A soldier serving in Afghanistan makes less than an average office worker

I’m not a smart guy.   And I haven’t seen a lot of the world.

But my assumption is a fellow who risks being killed by a roadside bomb should be paid more than the average office worker.  In fact, I would argue that any soldier who risks being killed by a roadside bomb should be paid more than me and likely you too, if you’re reading this from the comfort of your office or cubicle.   

Here’s the link to the Canadian forces pay scales:    http://www.forces.ca/en/page/payscales-131#ncmsregular-3

Here’s a survey of white-collar jobs in Toronto:    http://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/toronto-salary-SRCH_IL.0,7_IM976.htm

The basic salary for a fighting man is around $4,500 per month before deductions and taxes.

A lot of people make more than $4,500 per month to do jobs that will never, ever result in them being killed, maimed or psychologically traumatized for the rest of their lives.  A  lot of people make a lot more than $4,500 per month to do jobs that will never result in a kid growing up without a mother or a father.

The next time you feel the urge to complain about your pay, I’d like you to reflect on the following photo.

Sapper Sean David Greenfield, killed by roadside bomb in Kandahar City


It’s not about wearing a poppy or just remembering once a year.  It’s about less griping and complaining about your job and remembering that the folks who serve do so voluntarily.

The Canadian economy is a service economy that puts a premium on high education and white collar corporate ascendancy. The productivity flow is completely inverted – that is for every $1 that is paid to the actual guy who physically hammered the nails to build the house, $2 is given to the guy who designs the brochure to market it, $3 is given to the lady who sells it and $8 is given to the person who owns the company.  Most everybody I know, including myself, is a beneficiary of this system because most of us can’t do a damn thing with our hands.  Yet our entire white collar economy is entirely dependent on doers, makers and builders – who, for whatever reason have to accept that they should be paid lower than the photographer who takes a picture of the house he built.  Yes, I understand – you need highly educated architects to design houses that won’t fall. You need highly competent business people to create systems and jobs. But for all of us who make a living off the labour of others, now’s a good time to remember that if nobody planted the crops, we’d have nothing to market, nothing to sell, nothing to do.

Now’s a good time to remember if Canadians didn’t serve overseas in the major conflicts that established the modern national borders, your biggest beef might be about wearing grey 7 days a week, and not that you didn’t get a 2% index of inflation increase.

Take a moment to remember tomorrow

November 11, Remembrance Day.