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Are You Over Or Underpaid

Tyler Durden's picture


It's a simple question, yet one which is so difficult to answer (for lack of available data), and which fills most workers (especially those with a chip on their shoulder and/or delusions of grandeur) with dread: "Am I over, or underpaid in my job?"  The following handy chart, created by Reddit user Dan Lin, attempts to answer just this question with a breakdown of some 820 jobs listed by the BLS, with percentile data (25th, 50th, 75th, 90th) for the wage of any given occupation, allowing the determination where, relative to the median, one is paid.

Something tells us those jobs at the top of the chart, mostly education and training-intensive healthcare jobs, will not be pushing hard for minimum wage laws. Those on the bottom of the chart, however, those are a different story.


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Tue, 06/24/2014 - 08:04 | 4888646 10mm
10mm's picture

Were slaves in a corrupt system and controlled system.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 08:08 | 4888657 Top Gear
Top Gear's picture

You're simply non-competitive.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 08:31 | 4888713 negative rates
negative rates's picture

Does it really matter when all you are making is junk or used toward warfare.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 08:35 | 4888721 cifo
cifo's picture

I am definitely underpaid. I don't have a job.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 09:03 | 4888792 MontgomeryScott
MontgomeryScott's picture

I read through the list and I didn't see the three most important jobs:

Porn star, Politician, and Illegal alien welfare-sucking leech maggot. I guess they get paid too much, and would skew the statistics.

Have you considered a career change?

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 09:31 | 4888912 Hooter Shaker
Hooter Shaker's picture

If you feel underpaid, quit your job and find one where you're not underpaid.....Or better yet, start your own business and create your own job.  If you still feel underpaid after that then you were probably not underpaid.....just underskilled.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 10:00 | 4889040 CrazyCooter
CrazyCooter's picture has had this feature for years. Here is salary trends for a gardner in Dallas, TX.

it also breaks down positions vs total, so one can figure out if a technology or skill is growing, or shrinking in terms of labor demand.

And it is more granular since stuff is localized.




EDIT: Now that I RTFA, is that not a pink blow off top or what? Medical is soooo fucked up.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 10:06 | 4889081 Shocker
Shocker's picture

Once you factor in inflation on Food, Gas, Housing.... Then most become underpaid.

Layoff List:


Tue, 06/24/2014 - 10:29 | 4889177 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

What does underpaid mean?

That you are not earning what you need?

That your labor is worth more in another market place? How do we establish the worth of our labors?

How much is a popsicle worth in the desert versus the Artic? If there are two people waiting in line for only one job, how much are they each worth?

To my thinking the only way the value of our labors is incorrectly priced is if there is an artificial intervention provided by either monopoly which controls labor demand, or government intervention.

My industry which is primarily carpentry, has been overrun by illegals. We have seen continuing wage declines for thirty years and while we have many factors driving demand, we KNOW what is driving open border. My wage potential is completely determined by what a virtually homeless person is willing to work for. This is working up the food chain as more jobs are being replaced with automation which relies on low wage low skilled people to operate.

For those being sucked under by this low wage global vortex, options are limited unless you want to bite onto the endless debt tit of student loans in hopes an education might help you outrun the currents. In my mind, doubtful.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 10:51 | 4889267 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

Perhaps you can mold your lifelong skill of carpenting into something more niche and relatively non-competitive, like being a luthier. I'm definitely going to learn how to make top-notch wood&string instruments in the next decade.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 11:03 | 4889319 gh0atrider
gh0atrider's picture

You've got 1 BTC and you gonna be worth more than all these chumps!

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 15:42 | 4890449 mkkby
mkkby's picture

Good luck making your instruments. 

My unemployed neighbor does that, and he lives with multiple people sharing the rent on one small apartment.  You'll be competing with machines that do that using Chinese and Mexican labor.  I hope you win.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 11:24 | 4889408 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture


My wage potential is completely determined by what a virtually homeless person is willing to work for.

but isn't a "minimum wage" the devil?  shouldn't the "producers" be able to pay whatever the Market dictates, including a pittance?  why blame those who HIRE and set the wages low, instead of those willing to WORK for next to nothing?

isn't that how the Economy is SUPPOSED to WORK?

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 11:49 | 4889528 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

Cath, it all depends if you believe in markets the way fairy tales (aka economic textbooks) tell them or how they really function

in a healthy labour market wage earners below a certain level have an incentive to join a labour union. which would have a healthy interest in bargaining contracts on a fair basis

the same labour unions would have a further incentive to collaborate with parties on the left. which would lobby for keeping jobs onshore instead of letting them go offshore

which then would lead to a healthy policy towards taxation, particularly in regard to onshore/offshore revenues of inshore companies

all market based, mind you. nothing about the above that a libertarian like Judge Napolitano would think unseemly, as he even said on FOX

fact is that in the US "labour union" is a dirty word. fact is that US corporate taxation is utterly out of whack, compared to the rest of the world. fact is that US megacorps don't even know what the hell to do with their immense offshore cash mountains. fact is that in the US the debate is about "moochers" and "producers"

a different regulatory & taxation environment would help. but here again, the US debate is about having one or not, instead of what would work or not

corruption breeds bad politics, which breeds the wrong kind of debates, which steer the wrong kind of policies and regulations, which increase corruption

and all this is best seen in the polarization of both politics and debates. when you lose the political middle ground, you lose unity of purpose. it's a kind of steady decay

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 12:17 | 4889653 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture


fact is that in the US "labour union" is a dirty word. fact is that US corporate taxation is utterly out of whack, compared to the rest of the world. fact is that US megacorps don't even know what the hell to do with their immense offshore cash mountains. fact is that in the US the debate is about "moochers" and "producers"

we don't disagree Ghordius.

many folks in the "US" are still trying to get their minds around the gap between

the lies they were told growing up,

and the reality of the "state" they are in now.

it would help if there were either new words created to describe the current reality - or people defined the labels applied to truth-fully describe the reality experienced.

in between lies the dissonance.


Tue, 06/24/2014 - 12:43 | 4889734 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

funny that you write that way. you know what my biggest hurdle is on ZH? vocabulary

in order to explain this with an example from europe: recently, the new King of Spain had a speech in parliament, where he used the word "multicultural". as a goal of his

the way he meant it and it was understood, in Spain, is that he is set to maintain national unity while fostering an equality of the Catalan language, culture, political autonomy etc. etc. vs the Spanish "mainstream"

the same word has completely different connotations, elsewhere. some of the lies are based on exactly this. bad newscasting and politics thrives on this

imo there are the words to describe the current reality. it's just that some of us have forgotten their original meaning, or heaped propagandistic false meanings on them

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 12:52 | 4889760 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

language defines the thoughts, the thinking is under control. . .

as thinking gets increasingly co-opted, the languages used get minimised, and so does thought.

txt.speak is the new mind-set, tiny un-spelled words,

dis-spell critical thinking, and merely repeats others thoughts, like so many ready-made "meals". . .

fast food thinkers, devoid of anything nutritious.

and the constant repetition of the same old labels, every single day, the same words used as descriptives, the same moaning about the same stories, ad nauseum.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 14:34 | 4890136 Raging Debate
Raging Debate's picture

Ghordius -

+1,000 on the issues and understanding leadership doesn't want debate but they are starting to acknowledge the need for it. The private sector must leads as that is what is recognized most by .gov right now even if it is megacorps.

Note my screen name and own site under same name being relaunched Monday after a few year successful beta. It was not simple of easy trial and error but no value proposition is.

You learn so much about human nature both good and ugly from setting up such a platform.

I own domain (GDP for short haha) but the pain at the top is now just starting to multiply in no growth for timing to be right to build it out yet or market it on top of other current tech.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 12:50 | 4889752 hardmedicine
hardmedicine's picture

"For those being sucked under by this low wage global vortex, options are limited unless you want to bite onto the endless debt tit of student loans in hopes an education might help you outrun the currents. In my mind, doubtful."


This is exactly what has happened and why we can all say goodbye to being paid a historical "fair" wage.  Median wage for ALL professionals is going to necessarily be pulled under by the sucking sound of the NAFTA agreement and the North American Union specifically.  Plus 1000 for you sir!.  I keep thinking about this.  Each time I go out and see the mix of people at my grocery store.... all the illegals immigrants using their EBT cards, reading the headlines of the continuing invasion of our borders.  It started in the 60's with someone who thought it would be a great idea to counter the drainage of the Social Security "trust fund" with an increase in immigration.  These third world babies that are used to offset the declining birth rate in the anglo population will NEVER overcome the amount of money they have drained through all the successive generations since then.  The problem goes back through Republican and Democrat administrations.  There is no answer now.  The "trust fund" has a zero balance and all else is just pointless bailing.  The ship is going down..... albeit slowly.  There is no coming back from this.  PLEASE, someone tell me I'm wrong. !!

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 15:53 | 4890485 mkkby
mkkby's picture

There are 7 billion people in the world, and 80% live on $10 a day or less.  So essentially there is a never ending supply of homeless people who will work for a plate of beans.

The global corporations run this shit show, and we all know they love cheap/free labor.  So everyone's career is toast over the next few decades.  Everyone.  The only niches available will be selling luxury items to the 1%, or finding services that poor people need. 

Long single serving tooth paste and soap like they have the the 3rd world.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 11:48 | 4889521 11b40
11b40's picture

Most of us who start our own business find out just what underpaid really means.  When income received is balanced against time, money invested, and risk, you better be doing it for some reason other than just the money.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 11:51 | 4889540 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

+1 I call it a vocation

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 09:40 | 4888966 Oracle 911
Oracle 911's picture

@ Scott:

"Porn star, Politician, and Illegal alien welfare-sucking leech maggot. I guess they get paid too much, and would skew the statistics."


So 0zer0 is overpaid, because he fits almost perfectly into all 3 category. Or am I wrong?

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 10:13 | 4889110 Vampyroteuthis ...
Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

Skew the first one to GAY porn star and you are right on!

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 10:00 | 4889054 sessinpo
sessinpo's picture

negative rates   Does it really matter when all you are making is junk or used toward warfare.


Probably, when you can't type a coherent sentence.


Tue, 06/24/2014 - 08:45 | 4888745 ejmoosa
ejmoosa's picture

And they have been rendered non-competitive by the attack on free markets and capitalism.  

Thank you Federal Reserve and the Federal Government of the US.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 10:02 | 4888885 Raging Debate
Raging Debate's picture

Top Gear - Technically, you are correct about being uncompetetive for a lot of people that use there computer for mindless pursuits instead of education. People here are shrewd to educate themselves how the world works in cycles for better or worse. Most are attempting frontrunning. Nothing wrong with that in my book.

For example, I am in data. There is literally a billion dollar opportunity, a market I started in 1997. I was naive and others got rich and I was exploited. Pump and dump had become market practice. I went on to innovate in data and software, I made a good living learned finance by hiring consultants to raise money and used the Internet. Always studied history as to the why people or groups behaved a certain way, missed selling company in 2008 and tried to find a buyer a year in advance knowing what was coming.

A couple of very old investors told me based in that forecast I made in 2007 about bust coming that in such time the big get bigger and the small get smaller. But I wanted to keep innovating, I am a value guy and refused investment when it was noticed and should have. That is called a learning curve and I won't make the same mistake twice. The drive to continue to find a way to compete has begun paying dividends as a large number of my smaller competitors are extinct now.

I rammed by head against a wall wondering why no big company would want to go after a billion dollar opportunity. The reason was obtained by learning is that those at the top were making easy money from mostly finance our species takes the path of the least resistence. Not to say I couldnt have gotten funding the way I wanted if I had better connections but I innovated something that created them and as mentioned at that point should have taken the funding for what those investors wanted, a portion of what I offered.

Now on the other hand I have seen some of your other commentary and I'll say this. You seem to approve of the law of the jungle ONLY. Societies always collapse the same way when two sets of laws apply to those in charge and commoner.

I had few problems with pump and dump because there is a sucker born every minute and education should shelter one from that. But when government changes the rules and forces bailouts (at gunpoint) of bad bets because it has been captured by special interests as we saw in 2008 I will rail against it because it leads to misery for all over the long-term.

But I pick my battles as a realist objectively now. As some have seen I do make suggestions how to make money (barbell economy) or improve health based on what I learned. I think one can and should rigorously compete but I had mentors that taught me to give back to the community which is satisfying in it's own rights for a balanced life. I see others here educating to compete and doing same attempting to give back.

But globally I do not see that attitude. Shoot, even the King of lobbying Jack Abramoff came out in 2012 to explain how current special interest system works including direct bribes of politicians. Global leadership giving back to the community does not mean handing out buckets of cash, it means rescinding or creating laws for the little guy to compete, because there is a saturation point of those with families and time permitted to learn to do so.

I don't see you as a value investor sir, though you make a good argument that people should compete and a lot of people here spend all day complaining where they evidently have more time for educating to benefit. It's about balance. I can educate others why things run in cycles like corruption (give back to community) but I can get out and compete. Not doing so guarantees personal failure.

Back to education on that billion dollar opportunity. Finance has run its course, it is time to go back to those top companies that can no longer grow this way because now they don't know what to do but I do so now I am picking up the phone and meeting companies this fall. I realized two years ago growth financialization had not run its course. Timing and when to attack and when to put it on hold saves time, the only commodity which can't be bought.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 08:09 | 4888659 eclectic syncretist
eclectic syncretist's picture

Believing in the "American Dream" with the FedGov in power is like trying to piss up a rope.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 08:18 | 4888676 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



If only we could change the name of the Washington Redskins.....I think that would go a long way towards fixing everything.


Yeah I said with it.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 08:28 | 4888703 Rubbish
Rubbish's picture

Just learn the sleeper hold and move right to the top.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 16:04 | 4890535 mkkby
mkkby's picture

There must be a way to make everone happy.  How about the Washington,

  1. Socialists
  2. Lobbyists
  3. Federal reservists
  4. McDonald land flippers


Tue, 06/24/2014 - 08:50 | 4888758 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

Yeah...We need to get rid of that Notre Dame School Team Name also. I am so offended. Just because some Irish were Bar Brawlers does not mean that all Irishmen are Bar Brawlers. That is so stereotypical.


The Fighting Irish? Come on...


Then the Mascot is also offensive. I mean the Fighting Irish are supposed to be overgrown Fairies??? So the Irish are Bar Brawling Fairies?


But we have that damned racist and Gay President in the White House. To Obama, if it is not white...THEN IT IS OFFENSIVE. Of course the Fighting Irish and the Fariry Mascot are not offensie to Obama. That is because that is both White and Gay. 


However, since the Redskins are NOT white, then that is offensive???


You are correct. That name needs to be changed.




Tue, 06/24/2014 - 08:55 | 4888768 duo
duo's picture

Wolverines were made extinct in Michigan due to European incursion.  You don't hear them complaining.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 09:01 | 4888787 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

Native Americans were not made extinct due to European Incursion, in Michigan, or elsewhere on the North American Continent.


I do not hear them complaining about the Washington Redskin Team Name either.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 10:09 | 4889095 duo
duo's picture

I think there's a wolverine reservation in northern MN, and the rest fled to Canada for free health care.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 11:06 | 4889334 The Blank Stare
The Blank Stare's picture

There was also a splinter group that went south to small town America and kicked some Cuban and russkie but. I think they must have a casino operation by now.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 09:17 | 4888835 p00k1e
p00k1e's picture

America needs a national soccer team named “The Flaming X-ians” (in honor of Nero). 

The key to The Flaming X-ians is most memorabilia should be torched after the game.  Never ending sales, fellas. 

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 10:35 | 4889202 BlindMonkey
BlindMonkey's picture

"You are correct. That name needs to be changed."

The Washington Wife-Beaters

The mascot could be: an NFL player from 'da hood.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 09:09 | 4888805 PrawnStar
PrawnStar's picture

That may be true, but what on earth does that have to do with this list? More difficult/skilled labor is in less supply and thus more demand, and can demand more money. Period.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 10:35 | 4889162 deflator
deflator's picture

 Did you see the top of the list? While anesthesiologists and surgeons are no doubt highly skilled in demand positions how do we know how much demand since the government injects over a trillion dollars a year of "demand" into healthcare by decree? There are other factors that go into hiring decision by decree such as race, gender and sexual orientation.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 10:33 | 4889194 cchoo
cchoo's picture

Crossing guards get $26.5k a year for working a few hours a day?? Why would you be a fast food server when you could be a part time stop sign holder?

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 12:12 | 4889633 Raging Debate
Raging Debate's picture

CCHoo - For people with engineering minds that want to make out well with going to college and maximizing the degree I have been told petroleum engineer is where the money is at. Lack of market research and drilling into it (pun intendend) can be very costly indeed. Believe me, I learned some things the hard way.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 11:00 | 4889309 Jeremy Roenick
Jeremy Roenick's picture

I don't see stand-up Philosopher any where....


Oh, you mean bullshit artist... :-)


Tue, 06/24/2014 - 08:04 | 4888647 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture


Tue, 06/24/2014 - 08:05 | 4888648 Eirik Magnus Larssen
Eirik Magnus Larssen's picture

I knew I should have become a psychiatrist. Oh well.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 09:04 | 4888795 Bro of the Sorr...
Bro of the Sorrowful Figure's picture

Yeah but then you'd only make money for a couple hours because any ZH reader would have to commit suicide shortly after listening to a bunch of sheep le complaining about their "problems". That or you'd go on a killing spree. Either way someone's dying and you're not getting paid.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 11:31 | 4889456 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

ahh, but you'd have "permission" to prescribe the high-quality, in demand brain-Soma that is all the Rage now. . .

seriously, anyone working in "medical" arena has their ticket paid, between the War machine and Pharma, with all the ticks sucking blood via insurance, hospitals, etc.

that's the Economy in amrka.  death machine.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 08:05 | 4888649 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

One is paid fairly when one contracts and is compensated for that for which he contracted.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 08:13 | 4888664 Top Gear
Top Gear's picture

Paper is magic like that. Mother Yellen's little paper contracts in your wallet are proof.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 08:31 | 4888711 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

And if you contract for Gold and Silver and are paid in Gold and Silver, rather then Yellen's little Debtor's Note paper contracts, then are you adequately compensated? (Rhetorical)


A point that I am making is that when you are comparing your wages to others' wages then it is only demonstrative of your ability to market your skills rather than an indication of the skills which you have.


When you enter into a contract and the terms of the contract are fulfilled then it is fair. It may not be good. But it is fair.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 09:12 | 4888820 Top Gear
Top Gear's picture

I see, a contract isn't a contract now.  Backpedal much?


Tue, 06/24/2014 - 10:01 | 4889067 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

No backpedal whatsoever. If you contract for paper and you receive paper then you are fairly compensated.


If you contract for Gold and are compensated in Gold then you are fairly compensated.


Where...just the "backpedal"?

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 11:01 | 4889315 Top Gear
Top Gear's picture

Good to see you back to accepting federal reserve notes as legitimate.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 08:16 | 4888677 thatthingcanfly
thatthingcanfly's picture

Historically, a man's daily wage has been about the value of one silver dime.

If a man works 40 years, 250 days per year, using this wage rate, he will earn 10,000 silver dimes.

Or, one "bag" of junk silver.

Stop and think about what a "bag" of silver actually represents, and you'll realize how sad you should be about that tragic boating accident.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 08:21 | 4888690 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

Damn...I am sad about that tragic boating accident.


I need to be more careful with my Gold, Silver and Guns the next time around.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 09:16 | 4888834 Top Gear
Top Gear's picture

Did you really fall for that sales pitch from the coin dealer?

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 10:07 | 4889082 thatthingcanfly
thatthingcanfly's picture


Tue, 06/24/2014 - 10:50 | 4889265 deflator
deflator's picture

 Seems to me that currency debasement is more of a way of life than a sales pitch for those at the top of the list since the government is the ultimate arbiter of the supply/demand equation.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 11:41 | 4889468 BlindMonkey
BlindMonkey's picture

Travel much outside the US there sonny boy?

Guess not since you asked like that. I hired a college professor in El Salvador to teach me Spanish on skype. I pay him $4 an hour. He is awesome but I pay him next to nothing by US standards.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 12:08 | 4889616 11b40
11b40's picture

Well, technically, you are correct....But, it's pretty hard to find a "fair" contract these days.  When you read the fine print, it says "you are screwed", and if you don't like it, we can go talk to an arbitrator (of our choosing).

Contracts are written for the benefit of the stronger party in a deal.  Don't think so?  Then just read some of the stuff you automatically agree to at every turn on the Internet and with software you depend on.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 08:08 | 4888658 _ConanTheLibert...
_ConanTheLibertarian_'s picture

Underpaid and robbed by the elite!

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 09:57 | 4889043 Top Gear
Top Gear's picture

The elite can compete. You can't.


Tue, 06/24/2014 - 11:14 | 4889369 Wait What
Wait What's picture

and if they can't they can get a bailout from their local/regional/national friendly politician. then again, the pursuit of political favors is also a competition.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 11:35 | 4889474 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

apparently it "pays" well to roll a troll account on ZH - there seems to be endless " 1 week" newbies dominating the to 'n' fro. . .

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 08:10 | 4888662 TideFighter
TideFighter's picture

Goldmun Ballsacks Sheeple Fukkers - Wasn't on the list - they break the curve.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 08:12 | 4888666 thatthingcanfly
thatthingcanfly's picture

I didn't see "Federal Reserve Chairman" on that list.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 09:36 | 4888951 Vendetta
Vendetta's picture

Nor ex-NSA-director-turned-private-sector-security-consultant-to-wall-street.... $1 mil a month, $600k a month... they contribute sooo much more to society than a surgeon.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 08:13 | 4888668 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

being in financial services i rest easy knowing that what i may lack in compensation is more than made up for by the positive contribution my field has made to society.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 08:17 | 4888678 BandGap
BandGap's picture

Bless you.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 08:22 | 4888691 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

stop it. it's not necessary. it's just a badge of honor i wear with pride. i'd do it for free as long as they also paid me

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 10:52 | 4889270 prains
prains's picture out that badge of honour may become a tattooed bar code on your forearm one day

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 08:15 | 4888673 Save_America1st
Save_America1st's picture

longest chart ever on ZeroHedge

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 08:18 | 4888680 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Could hurt someone with that damn thing!

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 10:59 | 4889306 prains
prains's picture

......well look at that the medical profession has been able to wage arbitrage their health/life saving skills to bloat the entire upper section of the income pie. it's no wonder so few can actually afford their services....... what a great benefit to all of mankind the hypocritic oath has become (sic)...../s

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 11:36 | 4889481 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

that's a very pendulous .gov TIT, the "medical profession".

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 08:16 | 4888675 foxenburg
foxenburg's picture

One has to wonder why a Postal Service Mail Carrier (50.9) earns more than a Tool & Die Maker (49.4). Must have a good union, I suppose.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 08:21 | 4888688 d edwards
d edwards's picture

One is a gov't employee-that's all you need to know.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 08:28 | 4888702 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

It's called a society with some seriously fucked up priorities.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 08:47 | 4888749 strangeglove
strangeglove's picture

The local (only) tool and die guy in my town just shut down auctioned off everything. the Post Office is still here.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 08:52 | 4888762 ncdirtdigger
ncdirtdigger's picture

What other institution can lose money for 220+ years and still be around?

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 09:42 | 4888974 ATM
ATM's picture


Tue, 06/24/2014 - 11:39 | 4889493 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

the military?

which the "post office" like to hire upon retirement from, so they can work on the second .gov "pension". . .

just another uni-form job, working for the gov't.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 10:49 | 4889217 RaceToTheBottom
RaceToTheBottom's picture

"One has to wonder why a Postal Service Mail Carrier (50.9) earns more than a Tool & Die Maker (49.4)."

That is because Tool and Die makers are paid in Yuan.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 08:44 | 4888734 bh2
bh2's picture

This is way too needlessly complicated. Here's how to answer this question:


1. If you are working in government, you are more likely overpaid.

2. If you are working in private industry, you are more likely underpaid.

(If you don't know whether you are working in government, then you probably are.)

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 09:43 | 4888977 ATM
ATM's picture

1. If you are paid by government, you are more likely overpaid.

2. If you are paid by private industry, you are more likely underpaid.


Fixed it. 

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 11:08 | 4889333 Top Gear
Top Gear's picture

1. If you are paid by government, you are more likely to be paid a living wage.

2. If you are paid by private industry, you are more likely to be boned by your boss so he can afford a gold toilet seat on his Gulfstream global jet.

We need less of #1, mind you. I'm all for #2.  I like seeing the non-competitive get their just desserts.

Sado-economics is in.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 11:49 | 4889531 BlindMonkey
BlindMonkey's picture

Anybody using the term living wage is describing a job that is overpaid for the skill required.

I was at an art museum this weekend. I wondered what type of person takes a gig as a security guard there. I asked one of them "What do you think of that painting." He replied "I don't know. I never look at them." I got my answer and I be he gets paid a living wage.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 10:28 | 4889174 Warhead
Warhead's picture

Where does this come from? Maybe the Feds or something. I work in local government, and I am VERY underpaid (and only slightly underskilled). Most everyone I know here is moderately underskilled and EXTREMELY underpaid. Across the street are my friends who work for a large private company. Half are fairly skilled and fairly paid, and the other half are extremely overpaid and underskilled. The only pattern I see in LOCAL government is that they don't have the money to afford good people.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 08:48 | 4888751 sunnyside
sunnyside's picture

Every hairdresser I know pulls in between 75-100K, yet they all claim around 30K on their taxes.  Most landlords in this area keep two sets of books too.  Cash coming in is not recorded.  Plumbers are the same way.

I wonder how much of our economy is off the books.  I've seen a bigger jump around here in the past 5-10 years,  It's their way of saying no.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 09:44 | 4888990 ATM
ATM's picture

The size of the dark economy moves in direct proportion to the amount of taxes and regulations.  

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 09:49 | 4889006 sheikurbootie
sheikurbootie's picture

I haven't made less than $100,000 in 20 years.  Some years it's over $200,000.  I haven't paid taxes on more than $25,000 of net income in 20 years either.  All signed off by a CPA, it's better to be a 1099 guy than a "rat in a cage" W2 guy. 

I learned from my late uncle that you don't have to pay the government shit, as long as you don't file a yearly 1040.  He was a millionaire and stopped filing after the Federal Marshal's came to his house (at 6 am) in a tax discrepancy.  The banks had called his loans and he was forced to quickly liquidate millions and then had a massive capital gains tax.  He paid his excessive tax bill and never filed another 1040 for his last 20 years.  No one every came to visit again.  We all wondered why he didn't file for SS.  You're totally off the radar if you don't file and don't ask for a handout.  I don't know why more 1099 guys don't do this.  It's my plan if business goes to shit.  I don't qualify for any benefits except SS in another 20 years.  Fuck the bureaucrats.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 10:11 | 4889101 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

What you are proposing is an illegal activity. Failure to file is a Misdeameanor punishable by fine and a 6 Month stay in Jail per offense.


If I were you I would not advertise violating the Law on ZH as it is heavily monitored by Federal Agents. Furthermore it seems that it is somewhat trollish as it is a LAME ATTEMPT to induce others to brag about how they have violated the Law.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 10:24 | 4889158 moneybots
moneybots's picture

"What you are proposing is an illegal activity. Failure to file is a Misdeameanor punishable by fine and a 6 Month stay in Jail per offense."


The government says it is OK for a banker to steal billions.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 10:37 | 4889214 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

I exceeded the speed limit by 4 miles per hour this morning...sticking it to the man!

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 11:27 | 4889434 sunnyside
sunnyside's picture

Lois Lerner laughs at your tax laws and punishments.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 12:04 | 4889599 I Write Code
I Write Code's picture

It's legal not to file if you make less than $X.  If your uncle bought gold and lived on it for his last twenty years he may have broken no laws.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 14:59 | 4890259 Raging Debate
Raging Debate's picture

Sunnyside - It is also called "write-offs". There is a reason there is a 15% self-employment tax you know. Gov expects in general for a small business to right off everything. You're fines for breaking the rules on that are miniscule compared to the savings.

True story - In 2012 my revenue was low, $120k. Yet my income reported was $13k. As I had increased income for a couple of previous years and had bad CPA not making this kind of suggestion I did t pay in enough as I broke the next tax bracket.

As I tried to catch up the $40K i owed turned into $70k with interest and fines. I met with the IRS in 2012 on payments and they audited me. I wrote everything off except after 5:00 and weekends for things like movies and such. Anyways, audit was clean. I am down to $18k back-taxes now.

Oh a tip the agent gave me - He said he catches sole proprieters based on innordinate gas expenditures. So if your doing lots of convnient stores meals (and such) put some of that under meals.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 08:49 | 4888755 ncdirtdigger
ncdirtdigger's picture

Seeing as how I negotiate my own payments for services, I am neither over nor under paid. However, by upgrading my negotiating skills, and presenting myself in a positive manner, I may induce others to pay me more than they otherwise might have for said services.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 08:53 | 4888764 madcows
madcows's picture

I couldn't find a single government agent in there except perhaps for teachers and judges.  Their pay must be off the scale, I guess.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 09:00 | 4888786 Whoa Dammit
Whoa Dammit's picture

"Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage."

Smashing Pumkins

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 09:32 | 4888920 CloseToTheEdge
CloseToTheEdge's picture

"How long? Not long, cause what you reap is what you sow."


Wake Up Wake Up

Rage Against the Machine

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 10:05 | 4889077 sessinpo
sessinpo's picture

Whoa Dammit  "Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage."


CloseToTheEdge    "How long? Not long, cause what you reap is what you sow."


Nothing like those that complain about a problem but do nothing about it.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 11:57 | 4889553 I Write Code
I Write Code's picture

I like Smashing Pumpkins as well as the next guy, but I've always thought the lyrics should be, "BECAUSE of my rage I am still just a rat in a cage."  Rage is not entitlement nor action.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 09:54 | 4888810 ptoemmes
ptoemmes's picture

With apologies to Jeff Foxworthy, if you are a US Congressman or US Senator you might be overpaid.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 09:15 | 4888826 orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

How much does Dr. Evil make now????


It has to be well over ONE HUNDRED BEEEELLLION DAWLLLAS!!!!!!

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 09:14 | 4888828 SnatchnGrab
SnatchnGrab's picture

As a career soldier (Officer and Enlisted), I give a hearty guffawe when I hear how some "barista" in Seattle wants $15.00/hour. Tell ya what chuckles, you come to Afghanistan (FOB SHank, FOB MArmal and Bagram 2011-2012), live in a tent or wooden shack (Free housing), eat three to four meals a day (free food) and plenty of exercise.

We even have a coffee franchise (Green Beans iirc) serving all bases. 

What? That doesn't appeal to you? THen don't talk about "underpaid".

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 10:11 | 4889103 Alcoholic Nativ...
Alcoholic Native American's picture

Don't worry when you are done saving americans from terrorist in Afghanistan you can come back home and double dip with a civilian job on post or just start a contracting business with your buddies.

Everything is going to be OK hero.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 11:43 | 4889504 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

come "home" and go Postal.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 09:29 | 4888904 the not so migh...
the not so mighty maximiza's picture

this is your life, measured in Fiatscos


Tue, 06/24/2014 - 09:31 | 4888917 Mitch Comestein
Mitch Comestein's picture

When I was 9 my dad told me to be an Anesthesiologist.  I guess I should have listened.  

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 10:03 | 4889055 Kreditanstalt
Kreditanstalt's picture

Overpaid or underpaid?  Ridiculous question...the market should decide.  A free market - which we don't have.

Without the artificially-low, manipulated interest rates maybe YOUR job isn't a job at all: maybe it's a MISALLOCATION OF CAPITAL.

Does your job create more wealth than it costs?  Does it pay its own way?  More importantly, WOULD it pay its own way if the cost of borrowed money were closer to a market-set rate...say 20%?

Very few wages have any relation to a free market in money.  How many poodle groomers or real estate agents would even have "jobs" if the free market set the cost of money?

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 11:22 | 4889410 Top Gear
Top Gear's picture

"the free market set the cost of money"

LOL!  That libertarian unicorn fantasy land is so funny.

The state creates markets. Markets do not spontaneously appear. and markets do not emerge spontaneously... it is very clear that markets did spring up around ancient armies...Most concluded that the creation of markets of this sort was not just convenient for feeding soldiers, but useful in all sorts of ways, since it meant officials no longer had to requisition everything they needed directly from the populace...

Governments use taxes to create money, and they are able to do so because they have become the guardians of the debt that all citizens have to one another. This debt is the essence of society itself. It exists long before money and markets, and money and markets themselves are simply ways of chopping pieces of it up.

~David Graeber (2011) Debt: The First 5000 Years

Time to get acquainted with reality.



Tue, 06/24/2014 - 10:13 | 4889114 sheikurbootie
sheikurbootie's picture

To the guys in your 20's, you're totally fucked.  I mean totally fucked, like no real job for 20 years fucked.  Advanced degree bullshit scam and big dreamer parents filling your head with unicorns and rainbows.  You're fucked.  Be a plumber or other jobs that no one wants to do.  You don't want to get your hands dirty or you're too "smart" to do menial labor.  You're totally fucked as a generation.

To the guys in your 30's, you need to pick a career wisely and network like hell.  This group has a chance.  Hopefully wise enough to realize their current job is a dead end and move to something that is profitable.  This group should be situated in their career to weather a financial storm.

To the guy's in your 40's, your dreams are being crushed- 50/50 chance you make it.  They're too old and established to move fast on their feet.  Change is hard.  They're fucked.

To the guys in your 50's, if you have a low or negative net worth- you too are fucked. I have many friends that lost their high paying jobs.  Million dollar house, sports cars for everyone- poof and it's gone.

To the guys in their 60's, it's going to get beyond ugly-you're fucked and don't even know it. This is a sad group.  The generation that believes in housing, 401k's and the stock market.  They're fucked.

Anyone older and they just don't give a shit. 

I just turned 50.  A couple of million net worth.  No stocks or bonds.  I see clearly.  We have no way to avoid a financial hurricane.  It can be delayed, but not avoided.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 10:32 | 4889189 moneybots
moneybots's picture

" I have many friends that lost their high paying jobs.  Million dollar house, sports cars for everyone- poof and it's gone."


At this point, pretty much everyone is screwed.  Global debt is 100 trillion and U.S. debt is 59 trillion.

"We have no way to avoid a financial hurricane.  It can be delayed, but not avoided."

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 11:23 | 4889412 SilverRhino
SilverRhino's picture

If you have a couple million stashed then liquidate and ex-patriate ... or find a shack in the middle of nowhere with a damn good net connection.   

My goal?  To be as FAR away as everyone as possible yet still maintain a good internet connection.   


Tue, 06/24/2014 - 16:47 | 4890706 Godisanhftbot
Godisanhftbot's picture


Tue, 06/24/2014 - 10:15 | 4889124 moneybots
moneybots's picture

Hillary said she is not very well off, even though she and her husband are worth 10's of millions.  Hillary's comments about their near poverty make the chart rather irrelavent.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 10:34 | 4889199 Zymurguy
Zymurguy's picture

Most certainly underpaid.

To put into perspective we have to look at my household income in reference to... say... my father's when he was my age.

My wife and I both work and make what most would consider good salaries.  Our combined take home pay is 2x what my father's take home pay was when he was my age (my mother was a stay at home mom).

My parents had far more discretionary income, lived in a nicer home, larger property, had new cars, boat, lake property, etc.  My dad wore fine suits to work.  I was afforded a great childhood with ample opportunities, toys, sports equip., activities, experiences, etc.  My mother shoped at all big name shopping centers (Sears, JCPenny, etc.) and bought name brand groceries at the nicest grocers.  They saved, invested and helped me get through university w/o debt (perhaps the greatest gift ever).

My wife and I are comfortable with our income but we don't shop at nice department stores - we buy most clothes for our kids at discount stores.  We don't buy name brand groceries - we buy mostly generic or house brands at discount grocers.  We don't have as nice a home nor is it on such a nice property.  We don't buy new cars (actually this is pretty smart, not necessarily a sign of a limited income), we save up and buy nicer used cars.  We don't have a 2nd home or a boat.  We save some and are desperately trying to put money away for our children.

We are slipping behind the "upper middle class" designation not due to the amount of money we make but by the rate of inflation directly linked to the devaluation of the purchasing power of our currency.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 10:37 | 4889212 madcows
madcows's picture

Ditto.  Both my parents were teachers.  They retired early, and still live very well.

A significantly lower level standard of living, or crushing inflation.  It's all the same.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 14:16 | 4890031 edifice
edifice's picture

^ This. My dad was an elementary school teacher and now makes $65k/year doing nothing. PERA offered a stipend the last couple of years he was working and, since your payout is based on your highest-earning years, this is what he now makes. Incredible. He's a millionaire (in hard assets), to boot. Unfortunately, Dad didn't help with college. I had to "earn it". So, I am now paying on student loans. :)

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 10:43 | 4889230 Zymurguy
Zymurguy's picture

Our government/central banks have completely ruined our country.  They have overspent, borrowed and therefore diluted our currency through printing/volume expansion.  In turn, they cut back restrictions on conducting business from overseas so any and every smart corporation took advantage of this - why did they do that?  To create an illusion that you are maintaining your standard of living.  Cheap goods flowed in to offset the reduction in spending power.  Problem is this is the M.O. of our government - there are no adults in goverment, only children - they borrow from the future.  They continue to devalue the currency so we are currently hitting a point where there is no more cheaper labor out there, there are no more cheaper materials out there... goods are as cheap as they are going to be and the spending power continues to devalue.  This also hurt the government twofold as the crafty corporations took adavantage of the childish rules and took their money offshore as well to shelter taxes from going to the government and the lost jobs and increased burden on welfare programs has begun to choke our country to death.  They are so fucking full of themselves that it has poluted their minds and made them inhumane selfless and selfish monsters who will run this country into the ground before making any mature decisions or corrective actions to reverse the downfall

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 11:38 | 4889486 sunnyside
sunnyside's picture

Nice rant and in particular your comment at the end about gov't will run it into the ground.  I still come across people who think that the gov't will do what it needs to fix it when it needs to be fixed.  Bullshit I tell them.  It is probably already too late and they won't make the hard decisions or ones that would be deterimental to themselves.  A good example we already have seen for years is with unions.  What should be a good thing is more often than not a shit pile of corruption and self serving assholes.  Most unions would drive a company bankrupt and have the doors closed with all jobs lost before they would be seen being part of the solution.  Government is just like this but on steriods. 

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 10:47 | 4889249 RaceToTheBottom
RaceToTheBottom's picture

Every parent should help their kids form a company.

Then they pay themselves a salary and the company makes money, not the employee.

That will at least get the kid in the ballpark to survive life

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 12:34 | 4889695 11b40
11b40's picture

I have said it before here, and say it again now...if you can, start a Sub S or LLC.  Funnel every bit of income you can through the corp.  My company is about to buy me a new pick-up, bought me a flat screen TV recently, buys all my computer and communications equipment, pays my Internet phone bill, auto expenses, and the Home Office takes care of a good portion of the mortgage and monthly utilities....and there is much more flexibilty sheltering income in retirment accounts, HSA'a and overall healthcare expenses.  And the beauty of it is, it's all legal.  The laws are set up to benefit the ownership class.  Become an owner.

My son is in the entertainment business, and I set up his LLC years ago.  I also kept some stock in it, as a little way of re-couping some of my investment in him one day in the future.

Is it more work & record keeping?  Yes, but if you are lazy, don't try it anyway.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 14:03 | 4889974 RaceToTheBottom
RaceToTheBottom's picture

Exactamondo.  Everything you do is in support of the business, meeting, gas, dinners, PC equipment....

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 10:53 | 4889273 Mox E
Mox E's picture

Actors have median wage?

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 11:01 | 4889314 potato
potato's picture

The above figures don't take into account overtime.
Petrol Engineers and ATC make $250,000 and 177,000 on average, respectively.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 11:06 | 4889330 Took Red Pill
Took Red Pill's picture

Goes to my point made previously about why health care is so expensive

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 11:12 | 4889364 Againstthelie
Againstthelie's picture

The salaries of medical jobs in the US are incredible. No wonder they love this most expensive and one of the worst systems.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 11:48 | 4889526 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

anyone working for Pharma,

works for the .gov.

death machine.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 13:31 | 4889881 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

Ditto regulatory compliance (make-work), teachers (duh), all higher education (you don't create a $1T loan scam bubble just for shits and giggles), lawyers, anyone in the defense industry. The list goes on and on.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 12:24 | 4889643 I Write Code
I Write Code's picture

I look around me in the cubical farm, and my fellow dickheads are all underpaid because the same kind of job paid 2x or 3x higher twenty years ago, OTOH most of these guys actually produce nothing useful at all so they are vastly overpaid.

Whoever the graphic artist is who produced an 850k, 25000 pixel high fine-grained image, was overpaid.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 13:25 | 4889859 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

I logged in expressly to, well, express just how very fucking moronic this is.

Here's a far better question for people to be asking themselves.

Relative to the average human alive today, let alone one or more centuries ago, how ridiculously, ludicrously, insanely, massively, unbelievably, unimaginably, cosmically privileged am I?

For those in the 1st quartile of the chart: Really fucking privileged.

For those in the 2nd quartile of the chart: Really really fucking privileged.

etc. You get the idea - it's not very complicated.

What is the point? When Americans and Europeans talk about income inequality, which is to say, all of the goddamn time, with hardly any pause to discuss serious matters like celebrity gossip, travel plans, iPhone apps, fast food, reality TV, and other such matters of utterly grave importance, they are doing so from the HIGHEST quartile on the planet, in all of human history.

But if I stopped there, I'd just be perpetuating the equally fucking idiotic myth that gross (or even net) "income" (which has been redefined to mean wages, which is precisely what it DID NOT mean) is the sole master variable one needs to assess financial health. I don't think it's necessary to regurgitate all of the reasons this is utter fucking bullshit.

Here's another far superior alternative question: "When, not if, U.S. F.R.N. clown-buckstm lose their world reserve currency status, and I can no longer count on the arbitrage of paying mere pennies for the world's oil, how utterly fucked is my job/career, income/salary, and standard of living?"

Oil at $150/bbl would have a similar effect.

Top, bottom, and all in between, we are ALL on the take in this scam of a planterary lifetime.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 13:31 | 4889885 edifice
edifice's picture

A word of advice to you young-ins (from ancedotal experience): Never, ever, ever, work for a non-profit. You WILL be underpaid by at least 33%, per a comperable position elsewhere. That, and they tend to over-hype position titles.

For instance, I just got out of an "Application System Analyst" position ($85k on the chart, was actually being paid around $50k). The job was really a Business Analyst position (still making less than the average). I had no tools to do the job; they wouldn't even get me a laptop with VPN access, or remote desktop permissions to support the 750 userbase. This, after many appeals to management. Yet, they can build $200 million hospitals left and right.

Once I started doing System Analyst level work (BPA, BPRE, etc), the pay did not increase, despite cost-benefit analyses on the projects I was working on. When I put in my notice, suddenly, they scrambled to provide everything I needed and offered to pay more. I said, "Too little, too late" and bounced.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 14:30 | 4890114 Weisshaupt
Weisshaupt's picture

Yes. Minimum Wgae laws - always a good idea if you are trying to push the unskilled and low piad out of work entirely.. 

Yes I know, they aren't "good jobs" - of course those who  are depending on those jobs probably have a different opinion that the 3rd party medding self-righteous busibodies who want to enforce THEIR idea of what is fair on others at gun point. After all, eveything is better when everyone is on ewelfare anyway.  Beggars are easier to please.


Tue, 06/24/2014 - 15:29 | 4890387 madcows
madcows's picture

Seriously, economics teachers make over 100k!  I could f-ing do that.  Class, Ctrl+Print = Prosperity.  Class Dismissed.

AND, math teachers earn over $74k....and get the summer off?! Class, We live in oceania.  2+2=5.  Go eat your chocolate.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 16:46 | 4890701 Godisanhftbot
Godisanhftbot's picture

 is bitcoin miner on that fucking list?

Wed, 06/25/2014 - 06:11 | 4892375 Otto Zitte
Otto Zitte's picture

Make sure you understand this. I am paid in the top 10% of this chart, so I can carry the bottom 50%. Laugh all you want...

Wed, 06/25/2014 - 18:13 | 4895452 RaceToTheBottom
RaceToTheBottom's picture

Yep, and stop daudling on web sites and get back to work

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!