On Disclosing Our Salaries

Published on June 18, 2020 (↻ May 27, 2021), filed under (RSS feed for all categories).

For a year now I’ve been toying with the idea of publicly disclosing my salary, as well as my financial assets.

Not because of me—who’s well and grateful—, but because I’ve come to believe that this step, if taken by others, too, would be a step towards more transparency, and be helpful for more and for many.

Of course, disclosing salaries would be just one option for more transparency. It seems particularly powerful, however.

It seems helpful and powerful and we seem to fear it.

We might not like what we see—and that’s the point.

We might not like what we see and therefore desire to change it.

That change might not necessarily mean that everyone goes after the rich (whatever that means).

It might mean that we take action to take care of those who have and get too little.

To pay them more.

To pay them more justly.

To pay them more because they are, no matter how strange this may sound in this day and age, our brothers and sisters.

Fellow humans who are important.

An earlier version of this article hung this all up under the umbrella of distribution, distribution problems, transparency. That was probably a bit fancy.

I still like the idea of me and of us disclosing our salaries and assets.

Yet I’m not going to take action right now. I was ready to raise this with my former company’s management, but it’s not on my agenda to do right now. On my agenda it needs to be, though, because I also stand for transparency with my employers. It may also need to be on the general agenda because legally speaking, many people, at least in Germany, may not be allowed to publicly share their salaries. (Respective contract clauses are not useful.)

Yet, again, this should not prevent me from keeping with the idea, and sharing it. Here it is. I don’t know whether it will blossom.

In fact, it is an ideal kingdom where justice, prosperity and peace reign—and Val is bored.

Figure: More transparency for more boredom. (Copyright King Features Syndicate, Inc., distr. Bulls.)

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About Me

Jens Oliver Meiert, on September 30, 2021.

I’m Jens (long: Jens Oliver Meiert), and I’m a frontend engineering leader and tech author/publisher. I’ve worked as a technical lead for companies like Google and as an engineering manager for companies like Miro, I’m close to W3C and WHATWG, and I write and review books for O’Reilly and Frontend Dogma.

I love trying things, not only in web development (and engineering management), but also in other areas like philosophy. Here on meiert.com I share some of my views and experiences.

If you want to do me a favor, interpret charitably (I speak three languages, and they can collide), yet be critical and give feedback for me to learn and improve. Thank you!