This is from a thoroughly depressing IHE article about professors at public universities getting beaten up in ridiculous, Republican-instigated fights about the benefit packages of government employees:
When controlling for levels of education, years of experience, size of organization and other factors, public sector employees with doctorates earn over $31,000 less in total annual wages and benefits as compared to their private sector counterparts (the gap for those with professional degrees was even larger).
The reason I’m not going to quit my job and try my luck in the private sector now that I’ve read this is that there is virtually no public sector for professional historians. [Of course, I know about public history, but those jobs are even more precarious in this recession than mine.] It’s worth noting that this is the reason that economists and business professors make so much more than we humanists do. They have a private sector. We don’t.*
The size of the gap for those other folks, really ought to determine faculty organizing strategy going forward. Economists and business professors are not the enemy. [OK, maybe some of them are, but that’s because of their politics rather than their financial position in the academy.] We are all underpaid. We should do our best to raise wages together, rather than demonize each other as we fight for the scraps that the 50 little Hoovers around the country deem to leave us.
* By the way, there’s no private sector for administrators or football coaches. Why do they get paid so much then?