Sunday, August 9, 2009

Get Money, Get Paid

The following is a response to the recent announcement that Eli Manning signed a $97 million contract with Pepsi products to be a company spokesperson: In these times of economic desperation with so many unemployed being unable to feed, clothe and shelter themselves and/or their families it is an absolute outrage that something like this can still occur in the United States of America. One of the most disturbing facts about our capitalist nation is the misappropriation of funds directed to the salaries of entertainers. Everyone should agree that the value an athlete, movie star, talk-show host, team-owner, etc. brings to the average citizen is very small. Granted, they do offer a minuscule of diversion from our daily trials and tribulations, as did the jesters in the king's court during the middle ages. But to allow these entertainers to horde such great amounts of wealth at the expense of more benevolent societal programs is unacceptable.

Our society is also subjected to the "profound wisdom" of these people because it equates wealth with influence. Perhaps a solution to this problem and an alternative to defeated school levies and crumbling infrastructures, as well as all the programs established to help feed, clothe and shelter those who cannot help themselves, would be to tax this undeserved wealth. Entertainers could keep 1 percent of the gross earnings reaped from their endeavor and 99 percent could be deposited into the public coffers.

As Congress considers limiting the amount of pay given to Corporate Executives they should decide instead to raise the taxes on these Banksters and the so-called entertainment industry.

The old ideas of the redistribution of wealth have failed, and it is time to adapt to modern-day preferences. Does anyone think this will reduce the quality of entertainment? It seems to me that when entertainers received less income, the quality was much higher.

-J. Bialek

The above is a letter to the editor, received on Friday, August 7th, 2009. It might not say anything that many have not already thought or even spoken to those around them, however it doesn't hurt to hear it again. Though I do believe that a $97 million paycheck is grossly disproportionate to the services being rendered, I admit that I am not in entire agreement with Mr Bialek's suggestion of singling out "Banksters and the so-called entertainment industry" in lieu of setting limits on corporate executive compensation (of which I am not entirely in favor either) in the government's effort to gain some control of the economy.

Fortunately or unfortunately, if I may speak from my ivory tower, I believe that the truest way for the current economic debacle to begin to be solved is for each of us to humbly admit how deeply our modern culture has sunk into the many forms of greed. Although the cardinal virtues of Prudence, Courage, Self-Control, and Justice have not been all together stamped out, these nonetheless are not cultivated or even encouraged. From what I can see of it, I can only think that the only way that America can hope for a change in the direction that we are now going is for us to go back to the basics of virtue, to rediscover virtue. I do think that there are those who have begun to rediscover virtue and who seek to share this with others. However, this news often falls on deaf ears. It is not until we can accept and admit to the root problems of our economic system (or any problematic system for that matter) and then virtuously seek to amend them that we will be able to rightfully call our American nation "great."

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