This topic reminds me of my first semester Microeconomics class in University this year.

I remember sitting there, listening half-heartedly to my professor talk about supply and demand factors.

“If Country A supplies wine and country B supplies clothes… blah blah blah.”

“Now, if I am a Colombian cocaine dealer” My eyes jolted open, I was like, “what? Is she seriously talking about this stuff in a University lecture?”

She goes on, “If I am a Colombian Cocaine dealer, and I want to make the most amount of money possible from my trades, then I must do a lot of research to find out the best methods of making the cocaine, distributing the cocaine, and accounting for any profits or losses from my business encounters.”

She was so sure of what she was saying I was almost convinced I was looking at Pablo Escobar reincarnated; and as a religious viewer of the Netflix Original show, “Narcos” I was impressed with how much knowledge she had on the illicit drug trading world.

She continued to talk about the supply and demand of the illegal drug world, and it really opened my eyes to how understanding economics can literally change how you look at the world.

I liked this professor – she was realistic – and she wasn’t afraid to state the obvious when it comes to economics affecting our world.

Many people look at Colombian drug dealers as monsters who kill each other for profit and the dream of living lavishly; although some of their atrocities are hard to fathom, I found myself observing the drug world from an entirely new perspective – one of simple supply and demand forces.

See, these men and women are born into immense poverty in their South American countries. There is little work, little health care, limited education, and limited opportunities where they grow up. Not to mention, the law enforcement continues to lack any real authority over drug kingpins, especially when they continue to be bought off.

My professor went on to talk about what makes a country, and an economy successful.

“Latin American countries fail to prosper because there exists a lack of infrastructure; little to no law enforcement, outdated hospitals and schools, the list goes on.” She continues, “The reason why Latin America falls behind the States is due to comparative advantages.”

She returned back to her original statement about wine and clothes, and it suddenly became much more interesting when explained in the context of Colombian drug lords. “If Colombia (Country A) can supply cocaine to America (Country B) at a lower price, then Colombia has the comparative advantage in producing cocaine, meaning that they should supply Cocaine to North America. Conversely, if America can produce iPhone’s at a reduced rate, then America has an absolute advantage in producing and selling iPhones, and therefore, should supply iPhones.

Everything started to make sense to me.

Remember America’s “war on drug’s” campaign in the 1970’s? Yeah, that was a load of mumbo-jumbo. I realized that buying cocaine was in America’s best interest economically. That is, if your citizens are going to use it anyway, they are going to buy it where it is cheapest and produced the best, thus, they are going to import it from Colombia.

But America’s war on drugs had nothing to do with stopping the importing of illegal drugs, but rather, the incarceration of drug users for profit.

cocaine industry

I’ve made a quick diagram above on how this all works, but one thing I left out is that once the law enforcement catches citizens selling cocaine or using it, they imprison them, at a profit to the prison owners.

The prison industry in America is just like everything else in the country; an industry. They want to catch you with illicit drugs so that they can throw you in jail – not because they think it will rehabilitate you, but because they can profit off of you being in there.

That is, prisoners do extremely cheap labour to keep themselves occupied, while the prison owners sell the goods across the US at a comparative advantage for cheaper than anywhere else, because essentially, they have slaves doing their work for them.

Interesting, huh?

Now, if you’ve gotten this far through my answer, you’re probably wondering why I haven’t given an upfront answer as to what skills/jobs pay the most per hour? But if you were really paying attention, I’ve given you quite a few.

Jobs/Skills That Have That Pay A Great Deal Of Money Per Hour

You mentioned in your question that you want to know a skill where you can only work an hour a day, and make a lot of money.

Some people that accomplish this are..

  1. Colombian cocaine traffickers: From the lab rat to the cartel leader, everyone is making astronomical amounts of money on an hourly basis because producing the stuff is so damn profitable.
  2. The drug smugglers: Those who fly the cocaine over to America may only work a few hours in that day, and in a matter of five hours, could have made $50,000 on smuggling (not condoning this at all!!). Furthermore, once the drugs make it to America, it needs to be transported across the country, which create even more jobs in terms of transporting the substances.
  3. The drug dealers: There exist many low-income areas in America that are home to drug dealers that buy cocaine at a low price and sell it for a high price. The drug dealer can work an hour a day and make much more money than any lawyer or doctor, I may add. But as my professor noted, “drug dealers make more money per hour than many professions because of the risk involved. The riskier the job, the more payout.

Which brings me to..

4. The prison owners: Those who own prisons make a crazy amount on housing inmates.

An article by Jenn Rose of Romper notes:

A 2012 contract between the Arizona Department of Corrections and MTC, another private corrections company, guaranteed a rate of nearly $18,000 per prisoner per year, according to Think Progress. What’s more, many private prisons have guaranteed occupancy clauses in their contracts, generally ranging from 90 to 100 percent, meaning that if cells aren’t filled, the states must pay anyway, which smells a lot like an incentive to imprison people who maybe don’t need to be imprisoned? But what do I know, I’m not an economist.

Yes, this does indeed, smell a lot like an incentive to imprison people, doesn’t it?

And, I think after hearing this, you may have guessed that when the “states must pay anyway” means that taxpayer money is being spent on empty prison cells.

You heard that right.

Mad? You should be.

Going back to your original question on what skills have the highest hourly pay, I mean, just think about it.

A simple lawyer or doctor makes pennies to the exploits being made on the drug industry – and I’ve just been talking about illegal drugs, the profits on legal prescription drugs are immense. (You can read about the exploits of the US pharmaceutical industry here).

So, what skills make the most per hour?

  • Professional Athletes
  • Famous Entertainers
  • CEOs of Wealthy Companies
  • Drug producers, smugglers, dealers, and privateers.
  • Those with massive stakes in successful startups like Facebook and YouTube.

In five bullet points, I’ve listed a majority of the global elite.

You asked what jobs make the most per hour, these are them. The thing is, only a fraction of a percent of the population can attain this level of wealth.

If you’re worried about making a lot of money per hour, take an investing course, save your money, and hope to find the next Facebook before it explodes, then become rich; there are literally new startups being created everyday, look for them!

If that isn’t your cup of tea, I would suggest getting a hard working job, earn a decent salary, and enjoy life with good family and friends.

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David McDonald

David McDonald

David is a 19-year-old Canadian student currently attending the University of Guelph. He currently studies Public Management and economics with hopes of one day becoming an accomplished journalist. David enjoys reporting on global events and actively try to make a difference in the world.
David McDonald

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