What’s wrong with making $135K…over 3 months?

At Goldman, the Average Pay for Three Months is $135,594

So I came across this article in Bloomberg Businessweek discussing how the average pay at Goldman Sachs for 3 months is around $135K, and I immediately thought: so, what’s the problem?

As someone who has been unemployed and underemployed — despite my qualifications — based on comments from the fellow unemployed and others who sympathize, I feel that I am supposed to be outraged that they are making so much and I can only make $8.50/hour (and then only if I don’t disclose all of my degrees and experiences because if I did I would be overqualified for that part-time job and not hired). But I am not outraged. Instead, I congratulate them for picking the right major, Economics, being excellent at brown-nosing with the right people, and sticking to their selfish beliefs despite a majority preference for altruism. That takes comittment.

But sarcasm aside, if they’re qualified to make that much, then go ahead. The problem arises when there are more barriers for other qualified individuals to also make that much or at least come close. $8.50/hour is not coming close. Hiring graduate students as unpaid interns is not closing the gap. Offering to pay them on a contract basis is not providing them with a career advancing opportunity after graduate school. They can’t rent an apartment. Project-by-project employment provides no financial stability. And if you’re like me and never get called about a project, then you never even see a paycheck. And then there’s the lack of benefits… It’s been several months since I’ve had dental, and since I do not play any extreme sports, I think I’ll be ok.

So if the average salary is around $135K, the questions I want answered are:

– How many recent graduate school graduates have been hired full-time? On a contract basis?

– If hired full-time, are they being paid what they’re worth or what the company’s willing to give (less) since the market is saturated with qualified candidates?

– Did you hire the cheaper candidate or the most qualified one?

– Did you hire your best friend’s son, or the person who was most qualified? But wait, I already know the answer to that one…

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