JANEK MÄGGI: PEOPLE SHOULD BE PAID AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE, THEN BOTH THE STATE AND THE COMPANY WILL FUNCTION WELL
, Eesti Päevaleht
Unfortunately, most wage earners imagine that they receive too little in comparison with their contribution and the quality of their work. That’s why politicians in particular are rushing to demand that their own salaries, those of teachers, police officers, etc., be raised. However, a mass wage rise leads to a mass price increase, and prices tend to rise more than wages, especially in the case of the things people really like. And the ensuing protests are louder than before the pay rise.
Wages should be regulated by the market, not by politics. The wage market must be dictated by taxpayers who collectively can assess the real value of the work done, so that the profits needed for sustainability will also be left. This is the very reason why the average wage in the public sector must be lower than in the private sector, where there is free competition. An entrepreneur can also pay someone astronomical wages if it seems reasonable, necessary and useful. In the public sector, everyone is equal.
The purchasing power of the euro in Estonia is more than twice as high as in Finland. Lower wages are also to blame. In Estonia, wages and prices can almost double and we cannot call this inflation, but levelling with the Eurosystem. It will definitely happen. Teachers and rescuers shouldn’t demand a pay rise, but an increase in the purchasing power of their wages that is faster than, for example, that of doctors and members of the Riigikogu (which the state cannot afford). So that they could buy more things, not just get more money. Not that your wages rise by 100 euros, the prices for the same shopping cart increase by 150 euros and your nerves are totally shot.
My advice to those who are not happy with their wages in the public sector and want a salary with more purchasing power is to try the life of an entrepreneur or the private sector. The competency of people working in the public sector is significantly higher than the average salary paid to them. The trouble with the private sector, of course, is that there is much less glamour. The work is harder and more monotonous. But it pays more.