If you were to log in, you'd be able to get more information on your fellow community member.
If programming is open to any reasonable intelligent person with a BA, why is there a shortage of programmers? And why say that people with CS degrees are poor? A programming job usually deals 50K or so in the Bay Area. This is vastly above the wage you'll earn with a degree in Philosophy or somesuch. What evidence is there to support Phil's statements? I doubt that a CS degree is necessary to be a programmer. However, enough literature and code is out there that the interested programmer can educate himself, if need be. Knuth just by itself is enough to deal with almost anything encountered in real life.
For non academic engineers, the median earnings flat from 1979-1989 at about $42,000/year. However, at the time of writing, the The median salary for non-academic Ph.D. engineers ($58,000) and Ph.D. math/computer scientists ($52,000) continue to significantly outstrip the median for Ph.D.s of all occupations ($43,000).