Thanks a lot for the responses, I agree that giving the same salary to everyone is probably not a good idea, and you are right that if some one pay you higher it’s is because he estimate you provide him more value. Of course the interest of the one that pays you may not be correlated to the global interest but I better understand the logical at saying that the best effective way to do good can be to earn as much as we can in order to give more, and it doesn’t imply that what we do in our work is necessarily the best for the society in itself.
I am still not very comfortable at envisaging my self as a benevolent dictator, but I realise that until the society is not sharing effective altruism ideas in it’s almost totality, it is probably the most effective way. And to be honest I am currently far from giving enough (in percentage and quantity) to be risking to that anyway !!
I’m still have some psychological barrier with the idea of trying to earn always more but it is certainly linked to some anti-consumerism beliefs that doesn’t apply here as the goal is not to buy more useless things and services and given that there is probably too few effective altruists to have a impact on society, global salaries.
Moreover the impact of income inequality on happiness is probably lower that I was unconsciously thinking (https://www.pnas.org/content/107/38/16489), even if it may have also other negative impacts impact like confidence in the society.
So if I consider that as an Effective Altruist I have some power to judge which use of money is more important, asking for a higher salary seems in a certain way to be asking for more power to judge what is more important.
Of course the rest of the society is not forced to give me more money and I agree that in practice I may have a better use of that money but still theoretically I have the impression that asking for a better salary it is saying that what I do is more important that what others do and that I can judge better than them what we can do we that money.
Personally I don’t think that income taxes are is the same that reducing salary inequality. If some one earn 100 times more than another one, he will thinks his work is 100 times more important even if taxes take 50% of it. And he will have the impression to contribute more to the society because of the taxes. If in an other society he does exactly the same job, have exactly the same amount of money to live with, we tell him that half of what he is earning is in deed financed by the society to help him, I don’t think he will have the same opinion on the rest of the society.
I have the feeling that if we accept to leave in a society where the salary is more based on our capacity to negotiate it than the work we produce, we accept to raise inefficiency and inequalities in a certain way.
It’s a personal feeling but it seems important to me that what we earn in a society is based on the importance of our contribution to that society, which of course is not currently the case. And we have too much well paid jobs that are really harm full to the society.
But of course it is just moral issues, it doesn’t prove that the more effective way to improve current society is not to try to earn more in order to give more.
Sorry I’m new to this forum and to effective altruism so I will probably just raise questions you have seen thousand of times.
Moreover I’m not a native english speaker so I’m not sure all my words will make sense.
Still I think I can benefit from your thoughts or maybe you can point to me some other threads that deals with my questions.
I have the feeling that if I get paid more from the same job, the extra money doesn’t appear from nothing. I get it from the community and it means there is less for the others.
And even if I give all this extra money, I will still have benefit through the “pride” of giving more and through the power to choose who I give this money to.
More over if I have some high skilled job, the principle of concurrency will contribute to raise the salary of other people that have the same job, and of people higher in the hierarchy that will want to earn more than me (and that won’t necessarily give this money).
I have the impression that if all members of developed country were willing to be effectively altruist, they should lower all their salaries in order to make the currency of all poor countries relatively higher.
Of course it is not a real case and I can understand that, as the number of people trying to be effectively altruist is low, it is more effective to try to earn more, so that we can give more to things that we think are important (like robin hood ?).
I say that because I remember of a documentary that was presenting a hacker to steal money (from honest people) for a living and that was considering he was a good man because he was giving more than half of the money he steals. And that story has disturbed me by making me understand that (earning X + Y and giving Y) or (earning X) for the same job is not the same thing.
So I wonder if there has been some studies or articles about that and that may try to see what percentage of population willing to lower their salaries it would require to have a positive impact.
But maybe my reflections are totally flawed, don’t hesitate to correct me where you see I’m wrong.