All important questions. The good thing is: humans have the last say on what that figure should be, not "markets."
No they don't. the market always has the last say. believe that. In Dallas, my salary would be around $25-40K more per year. for the same job at the same size schools. and the cost of living while higher would certainly be offset by an increase that large.
And how much should a teacher make? dunno, but i know they don't get paid nearly enough. Tenured professors on the other hand...
But everything is connected. I Wal-Mart for example has to start paying all their stockers $10 per hour, and the cost of that drives everything up, then Wal-Mart recoups their loss at my expense. Milk goes up. Bread goes up. etc. etc.
Now I (and the workers at wal-mart) have to buy less. The beauty of Wal-Mart is stuff is cheap. But when milk approaches $3.50 a gallon, well it's easy to drop $200 real quick at wally world. prices go up and that becomes $250.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not for exploiting workers with unpaid OT. My college is trying that in certain departments, And I think the state is looking at re-working OT period. But realistically if you decide to make wal-mart your career, you reap what you sow.