I'd agree if I didn't have so much personal experience with "teachers" that are doing just what was said below, only teaching because they have no other practical use for their degree.
Teachers aren't saints. Good teachers are the most valuable commodity in society. If I had to make a stab in the dark guess, I would say that about 20%-30% of the teachers in our public school system meet that standard. I'm thoroughly annoyed by people who have a knee-jerk affectation of sainthood for teachers. In my experience they are usually the spouse of a teacher if they are not themselves one. Almost every teacher I have met (and that is not a small number of people) in first primary education is incompetent, bitter, apathetic, or all of the above.
I would pay teachers twice as much as they make now if the standard were higher than it is to be a teacher. Instead of taking our teachers from the top 10%, we get way too many of them from the bottom of the skill barrel.
You sir are undoubtedly a deluded toad who does not understand that teachers are one of the greatest assets a country has. The wealth and power of a nation to improve the lives of those who live their rest with the education our young receive. next time you are concerned with the youth of today remind yourself how much you and those around you value teachers. It is disgraceful the way teachers are treated and undervalued by some.
I, for example, am probably going to major in theoretical computer science, which is pretty useless outside of academia. So of course I'm going to be a teacher (not sure whether secondary/postsecondary yet though). I can only hope that the job satisfaction is enough so that I don't care if my salary is slightly crappy.
Economic leverage. Those who are the most gifted in science and engineering often can't stand to work in any other field, and lots of people become teachers because they can't find any other use for their degrees. Either way, they have no leverage with which to demand higher salaries, or more respect --- society knows it can treat us like crap and we're still going to be here.