Waste Management Services: The role of professionals in a market economy
It used to be we had a deal. Professionals ran society for the bourgeoisie, and the bourgeoisie rewarded them handsomely for it. Doctors, lawyers, psychologists, professors: all of them had a lot of prestige, a lot of autonomy, and in the first three cases, some very nice incomes, as well. At a lower level—decent compensation if not munificent, respect if not esteem—were teachers, nurses, clergymen, social workers. Professionals were key to keeping the system going, and in particular, to tending to people’s individual needs.
The most privileged ministered to the upper classes themselves—a lot of lawyers in this category, a fair number of high-end surgeons and specialists in fancy private practices, a few Episcopal priests and Ivy League professors—while the rest were assigned the far less pleasant task of looking after everybody else. Another way to put it is that a lot of lower-level professionals—think of public school teachers, nurses in the big hospitals, almost every social worker, community college professors, the most selfless of the doctors and lawyers, and throw in the members of the public employee unions (cops, prison guards, civil servants)—were in the business, are in the business, of human waste management.