Sunday, June 24, 2007

This Week in Work

Consultant Fernando Flores often charges more than $1 million dollars to teach business executives how to say what they mean and mean what they say.

A famous ad executive said that the masses are not mindless and easily manipulated and that if they were he wouldn't have to work so hard; he'd just "call it in" from his mansion in Aruba. It's true that if his job was so easy he could "call it in" but he wouldn't be able to afford a mansion even in Albania, much less in Aruba. That's because if the job was that easy then anyone could be hired to do the work thus driving the wages down to the level of lesser paying positions. It's precisely because he possesses a unique set of skills that he is paid so much.

There are stories of welders moving from other parts of Canada to Alberta and earning as much as $30,000 a month working in the tar sands. This is due not to possessing a unique set of skills but ones that are in short supply.

Here in Ontario the provincial legislators have given themselves a raise to keep in step with their Federal counterparts. They still make less than they could in the private sector but many will make much more when they lose the next election and end up working as lobbyists.

Yes it's hard being a doctor in a universal health-care system. In his upcoming movie Sicko Michael Moore interviews a young English doctor who drives a new Audi and lives in a posh $1 million flat. The British system, the doc says, is fine for doctors--unless you want to live in a $3 million flat and own three or four cars.

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