How much money should someone who produces no immediately tangible results get for his services? How wrong is it to accept more money than that as payment in order to do justice to, say, the kids by paying a possibly unjust amount of money for them to go to the places that would most benefit them (say, certain universities with certain pricetags)?
Yes, I know, society has struggled with this question for many years now. Still we have no answer, yet still the question should be up front: on this hinges the question of how much of a salary various clergymen and teachers and researchers ought to make, and even undergraduate students can no more avoid it than their parents can money.
Can the market determine the value of their services? Usually, perhaps, we can do some averaging and some more complicated number-crunching and see what actually comes out. But I ask, can we really say by means of the market mechanisms how much true knowledge or spiritual pastoring is worth? And who is the buyer? One might as well put an arbitrary value on parenting so as to determine how much obligation a child has to his parent.
Either you play ‘the game’, or you don’t. If you play, you may have to pay some unwarranted prices to stay in ‘the game’. If you don’t and instead choose to help create an alternative system, who knows what you’ll lose?
All this is to say that finding the true just price is very complex, if we accept that the thing isn’t amoral (i.e. morally neutral). Yet we’re expected to do the right thing, and in Christ, in the Spirit and not the flesh, we’re supposed to be given the power to do it. At this point, then, the choice is between hope that God faithful to both open a just way and lead us through it, and despair that God is either unable or unwilling to let a way even exist.
All I’m trying to do is stop dismissing the question; do you have proposals?