Who Will Pay Physicians, Lawyers etc in the Future?
Some careers such as medicine and law are often considered to be far more stable and lucrative than others- though that is changing. However most people who enter these careers still believe that they will be very well compensated in the near and distant future. Even though these professions have strong professionals guilds which restrict the number of entrants in the system- one question is rarely asked.
How can a shrinking economic system afford to keep on paying these scumbags without imploding?
Until the last 40-odd years, professions like medicine and law were well paid but did not reach the absurd levels we see today. Some of you might say that technological advances in fields like medicine and the changing role of lawyers justifies their increased compensation. I disagree..
If anything technology should have brought down the cost of health care- which it would have IF most doctors were not greedy scumbags. How much of the spending on healthcare helps the patient, at a quality of life or outcome level? How much of it is bullshit perpetrated to increase the income of doctors? The same can be said about law- how much of it has net positive social utility?
The rapidly growing post-ww2 economy (1946-1970s) did create a lot of new money and wealth, as did the credit-based version from the 1980s to the mid 2000s. But that was then..
Today we have a real economy that is shrinking, both demographically and monetarily. However the demands on the system- healthcare, pensions etc are growing. So how can you plug the gap between increasing costs and utilization of systems such as healthcare with a decreasing amount of money? The same goes for lawyers- how can a poorer system pay more for less?
While some people, including myself, believe that euthanasia will become increasingly popular- it cannot make a significant dent in healthcare costs for the vast majority of problems which are fixable.
It is certainly possible that doctors might refuse to treat patients unless they are paid a ransom. However doctors often have kids, an office and a place of work which is public knowledge. It is therefore conceivable that a number of them might die in gruesome and unnatural ways once more than a small percentage of the population is not treated. Let us not forget google-type solutions, medical tourism and increasing use of cheaper immigrant doctors.
Ultimately politicians and bureaucrats care about their survival, and WILL throw the medical lobby overboard if retaining them means sinking along with them.
The same is true as far as lawyers are concerned. A significant part of corporate law might be unsupportable for the same reasons as inflated earnings for doctors- there is not enough money under the current economic paradigm.