February 4, 2011

Income v. vocabulary

The Audacious Epigone has a fun table of average incomes relative to vocabulary skills for a whole bunch of occupations. Not surprisingly, Author is the worst paid relative to size of vocabulary. Next worst is Librarian. When I was in the marketing research business, I always suggested to the Human Resources department that they try to hire away librarians, if they could find some with at least modest quantitative skills/orientation. Marketing research doesn't pay well, but it pays better than being a librarian, and the skills and personalities required to be a successful worker bee are similar in the two fields.

The numbers are in IQ points relative to income (assuming that the General Social Survey's ten word vocabulary test is a decent measure of IQ, which is reasonably true, but obviously has weaknesses for quantitative jobs). Thus, doctors make money as if they are 44.1 IQ points smarter than they are. At the top of the list are:

OccupationDiff
1. Physician44.1
2. Dentist29.8
3. Commercial airline pilot19.3
4. Pharmacist17.4
5. Attorney13.4
6. Farmer10.4
7. Economist10.3
8. Bricklayer9.7
9. Telephone installer and repairer9.6
10. Sheet metal worker9.0
11. Civil engineer8.2
12. Butcher8.2

Doctors make a lot of money in America these days. 

I vaguely recall that dentists went through a spell when they weren't making as much because fluoride ruined their cavity-drilling business, but they seem to have rebounded with a lot of cosmetic offerings. Orthodontist is a great job -- regular hours and the pay is kept high through a dental school cartel. Being a dentist is like being a specialized surgeon, so it takes eye-hand coordination.

Airlines have been trying to crush the salaries of pilots forever, but in crunch time it's still useful to have a Captain Sullenberger at the controls. Is it a good job? Pilots have to travel a lot (duh) and the hours are weird.

Pharmacists have to spend a lot of time on their feet, they often have weird hours, and they have to have good memories.

82 comments:

Anonymous said...

Most retail pharmacists also hate their jobs and drink a lot to compensate. I worked as a tech throughout college (good work for a college kid, depending on your employer) and became good friends with a few of the younger pharmacists and no one was happy in the retail setting. The older guys, who didn't have to go through the whole PharmD rigamarole just to be retail pharmacists were usually pretty content, though. The younger people all felt overeducated.

A lot of the depression has to do with other factors, too, like how retail employers curtail the moral decision–making powers of pharmacists through a sale–at–all–costs philosophy enforced through regional management that discourages reporting abuses of Medicare, pain medication, etc.

Anonymous said...

Why do Pharmacists have to get so much schooling? What do they do that takes so much time to learn? Many of the pills it seems come prepackaged now, so they don't even have to take the pills off the shelf. What decisions do they make?

Anonymous said...

"Why do Pharmacists have to get so much schooling? What do they do that takes so much time to learn?"

I've asked pharmacists medical questions. They seemed competent. Sometimes you don't want to go through the trouble of scheduling a doctor's appointment a week in advance and waiting 2 hours in his waiting room, and you're buying pills anyway, so why not ask? I've talked to others who do that.

In general in our economy I think there's a scarcity of smart people among those who do actual work and an oversupply of smart people among those who manage, teach nonsense, learn nonsense even into their thirties, pose as "artists" while taking drugs or do nothing at all. Even the dumbest of tasks would become more efficient and would bring more satisfaction to consumers if they were done by smarter people.

munch said...

Count me on the pharmacists are overpaid wagon. God, you cannot dispense one dangerous pill unless a real doctor wrote an order for you to do it.

If a doctor writs a script for something that you think is inadvisable, well you can bow and scrape but if the doc says dispense you do, so you know where total respondibility lies. The Pharm is a pill counter - no opinion required or solicited.

munch said...

Docs make a lot of money in America? My wife is (an elite field) doctor and makes nearly one million a year. I do OK as a business owner.

In the grsnd scale of things, making a mil a year is peanuts. Wall street has lots of people, not multiple thousands but plenty, who make ten times as much. That's the sweet spot, ten million a year.

Our super income does not support a second home, a private jet, a boat. The college tuition is paid at rack price and supporting parents is expensive if the state is not doing it.

Shawn said...

Floride-containing water, which is essentially medicinal chemicals pumped into our homes, is harmful.

http://www2.fluoridealert.org/Alert/United-States/Massachusetts/The-evidence-that-fluoride-is-harmful-is-overwhelming

Shawn said...

According to the BLS: "The average annual salary for all librarians in the Federal Government in nonsupervisory, supervisory, and managerial positions was $84,796 in March 2009."

http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos068.htm

Damn.

I need to find something, anything, with the Fed.

Anonymous said...

Doctors earn a lot of money because they've had the political power to restrict the supply of labor entering their profession. It would be easy to lower pay of medical specialists by allowing more doctors from Europe or India to practice here. A generation ago many blue collar workers had better paying jobs, but immigration placed downward pressure on wages.

Shawn said...

I used to work as a pharma tech at Walgreens. The pharmacist spend about 40 percent of their time verifying pills, which, by the way, are previously counted by a machine that we used to weigh them, only after scanning the bar code of the pills. The rest of their time was spent working with insurance companies on the phone, cashiering, and they did a lot of the work us pharma techs did, such as actually prepping the medications (10% of their work); and about 10% of their work was cashiering; no more than 5% of their time was counseling customers, who usually did not ask questions besides, "when will it be ready?"

Anonymous said...

All right!! Bricklayers beat butchers!!

-broodrax

Felix said...

Doctors get paid a lot because they sacrifice half their life and all of their twenties for the priviledge of having that MD. I once wanted to become a doctor but now that I'm in my last semester of college, the idea of having to put my life on hold until I finish schooling at an age where being 40 is just over the horizn seems appalling. Going to medical schools means that your life for the next decade after college is set in stone: medical school then residency, and then you're at least thirty something by the time you're done and paid off the best chunk of your loans. I suppose you really have to pay the best and brightest a lot to embark on a journey that will see them start while still in their teens and arrive at their destination when they're thirty year old men, balding and losing vision.

That's why I'd rather abandon the job security and guaranteed salary (not bad at all, btw) of being a doctor and instead go to with hardly any money with nothing guaranteed. Makes life much more interesting, and that's something you can't place a monetary value on.

Anonymous said...

This is a must-read if you think doctors are overpaid... and it doesn't even mention malpractice insurance!

https://benbrownmd.wordpress.com/

See link.

Anonymous said...

Everyone in healthcare is overpaid right now. Where I live you have nurses making 90k. This is a result of a lot of government cash being pushed through the entire healthcare industry.

Just a question. What happens when this country goes bankrupt, and all the cash leaves said market?

MSG said...

As if flouting His own Mosaic law, God is either too generous or too stingy to everyone in the universe except carpet and tile installers.

Dave said...

"Docs make a lot of money in America? My wife is (an elite field) doctor and makes nearly one million a year. I do OK as a business owner.

In the grsnd scale of things, making a mil a year is peanuts. Wall street has lots of people, not multiple thousands but plenty, who make ten times as much. That's the sweet spot, ten million a year."


Your wife is ridiculously overpaid. When you consider that ~50% of health care bills are ultimately paid by the tax payer (via Medicare and Medicaid, mainly), physicians are essentially semi-public servants. And yet we pay them as if they are entrepreneurs, allowing them to charge thousands of dollars per procedure they perform on some indigent patient. At the same time, we let them restrict foreign competition that would bring down their income to a more affordable level. Enjoy it while it lasts, because it's unsustainable.

Complaining that one or two thousand Wall Streeters make 10x what your wife makes is like one of those Wall Streeters complaining that Fortune 100 CEOs make $100 million per year. It's silly. The narrower your level of the pyramid is, the more you make. There are probably 50k+ physicians in your wife's specialty. There are probably fewer than 5k Wall Streeters making $10 million per year. And there are of course only 100 Fortune 100 CEOs.

Anonymous said...

Median physician income: 160-170K per year

Median pharmacist income: 100-110K

Median dentist income: 140K

Those salaries are 3-4 times the median worker.

Truth said...

"I need to find something, anything, with the Fed."

Sorry, Sport; you're not black.

Anonymous said...

translators (like yours truly) might represent an interesting case of a wildly negative correlation between vocabulary and income - especially if they are working in the arts/humanities.

most of us are failed academics who make around $20 freelancing, i.e. without benefits.

on the other hand, translators as a group (not unlike editors, academics, and other wordsmiths) might also display a negative correlation between vocabulary size and intellectual ability....

elvisd said...

Health care in general seems to be the field that scoops up huge numbers of average IQ people. Half the kids I've taught want to become some sort of nurse or tech. I keep wondering when the market for that is going to be saturated. Where I grew up, the Filipino nurse seems to be the new immigrant/job phenomenon.

jz said...

Vocabulary skills are a so-so correlate with IQ. The study substitutes the one for the other.

I'll agree that many of my peer physicians have simple vocabularies. Decades of working the trenches dumbs down our talk skills. Instead of asking, "Have your bowels movements been mucoid?, I ask, "Does your poop like like snot?" Instead of "Your grandmother had an apparent cardiopulmonary arrest of indeterminant etiology.", I state "When the paramedics arrived, her heart had stopped." Instead of "What precipitated your admission here?, I state, "Why'd ya come here?"

Agreed. I spend my life talking like a simpleton, and it makes me stupid.


So Steve, are you advocating an intelligence--->income meritocracy? or are you wistfully bemoaning the consequences of your own career choices ?

Anonymous said...

Anon, it's a good thing you don't live in Boston. My nurse girlfriend is making $135K.

Her average daily patient load is 15 when she's on the floor. She's also had to take HIV tests 5 times due to being spat upon or accidently needle stuck when dealing with violent crackheads in the ER. She has to spend $2-3K every other year to take CED courses to keep her license. She has to deal with the mental stress of dealing with moonbat docs wasting her tax dollars when they order "million dollar workups" on Medicaid patients with various minor ailments (she'll tell you that the biggest change in her time as a nurse is the current lack of any sort of innate diagnostic skill on the part of young docs). She occasionally has to defend her actions (and said license) in front of hearing boards when patients don't get the promised outcome and sue everyone on the treatment team.

Only ignorance of what the job really entails would lead one to say nurses are overpaid. She earns her money.

Brutus

Anonymous said...

According to many of the commentators here everyone is overpaid. That is, except for themselves, probably. If this article was about minimum wage workers they would claim the same thing, that those workers don't deserve it, they're wildly overpaid, etc.

guest007 said...

Pharmacist requires PharmD's because their regulatory bodies have been taken over by academic pharmaicst who benefit from teaching pharmacy school students. Instead of creating more students, they just keep them in school longer.

therapy physicist not require a PhD from one of a few American Board of Radiology approved programs and a post-doc.

Physical therapist require a doctorate.

Even the government gets into the act by requiring certain credentials and accreditations to get pay for certain procedures.

Healthcare is smart enough to limit the supply and letting in more doctors from other countries is already occurring.

Anonymous said...

"Docs make a lot of money in America? My wife is (an elite field) doctor and makes nearly one million a year."

I only make $25K a year. You poor baby.

SFG said...

"So Steve, are you advocating an intelligence--->income meritocracy?"

It's obvious to anyone with an IQ over 140 that smart people should be rich!

Anonymous said...

"In the grsnd scale of things, making a mil a year is peanuts."

What the hell?

Anonymous said...

what about the AVERAGE salary of a union stagehand @ Lincoln Center: 290K.

David Davenport said...

You'd beat a Neanderthal in a race

New Scientist 03 February 2011 by Michael Marshall

Magazine issue 2798. Subscribe and save

For similar stories, visit the Neanderthals and Human Evolution Topic Guides

IF YOU think you're no good at running, bear this in mind: you could still outrun a Neanderthal. In fact, their inferior running ability may have been why they went extinct and our ancestors
( Our ancestors? -- DD )did not. Appropriately enough, it all came down to their Achilles tendon.

...

Raichlen then turned to Neanderthal skeletons, and found that our distant cousins' heel bones were consistently longer than ours. Neanderthals, he concludes, would have lost a race against Homo sapiens (Journal of Human Evolution, DOI: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2010.11.002).


...

Neanderthal inferior running ability

Jimbo said...

I love how everyone is so concerned about other people (especially - horrors! - public employees making princely sums like 90K. It seems like everyone has been well-programed to think the solution is to pull some people down, rather than push everyone else up.

Do the math: the GDP per capita in the U.S. is around 45k. So a family of 4, just to get it's "share", would earn something like 180K.

Anonymous said...

Doctors are overpaid because of regulations requiring insurers to cover everything (rather than extreme illness only) and the structure of medicare. In most of the world, such as France, Israel, England, Germany, etc. doctors make much more modest salaries and are just as competent as in the US.

Anonymous said...

Also, the high salaries of doctors means overly ambitious academic robots pursue medicine in order to make money not because of a genuine interest in medicine or patients. Lower salaries would likely improve physician care as there is a massive surfeit of applicants to medical schools (as there is in most of the world, despite much lower salaries than in the US).

Truth said...

"Agreed. I spend my life talking like a simpleton, and it makes me stupid."

Are you sure that you didn't conflate cause and effect?

"Only ignorance of what the job really entails would lead one to say nurses are overpaid. She earns her money."

So what? Her contemporary in London goes through the same trials and makes half.

Anonymous said...

To the poster whose wife makes $1 million a year as a physician, congrats. However, as I'm sure you know, she is an outlier. Most physicians make about $120K (pediatricians) to $600K (neurosurgeons). Still good incomes, but a million dollar is far from the norm.

Underachiever said...

OT: Average female face for different regions of the world. http://i.imgur.com/lO9OV.jpg

Dave said...

"She has to deal with the mental stress of dealing with moonbat docs wasting her tax dollars when they order "million dollar workups" on Medicaid patients with various minor ailments (she'll tell you that the biggest change in her time as a nurse is the current lack of any sort of innate diagnostic skill on the part of young docs)."

Some older docs order a lot of tests because they own the labs that run them.

Anonymous said...

Pharmacists aren't that rich. Just upper middle class. Even dentists, when adjusted for the years in school and the self-employment factors (higher taxes, pay your own 401K, pay your own insurance), are not super wealthy. Though decently well to do. Physicians make a lot of money, that is true. Payscale places median physician income at 160,000 per year, not including the bonus. However, physicians have a lot of stress on the job and are under immense pressure to get it right. No screwups or their career could be in jeopardy.

Personally, I'd say that physicians have the money/prestige, but the other two careers have a good work-life balance and pretty good money.

Anonymous said...

Interesting chart, but it is not really that surprising that people who makes several times the median income aren't making that kind of money because they have several times the median IQ.

Jobs pay well when they are unpleasant and have significant barriers to entry, so it is not surprising that medicine tops the list, although it doesn't look like finance is on there. Requiring a high IQ is a barrier to entry but not a very strong one - realistically there are more people with high IQs than there are jobs that require these high IQs. Engineering, computer programming, and scientific research all have an enormous surplus of people who have the training but cannot find jobs in their respective fields. These kinds of jobs are also among the easiest to outsource as they can mostly be done from a computer anywhere in the world.

Anonymous said...

Doctors get paid a lot because they sacrifice half their life and all of their twenties for the priviledge of having that MD ... Going to medical schools means that your life for the next decade after college is set in stone: medical school then residency, and then you're at least thirty something by the time you're done and paid off the best chunk of your loans.

You forgot fellowship. After residency, in medical specialties, most physicians go on to do a fellowship, adding another 1-3 years to their training. The medical subspecialists I work with finish their training at 32, assuming they went straight through without taking any time off or changing career direction. That's another way the supply of physicians is kept low: Lots of people think the way you (and I, back in the day) did; we might be interested in medicine and smart enough to do it, but who wants to wait until you're over 30 to start living real life?

In most European countries, the training is shorter, usually by condensing the undergraduate + medical school experience to 6 years or so rather than 8. Also, there's probably no need for someone who wants to be (say) an infectious disease specialist to spend 6 years (3 years medical residency + 3 years fellowship) in postgraduate training, and I don't think they do so in Europe. Are physicians in the UK and France not as well-trained as American doctors ... ? I kind of doubt it.

With regard to income:

In the last year of training, a medical (that is, not surgical) subspecialist is earning around $60K. While not exactly starvation wages for 32-year-old, it's not a lot for someone with so much education and responsibility, particularly in the big cities where medical training is concentrated.

In his first year out of training, he will start at anywhere from $120K to $200K+, depending on the subspecialty and whether he chose private practice or academic/institutional practice. Out of that, he has to start paying back his huge loans. Most likely he will never earn anywhere near $1M/year, even at the peak of his career.

The problem with medicine is that most people, most of the time, don't need much. Even serious conditions don't require brilliant diagnostic or therapeutic skills if they're common, present with the usual symptoms and respond to standard treatments.

It's the other times, when your elderly mother's diabetes is not responding to the conventional treatment regimen, or when you find out you have cancer, or when your child is born with a congenital heart ailment, that you need someone who is the best ... and the best deserve to be paid as such. In American medicine, we train physicians with the assumption that they are ALL "the best." If that's not always true, the problem lies in the training and health care system structure, not the physicians themselves.

Dave said...

"You forgot fellowship. After residency, in medical specialties, most physicians go on to do a fellowship, adding another 1-3 years to their training."

In surgical specialties, the fellows are already board-certified general surgeons and are paid pretty well (six figures) during their fellowships.

It's not as if most non-physicians are making their peak earnings out of college. There's often a 10 year+ ramp up in many fields before that. While physicians are paying dues in residencies, people in other fields are usually paying their dues in their 20s too.

Anonymous said...

Pity the poor doctors, lawyers and management consultants. Even the I-bankers, now that hedge fund management has become the ne plus ultra of capitalism. The only guys that the hedgies envy are the super-lucky entrepreneurs who can make their centi-million all in one pop!

As far as doctors and lawyers, I once asked a friend of mine in finance, who lives in a 3000+ sq ft apartment on the upper east side, who else lived in his building. After counting all the money guys, he let slip -- "Oh, I guess there are some doctors and lawyers as well. I don't know how they can afford it." You're so money, and you don't even know it!

http://infoproc.blogspot.com/2006/11/new-class-war_18.html

Descartes said...

I'm a bit at a loss as to how stockbrokers make less than what their IQs determine. Its probably likely that the entirety of it is skewered by less wealthy and less lucky stockbrokers.

Likewise this may also reflect all physicians. I can wage that physicians and dentists who service people who are generally overcharged on their medical bills reflect that.

Usually, physicians in Canada for example. make upwards for 120-160k, depending on seniority. I'm wagering that physicians in the United States who makes hundreds of thousands upsets said balance, and as already reiterated, Canada would reflect a safer sample.

Anonymous said...

Pharmacists are not that overpaid. A 100,000 a year salary for 8 years of education seems reasonable to me.

Dentists, I feel, might make too much. That's mostly owing to the high reimbursements and the ADA cartel, which keeps out competition. There's now a push to bring in more dental therapists to do some dental procedures, which the ADA is fighting tooth and nail.

Primary care physicians aren't overpaid. The problem is with the specialists, who get too much reimbursement. The screwy system gives too high a reimbursement to an anasthesia or radiologist physician, but a pitiful amount to a family doctor. In my view, there needs to be a redistribution of income from specialist to primary.

All these careers, I might add, have guaranteed job security.

Anonymous said...

Hospital pharmacy is well-paid and interesting but becoming less so as computers have taken over (a lot less face-to-face with docs and nurses and more computer drudge work). I wouldn't be a retail pharmacist under any conditions - one of my classmates did a three month internship in a retail pharmacy and was ready to cut his wrists by the time he escaped.

David Davenport said...

I love how everyone is so concerned about other people (especially - horrors! - public employees making princely sums like 90K.

What sort of job do you do for da gooberment?

It seems like everyone has been well-programed to think the solution is to pull some people down, rather than push everyone else up.

That's it, take from everybody who makes more than you do, give it the poor.

Anonymous said...

OT but isteve readers may be interested in reading the latest column by the NYT "ethicist", Randy Cohen. Here's an exceprt:

Americans do not enjoy moral precedence over Indians. Some people feel we have a greater ethical duty to those closest to us — our neighbors — but in an era of global trade and travel, that is a recipe for tribalism and its attendant ills.

Anonymous said...

While we're on the topic of credentials and cartels, it's fairly outrageous that lawyers have to go to law school...

Anonymous said...

"Pharmacists are not that overpaid. A 100,000 a year salary for 8 years of education seems reasonable to me."

But, why do they need 8 years of education?Is it needed? Why not 4 years?

Mitch said...

Its probably alot more complex than just IQ and salary imbalance. For example, many doctors work insane hours, have a high stress job (suicide rates are quite high), have to go through extensive and highly competitive schooling, and let's also not forget that they have to pay a pretty high fee for malpractice insurance out of their pockets, too - All things that reasonably would up the salary required to induce someone to go into the field. Also, one could argue that vocabulary may not capture some aspects of IQ that are relevant to some professions- perhaps an average doctor may have a moderately high verbal IQ but a very high spatial/math/science IQ, for example, in which case they would appear to have a lower IQ than they actually have. Not sure if this is the case, just suggesting it as a reason for a potential discrepancy in pay.

If it is the case that the table is mostly correct, it would just mean that IQ has a somewhat positive correlation with IQ, which seems to be reasonable in regards to what we observe. Probably most people going through the grad school track to an academic PhD are exceptionally intelligent, but often end up with pretty mediocre salaries. And plenty of guys grunting it out in union jobs have IQs on the left side of the bell curve, and make quite generous salaries.

ben tillman said...

While we're on the topic of credentials and cartels, it's fairly outrageous that lawyers have to go to law school...

Lawyers don't have to go to law school. In California, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington, an applicant who has not attended law school may take the bar exam after study under a judge or practicing attorney for an extended period of time. This method is known as "reading law" or "reading the law".

Anonymous said...

OT: will someone please get me a ticker to australia:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-met-citizen-workshop-0206-20110205,0,6149983.story

Anonymous said...

Woah lets back up here guys

First off, doctors lives are put on hold until they hit 26 at the very earliest (assuming the average graduate from uni at 22, then med school at 26) at that point you have a minimum 4 yr residency of shit pay and easily 60+hr week at shit times. Not to mention your crushing debt and high pressure job. And if you're going into a highly specialized surgery like neuro, that's like a 10yr residency.

But sure, they get paid wayyy too much.

Keep in mind you're factoring things such as lifestyle friendliness into their pay too, also malpractice insurance is a shit ton.

And nursing pays well because not as many people as you think go into it. It's a shitty job and a huge portion of people quit within the first year.

And most importantly, insurance companies along with retarded government policies are fucking up the rates, not doctors, they have to make up the lost income by going towards dumb procedures and charging people with great insurance insane rates.

Anonymous said...

Jimbo,
That's why GDP per capita is such a stupid measure of central tendency.

Hopefully Anonymous
http://www.hopeanon.typepad.com

Steve Sailer said...

That's why orthodontist is such a good job. It's 9-5. Orthodontists very rarely get woken by their patients in the middle of the night the way doctors do. (It's embarrassing to remember all the times I've woken doctors up with what turned out to be false alarms.) Orthodontists' receptionists say stuff like, "Dr. Jones is going to Patagonia for the first three weeks in February so you'll have to come in to have your braces tightened either in late January or late February. We accept cash, check, or credit card."

Anonymous said...

Lawyers don't have to go to law school. In California, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington, an applicant who has not attended law school may take the bar exam after study under a judge or practicing attorney for an extended period of time. This method is known as "reading law" or "reading the law".

---

they make this so onerous nobody does it. law school is a scam

SFG said...

"OT but isteve readers may be interested in reading the latest column by the NYT "ethicist", Randy Cohen. Here's an exceprt:

Americans do not enjoy moral precedence over Indians. Some people feel we have a greater ethical duty to those closest to us — our neighbors — but in an era of global trade and travel, that is a recipe for tribalism and its attendant ills."

I love the way the guy ignored him and didn't take the job anyway. I wonder if he just wrote in to see if it would make the NYT page?

There's definitely a difference in the moral code of the global elite and the hoi polloi...

Anonymous said...

Look at how many of these occupations actively limit supply, either through guild-like structures (doctor and lawyer licensing schemes) or unions (airline pilots). Artificially limiting supply probably accounts for a good chunk of the compensation differential.

Svigor said...

OT but isteve readers may be interested in reading the latest column by the NYT "ethicist", Randy Cohen. Here's an exceprt:

Americans do not enjoy moral precedence over Indians. Some people feel we have a greater ethical duty to those closest to us — our neighbors — but in an era of global trade and travel, that is a recipe for tribalism and its attendant ills.


American Jews elevate talking out of both sides of their mouths into high art. Sorry if that's too blunt for some, but it's true.

On the other hand, I could be wrong in my wild guess that Mr. Cohen wouldn't dream of applying his ethics in a way that would put Israel in the hot seat. Does he inveigh against American Jewish and Israeli tribalism on a constant basis? Does he inveigh against any tribalism not standing in the way of American Jewish tribalism? Would he print and answer my question?

Ponder, for a moment, the priorities of someone who:

1. Opposed to tribalism and its attendant ills
2. Lacks a greater "ethical duty to those closest to us - our neighbors", in an era of global trade and travel.

He'd go where the action is, right? He'd spend all of his "anti-tribalism" time outside Europe and America. All.of.it. He'd spend more time on Africa and the ME than anywhere else. He'd criticize Israel and Israelis and the Lobby for tribalism, what, ten times as much as America or Americans? 100 times? He'd criticize Mexico, what, five times as much? Ten?

Does the word "reciprocity" figure into Cohen's ethical lexicon? If a typical Indian's "give a crap about Americans" meter is set at .5 out of ten, and the typical American's is set at 5, don't Americans have moral precedence over Indians, as far as Americans are concerned?

Interesting, being a paid liar when your job title is "ethicist."

Alex said...

"Lower salaries would likely improve physician care as there is a massive surfeit of applicants to medical schools (as there is in most of the world, despite much lower salaries than in the US)."


- Sure, we can see how well its worked for the countries that has socialized medicine. That's why their best docs immigrate here and to other countries that lack socialized medicine. And why the wealthy from those countries go to non-socialized medicine countries when they need the best medical treatment money can buy.

Its also part of why Obamacare is such an abomination that needs to be torn down.

ExtraMedium said...

I agree with the 1st two comments regarding pharmacy. I quit working as a retail pharmacy tech awhile back. My previous hospital pharmacy tech job was better.

Anonymous said...

Marketing research doesn't pay well

Now you tell me!

I had just finished doing my bit for Nixon's War on Cancer when I came back west. I wanted very badly to get into market research in San Francisco. I applied a lot of places and got an interview with Walter Landor's firm. They were very au courant and fashionable. Their offices were on a barge in the Bay.

They were famous for having devised the Coca Cola logo. Most of the company consisted of graphic designers but they had some stat guys too who tested alternative designs.

I had read a book on job interviewing which said to never mention how much money you wanted. I couldn't figure out what - if anything - I was worth in marketing research. I pussy-footed my way around my salary expectations. I didn't know what my title would be or even what my job tasks would be. I just knew it would be cool to work on a boat in the Bay.

I finally said $17K. There had been a story in the newspapers (remember newspapers?) about how the City civil service garbage men were making $17K. This was 1975.

I guess that was too much. I never did go into marketing research and so I never had a platform from which to get into the really big money - blogging.

BTW met a lot of young doctors again last year while working at UC SF Hospital. All of them complained about compensation. They were bitter that never netted a dime until they were over forty and had paid off their student loans.

Being a doctor these days is like inheriting a fortune on your death bed. And it isn't getting any better. Physicians in the future will study even longer.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

"Most retail pharmacists also hate their jobs and drink a lot to compensate."

You'd guess they could just snitch benzos from the stock room.

"I've asked pharmacists medical questions. They seemed competent."

ER nurses even more so. I've overheard them in conversations with attending physicians, ticking off possible treatment options and making recommendations. Because they spend more time observing a particular patient than his doctor, their intuition is invaluable.

Another point: So many MDs in the US speak English as a second language, and they often get their training in foreign medical schools with lower entrance requirements. I suspect doctors born and totally educated in the US probably have a significant edge in English vocabulary and IQ.

Anonymous said...

I take about twenty pills a day. They are always trying to get me to talk with a pharmacist. I resist.

I think the traditional pharmacist is a dying profession. I refill my many prescriptions over the web and have them mail me the pills. I doubt if a real pharmacist ever touches my stuff. For most patients at Kaiser (an HMO) a pharmacist simply isn't in the loop.

Many years ago I interviewed at Kaiser to work as an Industrial Engineer. If I were doing that today I would work on complete automation of the pharmacy - no human hands at all. We would have workmen who would fill the hoppers on the pill dispensing machines when notified. Otherwise who needs people?

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

A few years ago one of the financial sites ran a "top 10" list of best pay-to-actual-work jobs, and orthodontist topped the list. The average pay was over $300K for a non-stress, no-emergency, office job where the assistants do most of the work.

Part of the reason is that the orthodontal residency programs take in very, very few applicants; the cartel recognizes a good thing.

Speaking of dentists, when did it became the norm that they only work 4 days a week? I haven't seen a dentist open on Fridays for ages.

Anonymous said...

Troofie, her counterpart in the UK is most likely an immigrant from the Phillipines, India or South Africa, according to the NHS's own numbers. They went where more money was. Talented native-born nurses the world over go to the UK--when they can't get a job here.

And so do the doctors. I had my only surgery two years ago at Massachusetts General Hospital, by any metric one of the world's best. Pakastani/Brit surgeon assisted by a Korean doc, anaesthesiologist from Iceland (quite the looker) and two native Irish Catholic girls from Southie as the OR nurses. Their profession is portable and in demand, and they follow the money.

Dave, the problem at my girlfriend's hospital, Boston Medical Center, is the fact the it's the one that serves the "underserved" community in Boston. You are more likely to survive a gunshot or stab wound (or any other trauma, for that matter) in her hospital than any other in New England. A doctor was shot in the ER at Mass General by a psycho patient last year, and she was transported to BMC for treatment! The trauma teams are the best in around, and as Roxbury border is right across Mass Ave. from BMC they get plenty of practice. But serving the patients they do (65% Medicaid or free care [homeless]) attracts the lefty docs on a mission, and my girl finds herself constantly advocating for treatment and rehab for white patients with insurance while the Mass Health (Medicaid) card and dark skin are the ticket to the aforementioned workup.

Brutus

Anthony said...

munch - "Our super income does not support a second home, a private jet, a boat."

A million a year won't support a private jet unless you're *really* careful, but if you can't support a second home or a boat, you really need to learn some fiscal discipline.

JSM said...

"And nursing pays well because not as many people as you think go into it. It's a shitty job and a huge portion of people quit within the first year."

Thank you. (Literally. -- How many bm accidents have I cleaned up?)

Back injuries, sometimes crippling, from lifting non-ambulatory patients are a very common occupational hazard. We're exposed to infectious diseases and ionizing radiation. We jump out of bed to a pager's midnight buzz and dash to the hospital to provide the finest care to car wreck victims (while hopefully avoiding, in our sleep-deprived state, having a wreck ourselves.)

We nurses are infamous for telling gross but humorous stories, because you've got to have a strong stomach to last even the first day. The smells, the gurgles, the visual horrors, we handle it all with equanimity and professionalism.


We're there to wipe you clean and dry your eyes on your first day of life and your last. We comfort new widows and new mothers whose children are born with birth defects. We read every label to catch someone else's mistake before we give you the medicine.
And we do it all while on our feet 12 hours a day. And then we come when called back in at 3 a.m.
We are smart enough to be educated sufficiently to be able to second-guess the physician and call him when he's made a mistake. For which we are thanked by being berated.

But we're overpaid?

Steve Sailer DDS said...

Steve, u thinking about applying to dental school?

http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291023.htm

Orthodontists make $100.44 per hour, but there are only 5350 of them in the U.S. This represents about 3 percent of all U.S. dentists. So we're talking the elite end of a pretty lucrative profession.

Steve Wood said...

"I love how everyone is so concerned about other people (especially - horrors! - public employees making princely sums like 90K."

What sort of job do you do for da gooberment?


Maybe he's a senior military or police officer or a cryptanalyst for the NSA. Maybe he's in charge of inspecting food producers to be sure they aren't adulterating the flour with chalk or selling maggoty meat.

Maybe he's a public defender.

Maybe he's a professor at a public university.

Maybe he plans, designs and contracts to build roads.

These are all things the government does and should do. The people who do them deserve to be paid a wage commensurate with the education and experience required for the job and at least as much as they would earn in the private sector.

I do not work for any government and never have, but the knee-jerk hostility of doctrinaire libertarians to any government function and the assumption that every government worker is a useless parasite is tiresome and wrong.

Anonymous said...

I can speak for doctors. It's certainly a long slog and the opportunity cost is probably not worth the income strictly speaking in terms of economics, but the work and subject matter that one studies are truly exhilarating. Being a doctor is a rewarding career. I could never be an investment banker, no matter how much they supposedly earn. Academics or research would be the only comparable careers in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Pharmacist schmarmacist, and who cares about orthodontists. What's really ruining this country is how low IQ white nationalists with low IQs are overrunning Steve's comment section, turning it into Stormfront with their low IQ comments.

Oh, and did I mention they have low IQs?!?

Anonymous said...

No mention of dermatologists? Otherwise known as pimple popper MD's. These "doctors" make 400k a year regularly. The one in my town makes over 600k, thanks to the pimple popper cartel that restricts the number of dermatologists.

Anonymous said...

About pharmacists. Back in the day pharmacists used to be able to dispense cocaine and could custom make medications that tailor fit your needs.

Thanks to regulations, now medicine is all about streamlining everything to maximize the drug and insurance companies profits.

For what pharmacists do today, you could say that pharmacists are overpaid. But why can't pharmacists prescribe cough medicine, prescribe prescription strength cortisone cream, or give you prescription strength benzoyl peroxide? Are these really things you need to see a doctor for? It would be better for society to let people see a pharmacist to get these things instead of having to see a doctor, but that would mean less moolah for the MD's.

Anonymous said...

"Most retail pharmacists also hate their jobs and drink a lot to compensate."

You're a pharmacist and you self-medicate with ... booze?

Gilbert Pinfold.

Steve Sailer said...

I think pharmacists used to often own their own drug stores, like in IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE.

Steve Sailer said...

I've had discussions with pharmacists over the pros and cons of various pills that were better than the ones I've had with doctors. But I had to go back to the doctor to get the prescription.

And advising is not a big part of the business model anymore for national chain drugstores.

Anonymous said...

"No mention of dermatologists? Otherwise known as pimple popper MD's."
There is an old joke about dematologists, heard a lot from other specialists: Dermatology - never kill anyone, never cure anyone.

Anonymous said...

We got a lecture from a dermatologist in pharmacy school. He cited two great advantages of his specialty: one, 50% of his patients were women suffering menstrual period acne (a self-limited disorder which goes away no matter what you do) and two, the typical diagnosis can be done visually in a short amount of time which makes one look like a genius to the other docs.

Mike Courtman said...

"So what? Her contemporary in London goes through the same trials and makes half."

The British National Health service is an unusual case - a state funded institution which makes its workers work harder and for lower pay than their private sector colleagues.It certainly beats private sector medicine in terms of cost-effectiveness. However, it's cost effectiveness is also its downfall as Britain is rapidly losing all its best medical workers overseas.

Indeed, Britain is losing so many smart people overseas (to Australia and Canada which are sucking out a huge chuck of useful Britons with their skilled migration policies and the US with its big salaries for big fish)that its white population must be getting dumber.

Anonymous said...

Principles of Dermatology:

1) If it's wet, dry it.
2) If it's dry, wet it
3) If that didn't work, apply steroid cream.

David Davenport said...

... But why can't pharmacists prescribe cough medicine, prescribe prescription strength cortisone cream, or give you prescription strength benzoyl peroxide?

'Cuz that 's a job for a Nurse Practitioner at a Minute Clinic in a CVS drugstore or a Little Clinic in a Kroger supermarket. They can write 'scripts for some pharmaceuticals, although not for the whole inventory, I understand.

Those in-store clinics are a big part of the future of American health care.

Pharmacists? I got an H1N1 flu shot two Octobers ago at a Walgreens drug store here in Nashville... Fellow stepped out from behind the counter and gave me the shot.* I didn't ask him if he was a real pharmacist or a mere Pharm. Tech.

This year, I got my flu shot at Kroger for, I think, $25. Can't get that at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods Mkt. Did I recently see Walgreens advertising flur shots for $19? Guess the price goes down as winter nears its end.

Hmm, this thread has sort veered into a health care practitioneer thread. Wonder if chiropractors make many $? I've never been to a chiropractor.

* That's the set-up for a tale I read about the original Hank Williams. In the early 1950's, he used to stop at a long-gone pharmacy on Broadway near the Opry House -- the real Opry House, not the Gaylord Corp. thing. Hank's friendly pharmacist would give him morphine injections, which may have been illegal but was winked at back then, at least for people such as Hank Williams Sr.

dores said...

"No mention of dermatologists? Otherwise known as pimple popper MD's."
There is an old joke about dematologists, heard a lot from other specialists: Dermatology - never kill anyone, never cure anyone.

Doesn't anybody here watch Seinfeld re-runs. There was a whole show devoted to Jerry's adventures with a dematologist and his come-uppance. After all, she diagnosed skin cancers and saved lives.

David said...

Income v. vocabulary...and the missing data point is English majors' income?

What kind of a %&*& study is that?

(No, I am not an English major.)