Illogical Nobility

I read a quote in coffee table book: “Don’t you hate that… a plastic surgeon makes more money than a pediatrician.” This is classic coffee table book drivel. Sadly it is not limited to coffee table books; it is pervasive in our society that emphasizes nobility over objective logic. It seems noble to assert that “noble” professions should be more remunerated than “base” professions. Hence, a plastic surgeon should not make more than a pediatrician. But this conclusion is based on prejudice not objectivity; after all, plastic surgeons do not only do “elective surgery”. But even if they only did nips and tucks, it is somewhat hypocritical for anyone who wears makeup, or waxes their car… or their legs, tweezes their eyebrows or trims their nose hair to criticize cosmetic surgery too harshly.

There is a more salient point, however. Why does the pediatrician makes less than the cosmetic surgeon? Because the pediatrician charges you less than the cosmetic surgeon does. Would you prefer he charge you more so that he can make more? Simply wishing pediatrics to be more profitable is illogical nobility; and silly given the current complaint that medical care is too expensive.

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