- Jay Chatterjee
- Sun Prairie, WI
- United States
Freelance Writer & Researcher
Will a cap on (outrageous) salaries & executive benefits promote growth of meritocracy in any creative profession, including research?
I was reading the book, "Heraclitean Fire: Sketches from a Life Before Nature" by famous biologist, Erwin Chargaff and then started another book, "The Price of Admission" by Daniel Golden. My personal experience & information from various sources (including those two books) make me think that American higher education and research is increasingly being dominated by mediocrity since late 70s. The rise of mediocrity in higher education has affected applied research as well, as the supply or assembly line being the same. It has a huge impact on quality of lives for people all over the world; mainly in developed world as higher income now need to come from better products & technology.
Many wrongly think that throwing more money in higher education & research (in form of both more grants and higher salaries) will attract more talented, local candidates who are able to innovate and invent.
Almost all creative professions will dry up without suitable socio-economic environment. People will not dare to play violin for a career, but fight for medical or management or computer science positions!
I think financial attraction towards few professions is taking away many able talents away. There should be a level playing field among different professions and among hierarchy within the same profession as well.
Will it not be a better idea to have a legally binding cap on outrageous salaries and executive benefits for all top executives in big private companies? I am sure that it will not cause any serious attrition of talents. Creative ego, professional success and institutional power (fame) are the most important driving forces for talented people. But such cap will help distributing the money to many other projects and professions (like education and research). Focus on short term gain and overcrowding of mediocre people are some of the important reasons for our current problem in global economy and stagnation of social mobility.