Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Teachers in Trinidaad and Tobago are agitating for higher pay - they've marched and stayed home from work. They absolutely need to be paid more, but the rationale that I've been hearing isn't quite kosher.
Yes, teachers have degrees and advanced degrees. Yes they need to be paid more. But they should not attempt to compare their salaries to those of contemporaries in other fields. I have multiple degrees, but I don't earn as much as a friend of mine who went to school with me - she's a lawyer. Ergo - she can charge $500/hour. If I wanted to make that much, I'd have become a lawyer too! Some fields pay more and some less. One chooses one's profession based on many factors - money is just one of them. To decide that the salary in the field that you chose (knowing it was not as well paid as others) now needs to be commensurate with other professions can't be supported.
Can it?

Monday, June 07, 2004

Today the news was al about kidnapping yet again. A 3-year old was abducted from school, and the knee-jerk reaction was - apply the death sentence for kidnappers. We haven't applied the death sentence for murder in the recent past, and there are serious concerns raised by the Privy Council about the application of the penalty.
Do we apply it fairly? Or will we tend to kill people because they can't afford an excellent lawyer? Will the people who can afford a QC get off compared to those who have to go with Legal Aid?
And, there are many studies that show that the death penalty isn't even a deterrent! If the penalties for kidnapping and murder are the same, then we might even get an increase in the brutality of the kidnappings - if you're going to hang, then murdering the victim is better, cause at least you don't have a witness!
I'm not sure if I'm for or against the death penalty, but I think that there needs to be a lot of thought and analysis applied before we take such a drastic and final step for abductions.