I’ve been thinking a lot about how we pay for the knowledge we use to make life better, and how we have no good way to compensate many who do the most important work. I had lunch today with some of my former co-workers at Verizon Wireless. The gaps in pay between the best teachers and market-equivalent jobs in private industry are enormous — 100% or more in many cases.
Even small incentives to keep people in academia can produce huge results.
Over at a new, interesting blog, “Aspirations of a Joint Doc,” blogger Carpus notes that he’s got approval from NIH for a grant to pay off part of his student loans, if he can find funding and devote 80% of his time to research. It’s supposed to be an incentive to keep this guy working in rheumatology — he saves lives, or reduces pain, or makes life worth living.
And I’d wager that his loan excusal isn’t half of what some companies throw away on projects that waste resources, but pleased a boss somewhere, at some time.
In academia, people are held accountable. In private industry, stockholders rarely hear about it.
So, what’s this big drive to “make teachers accountable?” Hello? Are we even on the same planet?
But I digress. Go give Carpus some traffic at Aspirations of a Joint Doc.
(Did I mention that he reminds me a lot of David Kessler when Kessler was finishing his pediatric residency, and working the Senate Labor Committee? Can’t tell you exactly why, and it’s a gut reaction in any case with no data. Joint doc guys always fascinate me.)