What's Work Worth?

Aug 13, 2013

It’s the set-up for countless plots in tv and the cinema: The low-wage worker accidentally gets his hands on the big boss’ paycheck and is flabbergasted by the numbers he sees.

Outside of Hollywood, here’s the reality: Workers on Wall Street earned an average bonus of $121,900 last year while the per capita average income was $42,693.

But we knew that, right, that people who work in the financial industry in the “money-making” part of our economy are going to make more than, say, schoolteachers.

But is the work that the CEO of Citigroup does really worth $11.5 million a year? What about the teacher? Is $45,000 a year too much?  How about $145,000 for teaching our kids?

How do we calculate who should get what in society? And what does that say about us? Today on Where We Live, we ask the question how do we, as a society, value work?

Today's show was produced by Allison Ehrenreich.