Salaries should be contingent upon your contributions to society

Salaries should be contingent upon your contributions to society

Salaries are always a point of contention in our national economy, most likely because there’s such a disparity among them. Here’s just one example.

According to a recent release by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) entitled Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers, the median weekly earnings of the nation’s 117.6 million full-time wage and salary workers was $908 in the second quarter of 2019, which translates to roughly $47,216 a year.

In contrast, according to a recent posting on, salaries for the cast of the BH90210 revival are $70,000 an episode, while the cast of the rebooted Will & Grace are earning $250,000 an episode.

Let’s say an hour-long drama takes about two weeks on average to film, and the popular, half-hour comedy format about a week (according to online estimates). In one month, your paycheck would register $140,000 on BH90210 or $1,000,000 if your dressing room was housed on the Will & Grace sound stage.

In one month, the median earnings of the nation’s 117.6 million full-time wage and salary workers would be approximately $3,632.

It would take the average full-time wage and salary worker in the U.S. over twenty years to earn the $1,000,000 the cast of Will & Grace earns in one month.

Let those numbers sink in for a moment and you’ll better understand why salaries are a continued point of contention in America.

In an article on ABC Life entitled, Why celebrities earn so much money and what it says about our society by Siobhan Hegarty, she writes, “If we glorify the wealthy, what does that say about those of us working full-time jobs for five-figure salaries? Are we less deserving or simply not ‘worth’ as much? And is there a way to track our value to society that isn’t monetary?”

There is a great deal of inequity in the salaries of celebrities and athletes over your average working man or woman. Providing entertainment should not secure someone a higher salary over those contributing to the public good of society.

Yes, there are a number of celebrities and athletes who share their wealth with worthy causes.

But many others share it with no one but themselves – oftentimes on extravagances that land them into bankruptcy while others manage to find a way to put food on the table for their family and pay their bills on a meager $908 a week.

Society has it all wrong.

Instead of idolizing athletes and celebrities, paying outrageous prices at their venues which only contributes to their ability to earn over-inflated salaries, we should be revering those who tirelessly work day after day to make the world a better place for all of us to live.

People like environmentalists, teachers, social workers, caregivers, EMTs, firefighters and the list goes on and on.

While there’s no arguing that everyone’s talents should be financially compensated for, one must also take into account their contribution to society. Their ability to make an immediate difference in the world we’re all privileged to live in.

Some of you might be asking, if you’re in a career that doesn’t pay well, then go find another career. A fair statement I suppose. But there’s something called “selfless service” which may help clear things up.

Selfless service “is the offering and provision of service to others without any thought whatsoever of reward or self-gratification”.

For as Ufuoma Apoki once said, “One of the greatest purposes a man or woman can ever be indulged in is the positive evolution of self for the selfless service to humanity.”