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Why Would Anybody Train to Become a Lawyer When They Will be Paid Just as Much to Be a Bus Driver?

Even though we will answer this question, there is something that needs to be said first. We Egalitarianists believe that this question is a redundant issue. It is not a matter of why someone would train to become a lawyer if they are not going to receive a higher wage, and is instead a matter of whether or not it is ethical to pay people more for the job they do (particularly intellectual labourers). Consider this question, which was also asked once upon a time. If we can't have slaves, then how will our farms remain economically viable? The answer is that it doesn't matter if your farms can't remain economically viable, slavery is wrong and therefore unacceptable. And as time passed, most farms continued to operate, and they continued to remain economically viable, because consumer prices rose (closer to what they were actually worth) to cater to paying wages to black workers. Similarly, it doesn't matter that lawyers (like many other people in other jobs) want and think that they deserve to be paid a lot more than the average wage. We all want this, and most of us would accept it if were us, particularly in a social environment where everyone has to economic fend for themselves. And most of us would also probably believe that we deserved it too. However, as we have discussed in our 'Why We Know that All Elitist Societies are Invalid' and 'The Capitalist Scam (Part 3)' (which you should definitely read if you wish to know more about the answer to the title question), stratified wages and elitism in general, are created by abuse of power, which is corruption. This makes it invalid, and by today's standards, corruption is also considered wrong. Therefore, it would be stupid for anyone who isn't well off to accept being economically and socially disadvantaged because of it. With regards to capitalism, both the private ownership of business and unequal wages are deliberately designed to produce economic, social, and political domination, and these forms of domination are no more good or valid than physical domination is. And if you believe that physical domination is good or valid (perhaps because we see it in nature), then most of you are doing a very good job of hiding this belief, because most of you appear to be appealing to laws, morality, or the word of god to prevent it from happening to you. One has to always remember, nothing is what is supposed to be, not even unequal wages. Every form of rule, every form of elitism, and every accepted excuse to have more than the rest are just another set of institutional fantasies: the 'I am the King of the castle' fantasies of those people who gained control over the law and policy making processes within the society, and gaining this control is also nearly always achieved by some type of domination.

To answer the question, in the AEM's Egalitarian society, we will have no trouble convincing people to become lawyers or any other type of intellectual labourer. People will never stop trying to get away from hard physical labour, mundane labour, repetitious labour, and even customer service and driving, and people will never stop trying to become employed in intellectual pursuits, law being one of them. This is particularly so for people as we grow older and sorer. That is, we need to think about and plan for the future because we know that as time passes, we either will not be able to, or will have no desire to continue doing the same amount of physical labour. In fact, going into Egalitarianism will bring many intellectual labourers back down to Earth. They will have no choice but admit that they would rather be a lawyer for an equal wage (or some other type of intellectual labourer) than be a bus driver (or some other types of physical labourer, or be involved in repetitious or mundane work). In fact, most will gladly be prepared to study in their spare time just to get away from physical or mundane labour. This is something that is already demonstrated. As mentioned elsewhere, in the USSR during the Eighties, before capitalism started to be introduced, doctors, who require more training than lawyers, received an average wage. Never the less, 3.4% of the working population were in medicine compared to only 1.5% of the workforce here in Australia. In fact, we expect that we will have no choice but to continue with the practice of limiting access to jobs involving intellectual labour because the demand for the these jobs will continue to far outweigh the availability of intellectually orientated jobs. So, even in an Egalitarian society, one will also have to be a reasonably good lawyer to remain a lawyer because there will still be a competitive workplace environment. Incidentally, after a short while, we aren't going to need as many lawyers within the AEM's Egalitarian society, particularly those involved in money and property crimes, non-payment of fines, divorce settlements, insurance disputes, corporate law, drug related crimes, medical law suits, wills, workers compensation claims, civil law suits, and others. So, the competition to be a lawyer is about to become even stiffer, and as such, it is difficult to foresee that it will available to anyone under 35 - 40 years of age (eventually).

One of the main reasons why people believe that lawyers and other intellectual labourers deserve more is because they had to undergo the sacrifice of living on student wages for several years to graduate. Consider this, while that lawyer was studying very hard for 5 years to be a lawyer, a bus driver was working hard for 5 years just to stay a bus driver, and he was also doing something productive for the nation at the same time. Who has made the bigger sacrifice? Also, in the AEM's Egalitarian society, students who we grant scholarships to, will be on a full wage while they study, so there will now be no economic sacrifice involved in becoming a lawyer. Therefore, what reason is there left to give lawyers or any other types of intellectual labourer more pay. In fact, we would be correctly justified to say that society has now invested in the lawyer's education and that the lawyer now owes society for the privilege of being able to do intellectual labour instead of physical labour, so forget about getting a higher wage mate. Receiving an education, no matter how, enriches the individual, regardless of its vocational outcomes, which is why it is a privilege to receive an education, and the higher one's level of education, the more privileged one is.  

Your assumption that lawyers should be paid more is brought about by several things. First, as is normal, you have adapted to what you have always known. You have accepted it like you accepted many other things about your culture: things that would seem odd or illegal in another culture (eg. wearing bras, monogamous marriages, modern medicine, drinking alcohol, burying the dead). The children who are brought up in the AEM's Egalitarian society will adapt to an Egalitarian environment just as you have adapted to this economically and socially abusive one, and they will have just as much trouble as you are having now when they try to understand why on Earth people once believed that a lawyer should receive a much higher wage than a bus driver. They, including lawyers, will assume correctly that this is clearly an outcome of corruption, and they will be thankful that stratified wages and elitism, and all the problems they bring, are things of the past, or happening somewhere else in less civilised countries. Secondly, we who are not so intellectual, tend to think that because study and intellectual labour are hard for us, means that they are hard for everyone, and this is not so. We all have our aptitudes, and various types of intellectual labour are just other ones. In fact, physical labour is hard for most people to endure continually, and intellectual labour is the much easier option for most people. In fact, many people love learning and gaining an education. It would also be true to say that gaining a degree is perceived by those who are intimidated by university, or who have never been to university, as being much harder than it is. The truth is that most people can acquire a degree in a field that they are interested in, when they put their minds to it, because gaining a degree has a lot more to do with doing the work required than it has with possessing a high IQ. We Egalitarianists claim that intellectuals in high places are taking advantage of your inferiority complex about not being smart (which has been deliberately nurtured in you by your ruling class and others with a superiority complex), so that they may take full advantage of you by having you believe that the effort and sacrifice you put into your non-intellectual labour is not as big as the effort and sacrifice put in to do intellectual labour. To a large extent, it's your own fault for trusting people who crave power and wealth to tell you the unbiased truth.

Also, once selected, becoming a lawyer in the AEM's Egalitarian society will be a much more effortless thing to achieve. If we do a good job at constructing the Egalitarian society, for the majority of people, it will be a normal part of life to gradually move from unskilled and skilled physical labour into continually higher levels of intellectual labour because the training will be provided on the job. Further, by not paying lawyers more than anybody else, we increase the likelihood that those people involved in law are committed to law, rather than being committed to getting ahead of the rest and self-interest.

Incidentally, contrary to what the title/question implies, it is our opinion that bus driving, along with process workers and many other workers who are involved in repetitious work, that nobody should be made to do these jobs all day, let alone alone all week, or all year, or for many years, or for all of their life. We regard jobs that require people to work, stand, or sit in one position all day as being detrimental to the physical, mental, and emotional well-being and development of any person, which is why we regard this common and often inescapable circumstance within our capitalist society as an institutionalised and extreme form of abuse (similar to being a battery hen). After all, do you want to be bus driver, and if not, why not?  This is why we prefer to see a lot more people doing these jobs for much shorter periods of time (i.e. never all day). As such, a bus driver will probably have at least one other job, which could be quite intellectual or high in the chain of command of some other business. See our 'The Humanised Workplace' web page to find out more about how people may have several occupations at once.

However, if there are any easy jobs out there that everybody wants to do (of which, we don't regard bus driving as being one of them), then older people are usually going to out compete younger people, or even middle aged people, because generally, older people will have paid their dues more than younger people, and will therefore tend to hog the easiest jobs more, along with injured and handicapped people. Also, if there is a great demand for any relatively easy job, we can also spread the work out over many people doing it for less time, so that more people may enjoy their piece of the easy action. Also, we can prevent people who we think are capable of becoming nuclear physicists from being wasted in these types of occupations, leaving them no option but to do something else if they wish to escape physical labour. In actual fact, the same thing goes on now, as most employers are weary of employing someone who is overqualified or who they believe is too intelligent to be content doing mundane work.

Even though it won't occur, if by chance we found that we were having trouble trying to persuade people to become lawyers or bus drivers, we can always offer other incentives such as longer holidays, longer long-service leave, or earlier retirement, or we could allow these workers to move into the types of jobs they want to be involved in after they have helped out the society by taking on these jobs. More pay doesn't have to enter into the issue.

However, in actual fact, there is incentive to increase one's level of expertise (in any field) within the AEM's Egalitarian society. That is, the more workplace challenges one takes on, and the bigger the challenges one takes on, the more workplace autonomy one gains (i.e. the more one is in charge of the work one does) and the quicker one will get to where one wants to go (i.e. the more ability one has to direct one's career in the direction one wishes to go). For those people who continue to work regardless of how much money they possess, this fulfills the same highly desired goal that gaining more money achieves within the capitalist society.

It should also be stated that there is a great hypocrisy occurring by asking the title question. Do you really think that it is anywhere near fair that lawyers are currently making between 5 to 30 times as much as the average wage? Even if one was to incorrectly think that the labour of lawyers is worth more than the average wage earner, it is impossible to believe that the sacrifice, or the level of effort required to be a lawyer are worth even two times as much. Clearly, there is something seriously wrong with the way wages are determined in our capitalist society, and every indicator demonstrates that this situation is worsening year by year.

Even if you believe that lawyers or other intellectual labourers are being hard done by, by having to receive the same wage as everybody else, when one considers the amazing, and the many social, economic, and environmental benefits that are created, and the social problems that disappear, by becoming an Egalitarian society: one has to conclude that it is worth being unfair to this minority group. Further, it is clearly obvious that there are many more people (probably you included) within our capitalist society who are being far more ripped off than a lawyer in an Egalitarian society, and yet you don't seem to be concerned about them (or yourself). Why not?

Also, it doesn't matter if the labour of a lawyer is worth more than the average wage because unfortunately, as we have mentioned on our other pages, the minute you allow certain people to have more wealth than other people (and all that goes with it), ruthless people will do whatever they have to to become one of these wealthier people, and in gaining these positions, they will still always want more, particularly when we live in an economically competitive society. Consequently, economically stratified societies are ruled or controlled by the most ruthless of us all. To continue with any form of elitism then (including stratified wages), is to ask to be ruled by the most ruthless people in your society, and under such circumstances, there is little point in complaining about all the social, economic, and environmental problems, and the unfriendly and distrusting culture that are inevitable byproducts of it.


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