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Old 12-15-2009, 08:55 PM   #1
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Moral arguments in favour of high earning vis-a-vis social work jobs

I will set out a thesis, briefly.

Assuming we agree that helping the underprivileged is, prima facie, a good thing (Btw, not everyone would agree on this. Strict Randians wouldn't, for example) - an ambition to advance oneself in a high earning career (assuming one doesn't cheat on one's taxes) is ultimately better in satisfying the objective of helping the underprivileged, than, for example, an ambition to work for comparatively low wages in a social work job or similar caring profession.

(I remember reading a similar argument in one of PJ O'Rourke's books, essentially I am just rehashing it.)

Please bear in mind, I am not in anyway saying one type of career is 'better' than another, I am just trying to generate a debate. Any opinions on this?
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Old 12-15-2009, 09:00 PM   #2
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Old 12-15-2009, 09:04 PM   #3
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I don't really see where the debate is, but perhaps I'm being dense. Both high wage earners are required (for their taxes and charitable donations) and lower wage "caring professionals" are required to do the actual hands on work involved in helping people.

Fairly simple, no? Does it need to be an either/or?
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Old 12-15-2009, 09:06 PM   #4
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This is rather non-capitalist of you. Most American conservatives would scoff at such an idea.
O'Rourke's argument, IIRC, was that even if most Wall Street types are essentially true to stereotype in being acquisitive, ruthless bastards - that, under our present tax system, they more or less unwittingly help the poor by earning so much - and thereby having high tax bills.

But surely, that ends up being an argument for a mixed economy (essentially as we have already), rather than anti-capitalist per se, I would have thought?
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Old 12-15-2009, 09:09 PM   #5
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I don't really see where the debate is, but perhaps I'm being dense. Both high wage earners are required (for their taxes and charitable donations) and lower wage "caring professionals" are required to do the actual hands on work involved in helping people.

Fairly simple, no? Does it need to be an either/or?
I am not necessarily suggesting it needs to be an either/or. If you like, I am probably rehashing what Mrs Thatcher said a good few years ago when in mulling over the Parable of the Good Samaritan, she pointed out that the Good Samaritan actually needed to have money to do good deeds in the first place.
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Old 12-15-2009, 09:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
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O'Rourke's argument, IIRC, was that even if most Wall Street types are essentially true to stereotype in being acquisitive, ruthless bastards - that, under our present tax system, they more or less unwittingly help the poor by earning so much - and thereby having high tax bills.
Yes, we all know rich people never, ever find ways to get out of paying taxes.
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Old 12-15-2009, 10:13 PM   #7
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she pointed out that the Good Samaritan actually needed to have money to do good deeds in the first place.
Which discounts the good deeds of those working in the low-wage social work and caring professions.
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Old 12-15-2009, 11:47 PM   #8
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I am not necessarily suggesting it needs to be an either/or. If you like, I am probably rehashing what Mrs Thatcher said a good few years ago when in mulling over the Parable of the Good Samaritan, she pointed out that the Good Samaritan actually needed to have money to do good deeds in the first place.
On that note, I'm generally amused by the observation that Christian saints are, with few exceptions, always wealthy noblemen or clerics.
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Old 12-16-2009, 05:46 AM   #9
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hmmm. what if the the wealthy person's wealth comes at the expense of the kind of society where the needy might otherwise live modestly but well? I mean, I realise it's a hypothetical since it's not as though a given high-salary earner is some kind of classic robber baron. Albeit the system may be a warmer and fuzzier descendent of that.

Yeah, I dunno.
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