I offered you my opinion. I do not think they should be among the 5% of the top-paid jobs in society.
True, you did. However, that is not what I asked you. What professions do you think should be paid more and how do you decide? As has been pointed out by several posts, the market will determine what people should be paid. Back in the stone age, I left the military and went to work for an airline that had a red tail. In my first year, my probation year, if you just look at hard flying hours, I barely made $15/hour. Was that in line with your pay for a professional pilot?
Show me a profession where what you say and do in your workplace is monitored, where your career is put on the line with things such as medicals every six months, OPCs and LPCs, random drug and alcohol testing, and the list goes on and on. Before you reply, I realize there are other professions that are subject to parts of this but very few that are subject to all. Even the US' highest court, the Supreme Court, is not subject to those testing regimes. (Perhaps after the last two controversial decisions, they should be!)
I think in the west there is indeed something wrong with the way compensation is distributed. Pilots are one of the prime examples of this. I have had some discussions at length with some pilots on this subject and in the end, they have had admitted that a lot of the high compensation comes from the way they have unionized and thus their bargaining powers, and the way has done this in the last 70 years or so. And being a union and a representative for the profession does help in increasing the bargaining powers.
Nothing you have mentioned justifies this, not even when seen in conjunction.
The $15/hour is not good at all, so it should not be allowed, because it causes problems in its own.
Given the level of complexity, the level of security, the level of working life, I think it should be a little above the average pay. Not at the absolute top. One should look at how much society benefits from a certain job and how much it costs, in that respect, pilots cost society money given these levels of wages.
Given all this, I think there is a great incentive to move forward with single-pilot operations. Don't know if Airbus is moving ahead with this.
And yeah, I know it is an inconvenient truth, and I know it is an unpopular stand to make, especially for professional pilots. But there you go, this is how I feel about the level of compensation and how I reached that conclusion. Do with it what you like, it is not a personal attack on you, one is only part of a system right and enjoy your standard of living.