I don’t like to make predictions but it is not going too far out on a limb to predict that in 2014 Democrat politicians from President Obama on down will make “income inequality” a major issue this year. Bill DeBlasio, New York City’s new Mayor, has promised to make “income inequality” his number one priority.
It is certainly a hot topic since government statistics seem to show that in the past few years the gap between the incomes of the richest and poorest in our society has dramatically increased. Inevitably such statistics, whether accurate or not, will be used by politicians, pundits, and celebrities on the left to castigate the big bad businessmen, usually white, who are oppressing the poor for their own benefit.
I will discuss these statistics in a future post but for now I would like to make another prediction. In 2014 none of the critics of “income inequality” will ever direct their criticism at significant favored elites whose incomes put them in the top 1%. Entertainers, rock stars, and athletes will be given a pass. For some reason their enormous incomes are not signs of “income inequality.” Here are some examples.
New Year’s Day used to mark the height of the college football bowl season. However, nowadays it is just part of the bowl season that began early in December and will continue to the BCS championship next week. I counted about 35 bowl games this season for a total of seventy teams. If there are an average of 70 players on a team, there would be almost 5000 players involved in post-season games.
By NCAA rules none of these players can be paid for their participation. Sure they get a free ride in college and all the perks that go with being an athlete on campus. But their salaries are zero while their coaches now earn in excess of a million dollars a year. Just recently, the University of Connecticut hired a new head coach with no former head coaching experience. His base salary is $400000 but he will be guaranteed various speaking engagements that will bring in over a million dollars each year. In addition, he will collect substantial bonuses if the team attains certain objectives. None of these objectives have anything to do with the actual education of his players. I’m sure the salary of the new Connecticut coach comes nowhere near that of coaches at traditional college powerhouses.
Only a tiny fraction of the 5000 players in the bowls will have a chance of being drafted into the pros and ever making any big money. Most of the remainder will probably not even graduate with a degree. Only a handful will wind up with what could be remotely be called an education. The fact that most of these football “slaves” are black will bother no one.
I know some will say that football programs bring in monies that support the rest of the University. A few years ago UCONN played in the Fiesta Bowl that should have been called the Fiasco Bowl since it cost the University 13 Million dollars in unsold tickets. That cost was borne by students and taxpayers. The UCONN coach quickly left for greener pastures at the University of Maryland.
The income inequality in professional sports is even greater. Will the President complain that quarterbacks like R.G. Griffin III of his hometown Washington Redskins makes substantially more than the linemen who block for him? Will Mayor De Blasio of New York do anything to cut the salary of Yankee third baseman Alec Rodriguez who makes over $25 million per year? What about Yankee hero Derek Jeter, a bachelor who currently resides in a 20000 square foot home in Tampa? Who will ever complain about that?
Of course, the President will never complain about the celebrities who make much more than the CEOs of the despicable Wall St. firms. On the contrary, he spends most of his time traveling around the country soliciting these wealthy celebs for donations.
Here is last year’s top ten celebrity earners from Forbes magazine. Oprah Winfrey, the idol of poor black women everywhere, made 77 Million although that was down from her previous year’s record of over 120 Million. Female Rock stars like Madonna (125 Million), Lady Gaga (80 Million), and Beyonce (53 Million] were also on the top ten list. Country star Taylor Swift only made 53 Million, a little less than teen idol, Justin Bieber. Even an aging rocker like Jon BonJovi made 79 Million. Ellen DeGeneres, the darling of the oppressed gay community, made 56 Million. Rounding out the top ten were movie magnate, Steven Spielberg at 100 Million, and tennis player Roger Federer (71 Million).
None of these people on the top ten list produces any of the necessities of life for the poor or anyone else. They do not produce the energy that heats and lights our homes. They do not produce the food and drink necessary for our daily existence. They do not manufacture our phones, cars, or furniture. They are more like parasites who live off the innumerable small donations of their humble but adoring fans. For some reason even the poorest of their fans don’t seem to mind reading about luxurious clothes, cars, and homes. Democrat politicians, pundits, and media types will never include them in their diatribes about income inequality. After all, they are cut from the same cloth.