General Question

Paradox1's avatar

Which professions and careers earn a disproportionately high income?

Asked by Paradox1 (1167 points ) April 3rd, 2012

In your best estimation, What type or types of jobs do you think earn a disproportionate share of income relative to the work involved as well as the time required in order to get into that position. For example, a lawyer can make hundreds of dollars an hour, however it requires thousands and thousands of dollars in law school tuition as well as hard work to get into a good school, etc.

I am asking about the types of jobs that do not require a lot of work, preparation, or investment and yet still, somehow, receive such a disproportionate share of income it seems ludicrous.

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25 Answers

kara_t's avatar

Here in Singapore traders in investment banks earn ridiculous amounts of money and it`s all based on hypothetical profits based on mark to market and questionable theoretical values calculations which may or may not result in actual profits for their companies. Also some doctors and lawyers (though not all) earn disproportionate amounts of money.

anartist's avatar

similar to above—Wall Street traders can earn unimaginable fortunes [or lose their shirts] and can learn the ropes without any formal education at all. But they better learn the ropes.

Michael Milken, for example, has an MBA, but one doesn’t need to have such. One of the two partners in a successful “boutique” brokerage house that I know of has no formal education at all, but rather grew so interested in the family business that she preferred helping out there to even getting her high school degree. And proved to be so good at it that she didn’t need it.

JustPlainBarb's avatar

Professional sports players!

marinelife's avatar

Rock stars or music stars (although they do have to practice).

flutherother's avatar

Bankers. They award themselves millions of pounds in salaries and incentives despite having ruined the companies they work for. They earn millions while their banks lose billions, banks which are supported by the taxpayer due to their incompetence.

seekingwolf's avatar

I’ve always thought actors (Hollywood) were paid far too much,.

choreplay's avatar

Jobs that you have an innate talent for or jobs that are unpleasant to do. I made good money while in college delivering the newspaper a couple hours a morning, but I had to get up at 3:30 AM. So if there is some unpleasant element but one you don’t mind you can capitalize on the higher wages.

Cruiser's avatar

@flutherother I don’t know what bankers you know but my 2 bankers are modest college educated gents like me who don’t earn millions and their banks most certainly do not lose billions let alone any money or they wouldn’t be in business let alone manage any of my money! Geeze where do you get your information from???

The people I know that back savage amounts of money with the least amount of schooling investment are stock brokers, realtors and entrepreneurs who create opportunities and rightly so are rewarded for their hard work.

anartist's avatar

Don’t forget high-class callgirls or the male equivalent. No formal education needed. Great hourly pay.

downtide's avatar

Super-models and people who become celebrities from appearing on reality TV shows.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Russian mobsters.

syz's avatar

CEOs, sports professionals, celebrities.

Rock2's avatar

Presidents of the United States.

Haleth's avatar

A lot of these have so much competition that it isn’t really disproportionate; the only ones we think about are the lucky few who made it to the top. Think celebrity chef vs. regular chef or movie actor vs. stage actor. The field as a whole isn’t very wealthy.

LostInParadise's avatar

Astrologers and various types of New Age healers and motivational speakers – Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins, Werner Ehrhard, et al

gorillapaws's avatar

Most investors and money managers who have proven time-and-again that they’re incapable of generating returns better than the market, let alone enough to cover the commissions they “earn”, and who share none of the downside risk so they encourage people to invest in equities that are riskier than is healthy for them at their stage in life.

Pharmaceutical Reps, who can often earn several times more than the MD’s they’re trying to pitch drugs too. They have the added benefit of never having to be on-call, and drive in to the ER at 3AM to treat an undocumented worker who will never pay them a dime, or pay $50K+ per year in malpractice insurance, or have to tell people they’re terminally ill, or perform life-threatening procedures, etc.

Shitty CEO’s. Good ones are worth what they earn, but 10’s of millions to incompetent fuckwads who tank companies, and loose billions in shareholder value should be having to declare bankruptcy, not retiring somewhere nice.

anartist's avatar

@Rock2 presidents of the United States are grossly underpaid. They could walk out that door and make more money as the lawyers they were before they walked in. And the tzuris of it. What pay for that?

mrrich724's avatar

Athletes… they make several times more than say…. NICU doctors, and are worthless when you compare what an athlete contributes to the world COMPARED TO what a NICU doctor contributes.

Hell, I think the world would do just fine without athletes all together (while it is a nice form of entertainment, it isn’t necessary compared to . . . almost anything). Same goes for “celebrities.”

ETpro's avatar

Hedge Fund Managers produce little or nothing of any value to anyone other than the investors in the Hedge Fund. Only multimillionaires can opt int. Often, what they actually do is destructive to the greater good of the nation that supports them. The top hedge fund manager gets a BONUS of $4 billion a year on top of an obscenely high salary. That’s Capitalism run amok.

Paradox1's avatar

@gorillapaws Thank you. Reminds me of that movie I totally forgot about, with Ann Hathaway and… That really handsome dude who plays a rep.

Silence04's avatar

Any job that allows you to license rights to a copyright you own. Such as actors, songwriters, and artists/designers.

josie's avatar

Anybody who does precisely nothing, has never done and never will do anything, and yet gets a treasury check.
Way disproportionate.

ETpro's avatar

@josie How about investors who inherit great wealth, place it with an investment firm, and do absolutely nothing—including not paying taxes. That count?

Or is it only the disabled who are leaches, even though they earn barely enough to survive?

josie's avatar

@ETpro Am I supposed to think of every possible answer to the question or just one or two? Should I try harder to come up with ones that you like? The key word seems to be disproportionate. My answer is responsive, so is yours. Have we not each of us done our small part to keep the thread alive? Why so serious?

ETpro's avatar

@josie Because your answer leads to the conclusion that to improve America, we must move policy even further toward benefiting only those who are already fabulously wealthy. We’ve spent the past 30 years moving that way, and we’re near bankruptcy thanks to it.

It doesn’t work. We actually all do better when we all do better. So policies designed to ensure we can all do better will work for us all.

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