personal freedom, etc. Devotion to country and a sense of adventure seem to be the trait that overcomes the negatives about military life. Therefore, these considerations are already built into the decision. Logic follows that if the pay was too low or the army needed some kind of added incentive, the army would not have and still would not be meeting its retention and recruitment goals.
To answer another part of your question, I don't know how much each soldier should be paid. What I do know is this: The military is either paid just right or they are overpaid. If the military were underpaid, they would not be able to meet their recruitment or retention requirements. What got me interested in army pay was the salary of a certain colonel I know. I was a little surprised to see that he was pulling down $150k a year. That's quite a bit of money. I didn't think officers made that much. I wanted to investigate the subject a little so I did. It was totally possible that this wage was the market rate. But I soon discovered it probably isn't. There is a glut of mid level officers up to colonel level in the army. Not only that, the army hasn't had the problems recruiting and retaining officers and enlisted. This leads me to believe the pay raises over inflation were not necessary. Nobody should be paid more than the market will bear. Not you, not me, not a soldier, not anyone. If you buy into market economics, you have to accept it in all circumstances without exceptions to favored groups.