A study by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) finds out that the best paid professions destroy many times more wealth than their incomes, while low paid professions instead generate much more social wealth than their salaries and expectations would suggest.
For example, the so-much-hated bank managers earn from 500,000 British pounds up (yearly). Even the "worst" paid earn in 10 days what you or me may make in a whole year. Some make quite more than 5 million pounds. But they destroy 7 pounds of wealth by each pound they may create with their work.
But these are not the worst. Even if less well-paid (in a context of stratospheric salaries), advertising executives and tax accountants are even more destructive. The typical adverstising executive destroys 11 pounds per each one generated, but tax accountants create so little value that they have destroyed 46 pounds each time they create one.
In the really productive sector, the professions researched are all very lowly paid and have poor social status and virtually zero opportunities of promotion: child minders, waste recycling workers and hostpital cleaners all produce much more than they are paid. Hospital cleaners generate 10 pounds by each pound they get paid, child minders are close with 9.50 pounds generated per one paid and waste workers are the most productive of all, generating 11 pounds per each one paid.
The authors reconsider the concept of value, pondering its social dimension, which I find very much appropriate. They also chew on how the very rich manage to keep sucking the blood from the public without any logic other than their monopoly of certain structures or how in spite of chronic lack of certain worker classes (like nurses) their salaries get no rise.
Paper (PDF): A Bit Rich: Calculating the real value to society of different professions. Originally found via BBC.