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Universal salry - could it ever work?

190 replies

manicinsomniac · 25/08/2015 17:58

This occurred to me as I was reading another thread but I didn't want to derail.

Do you think we could ever live in a society that paid adults for the hours of work they do, not the type of work? So people would be paid by the hour, regardless of what job they were doing, rather than having an annual salary.

For example, people in the UK are to earn £15 per hour. So someone who cleans for 3 hours earns £45 but someone who cleans for 10 hours earns £150 and a doctor who does a 15 hour shift earn £225 while a lawyer who works 6 hours earns £90. People log their hours every day and get paid their sum total of working hours at the end of the week or month.

The incentive to work hard is still there because the more you work the more you get. You would still have people in a full range of jobs because people have different skills, interests, circumstances and degrees of intelligence.

I suppose the issue is - do people ever choose a job based on the money it pays alone and are there any jobs that nobody would do if they weren't as highly paid as they are? I work in a middle salary job (teacher) and didn't consider money when I was deciding what I want to do. I imagine most people choose on what they want or are able to do and are either pleased or resigned about the salary?

Obviously you couldn't do this to current adults. It would have to be phased in for people entering employment for the first time.

Is it crazy? It is, isn't it? There's some huge flaw I'm failing to see.

OP posts:

Unhappyuser · 25/08/2015 18:01

You are talking about communism. Of course it's ridiculous, would you spend years at uni and get into loads of debt to earn the same as someone in a shop?


Crispbutty · 25/08/2015 18:02

Utterly bonkers... I can't even begin to explain why it's so ridiculous


MsTargaryen · 25/08/2015 18:03

And why should someone doing a high stress high responsibility job like a doctor or lawyer earn the same as a cleaner? It's bonkers Grin


Osolea · 25/08/2015 18:03

Yes, it's crazy.

Utterly bonkers. If you can't see that, it's worrying that you teach children.


MaidOfStars · 25/08/2015 18:03

You would still have people in a full range of jobs because people have different skills, interests, circumstances and degrees of intelligence

What is the incentive to train to be an engineer/surgeon/lawyer/whatever, if you are going to earn the same as a cleaner? You're relying on people doing it for the love of it. Might work for some vocations but not the vast majority of regular jobs. Spending 10+ years in some kind of further education when they could have left at 16/18 and worked behind a till?


abbieanders · 25/08/2015 18:04

That's not communism.

Also, I imagine that, as happens now, university would continue to be the gateway to interesting, rewarding occupations which confer a level of social status.


comfybigduvet · 25/08/2015 18:04

You didn't consider money because you didn't have to.


Singsongsung · 25/08/2015 18:05

Utterly daft idea which would lead to an ill educated population. Why train to be a doctor when you can be a cleaner for the same hourly rate?!
Your idea would be fine so long as you never have a need for a doctor, a teacher, an architect, a surgeon etc etc etc etc


comfybigduvet · 25/08/2015 18:06

But to answer your question, apply it to education.

William works really hard for his maths GCSE and gets an A. Oliver doesn't and gets an F. That's unfair as William has more marks than he needs. So you give williams marks to Oliver, meaning they both get a C. Which is fine. Just that neither William nor Oliver will work for their A levels.


Piratespoo · 25/08/2015 18:06

You do realise this is communism
I hope you are not teaching my kids. The lack of thought in this op from a teacher is astounding! You really can't figure out why it couldn't work?


manicinsomniac · 25/08/2015 18:07

but cleaning and shop work are so boring! And university is so fun. There are a huge range of jobs, both high and low paying, that I would never consider in a million years. Cleaning would top that list. I would rather spend my life at university that do that. And being a doctor would be nowhere near as stressful to me as having to clean up after them.

Surely, we are a diverse enough nation to cover all careers? Humans don't naturally go for what is easy, we go for what will stimulate us. Which may or may not be well paid.

I don't know if it's communism I'm thinking of exactly. People wouldn't earn the same. It's just that it would be hours not job that made the difference. So people who aren't able to do a currently well paid job but who work very hard would get the same reward.

It's rewarding work not brains/opportunity. Cleaning is no less work that Lawyer-ing.

OP posts:

Unhappyuser · 25/08/2015 18:07

Everyone earning the same salary (note the spelling op the teacher) regardless of job is communism


PotteringAlong · 25/08/2015 18:07

I'm a teacher. Will I be paid for the hours actually worked or the ones I'm contracted for? Who's funding my 5 years at university? (I did a ba, ma and pgce?). If I'm going to be paid the same as a cleaner I've missed out on 5 years of wages for no reasob


letmehaveyoursoul · 25/08/2015 18:08

and those with physical disabilities who can't work long hours just get paid less then?

of course it's crazy and wouldn't work.


Unhappyuser · 25/08/2015 18:08

But it requires less training.


comfybigduvet · 25/08/2015 18:08

And no way do I want my surgeon or pilot working 80 hour weeks ...


originalusernamefail · 25/08/2015 18:09

'Tis bonkers! I love my job and am proud of what I do, but if money wasn't a consideration I'd do the easiest, most stress -free job I could get.


Nottodaythankyouorever · 25/08/2015 18:09

I can't even begin to start with what is wrong with this idea Hmm


abbieanders · 25/08/2015 18:10

Everyone earning the same salary (note the spelling op the teacher) regardless of job is communism

No it isn't, but in any event, "it's communism!" isn't a particularly convincing argument against anything.


manicinsomniac · 25/08/2015 18:10

comfy I don't think that analogy works at all. For society to work we need people who are capable of As and we need people who are happier in non academic fields. Currently, we don't reward most of the less academic people financially. Yet they often work just as hard or harder.

OP posts:

originalusernamefail · 25/08/2015 18:11

I could then spend my free time on OU courses and such.


MsTargaryen · 25/08/2015 18:12

Cleaning is less work really, let's be honest. You go in, you clean, you leave. You don't take the job home with you or the stress of a mistake meaning someone died or didn't get sent down for a crime they committed.

People might enjoy a job but given a choice between a stress free job for the same wage as a stressful one, they'll choose the stress free one!


SecretSpy · 25/08/2015 18:13

Animal Farm.

Do people not still read it at school?


frikadela01 · 25/08/2015 18:13

Don't know why hours worked makes a difference... Some of the lowest paid jobs in the country also happen to be the ones with the longest hours. I work the same hours as the hcas at work yet have way more responsibility than them as a nurse... damn right I want paying more than them.


cruikshank · 25/08/2015 18:13

I don't think it's necessarily more crazy than the system we've got - it's certainly different, but there are lots of aspects of late capitalism that make no sense. Why, for example, should someone who makes weapons earn more than the person who patches up those maimed and injured by those weapons? And not just a little bit more, but a magnitude more. Why do CEOs make 330 times more than the employees who make their businesses function at all, even when said CEO is utterly useless and allows the company to go to the wall? How come venture capitalists, who produce nothing, make so much money?

This isn't, in abstract, any more nonsensical than such anomalies.

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