blinddrew wrote:On your last point; absolutely. There's a reason that they teach politics and economics together. ;)
The politician's degree has traditionally been Politics, Philosophy and Economics or PPE. It looks like a lack of PPE led to a lack of PPE. Having philosophy in there would hopefully mean that politicians' rhetoric was free from logical fallacies and that they could think their way out of a paper bag. Sadly there's not a lot of evidence for that.
blinddrew wrote:But let's look at the nurses case. Nursing is, predominantly, a calling. People get into it, and stay in it, because they care about people. No-one becomes a nurse for the money. It's long hours, it's difficult and frequently unpleasant work, and it can carry a huge physical and emotional toll.
So why doesn't it command a higher wage? Well, aside from the fact that the people who want to do it will continue to do despite several years of pay freezes, there are also a bunch of hidden costs in play. Agency fees is a big one, staffing shortages are frequently covered by agencies, these cost waaay more than regular staffing but only pay a little (if anything) more than regular wages. The cost is there, it's just not showing up in salaries. Or at least, not in the nurses' salaries. Another signifcant player is the use of imported labour. This obviously hugely skews the demand/salary equation because it's generally coming from countries with much lower pay rates. It's much harder to truly quantify this cost obviously, not least because trying to evaluate the secondary costs of depriving these countries of skilled labour is not a quick thing to calculate.
Your argument suggests the law of supply and demand is alive and well, applicable everywhere at all times but has been broken by agency fees and imported labour. The market can take care of everything, and if it doesn't it's because of regulations and immigrants. If agency fees break the law of supply and demand it's not much of a law.
A simpler explanation is that those who hold the purse strings don't want to pay nurses much. Although economists tell us the law of supply and demand is universal, like gravity, it only applies in a limited set of circumstances -- if the crops fail the price of wheat goes up. Even that isn't simple in the system we currently have involving futures markets.
blinddrew wrote:So unless we're going to completely rip up the capitalist system, then whenever you have a situation with people doing something for love, then you will end up with prices trending to zero.
History tells us that revolutions can throw the baby out with the bathwater. There are more options than going on the way we are giving validity to the nonsense economists spout or throwing everything out. It took one hundred years to get the system the way it is. It could take one hundred years to undo it.
So how do we create a healthier financial ecosystem for musicians? Even if we did it would be a bubble of health floating in the sea of disease that is the rest of the financial ecosystem. I propose that the whole system needs changed, even though rent-a-gob economists on the telly tell us otherwise.