Hedge funds are private investment vehicles available to accredited investors, those who tend to be of high net worth and with a generally higher tolerance to risk.
Childcare centers are businesses that provide early education services for children of working families.
One profession requires statistical analysis and data modeling. The other requires love and patience.
One requires a college degree for entry. The other requires a person with the ability to reach children on their level, along with a deeply caring heart and love of children.
One career track serves to expand the wealth of already wealthy people. The other affects the self-esteem, creativity, and academic prowess of the next generation.
A person succeeds in the hedge fund world through hard work and analytical intelligence. A person succeeds in childcare through hard work and emotional intelligence.
Starting level researchers at hedge funds make on average $100,000 in their first year. Starting level assistant teachers at child care centers make on average $9.50 per hour, or $19,000 per year.
Those with five to ten years of experience working at hedge funds can make more than $1 million per year. Those with five to ten years of experience in child care who rise to the level of center director (which typically requires a college degree) can make as much as $15.50 per hour, or $31,000 per year.
One could say that the reason for this income disparity is because hedge funds serve wealthy people who can afford to pay more for services, and childcare centers serve mostly working families who may not have as much financial flexibility.
Or could it be that we, as a society, have placed more value on services that require deep intellectual sophistication, versus the emotional skills required in the nurturing of children. Could it also be that because hedge funds manage and move billions of dollars around on a daily basis that the stakes are so high that we consider their work to be highly important?
Yet, isn’t the nurturing of children highly important, or to use financial terms “high stakes?” If we don’t give children enough love, attention, access to creative arts, encouragement, and enough play for their minds to develop fully, how will they grow into the smart hard working hedge fund managers of the future?
Grade school through high school is equally out of balance in terms of what we pay our teachers, versus other professions that require equal or even less education. High school for me was terrible and I’m continually shocked by what our modern-day high schools are doing for our next generation. They’ve become highly bureaucratic, test-driven, punitive and even oppressive. My children’s high school had a rule against public displays of affection, or PDA for short; meaning that children caught hugging could be punished.
My intention with this blog is not to get political, but rather to offer a question for your consideration: What do we value, and why?
Let me know in the comments what you value and why? There is no judgment of the answers, only observation and conversation.