Boston University economics professor Laurence Kotlikoff concludes that plumbers earn about as much as doctors once student loans and taxes are taken into account. (We’re not sure if Kotlikoff also took into account the high cost of malpractice insurance and the long hours worked by most physicians.)

Nevertheless, Slate writer Matthew Yglesias is convinced that doctors in the U.S. are coddled, overpaid whiners:

Medical doctors are highly paid professionals. They earn more money—a lot more money—than your average American. What’s more, American doctors get paid more than doctors in any other country. Given how much of health care is financed either directly (Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Affairs, public-sector workers) or indirectly (tax subsidy for employer-provided insurance) by the federal government, it’s natural to make restraining doctors’ income part of any program for making health care more affordable. So when you read stories about doctors whining that Affordable Care Act exchange plans don’t pay them enough, please throw up a little in your mouth and proceed to ignore the doctors’ complaints. The only practical reason to worry about low compensation for doctors in the ACA exchanges is it may cause them to boycott exchange patients. If that happens, the solution is to reduce doctors’ payment rates elsewhere in the system.

Which brings us to this bit of advice, brought to you by’s Katie Pavlich:

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Speaking of people who are overpaid