(Imported from my old weblogs)
On a serious note, I think that's true and makes sense too.
I would like to remind ourselves of how the Hindu society was built around the four castes. As per that Brahmins (researchers) constituted the highest castes. Vaishya (businessman, trader) were placed on the third rung. >From time immemorial, Brahmins were supposed to live a life of a pauper. And it has been the occupation of the vaishya to become rich by doing trade. While the brahmin taught and researched, he served to connect the society to its higher existence and future, by defining knowledge. Traders, on the other hand, provided for the immediate physical needs of the society. They have been the backbone of the society. By this very definition, a Brahmin is supposed to renounce physical comforts -- as a matter of a proof, if not anything else, of his connection to the higher world to which his brethen were obliged to connect the rest of the human society. Brahmins defined the course of history, but they never were the heros. Brahmins are supposed to be the kingmakers, never the kings.
I believe, researchers are modern day brahmins. Knowledge is their sole goal. And they are out there to reinforce the faith of the human race on the possibility of having a future based on knowledge and higher ideals. Of course, ideally speaking. Till that future is still under construction, the present has to be preserved through other means of resource generation. Businessmen do it for us.
Therefore it's fair that businessman are given the liberty to be richer than researchers. Researchers are (supposed to be) creatures with an eye to look beyond what current physical means of living well can give. They are dreamers of a better future for everybody. If they want others to believe on their dreams, they have pursue it, possibly renouncing the present comforts.
In the present day, I believe, we are all part researchers, part businessmen; part brahmins, part traders. The boundaries between roles have gone fuzzy. But the relational equation remains unviolated: Vaishyas still earn more than brahmins. That's fair!
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