Friday, February 12, 2010

They Ain’t With Main Street | The New Republic

If you have ever had an argument about excessive executive salaries with a rich Republican—I can recall one, for instance, with a downtown corporate tax lawyer—he will invariably compare CEO salaries to those that athletes and entertainers make. And here we have a Democratic president using this spurious ploy.

Is it necessary to make the obvious points? That the athletes who make $17 million have spent most of their waking life since they were four years old practicing their sport (if you don’t believe it, read Andre Agassi’s autobiography, Open); that they possess unusual skill at what they do; that in some cases—like those among professional football players or prize fighters—they risk life and longevity; that their earning cycle, often only a few years, is very sharply limited compared to that of a banker; and that what they contribute to society—after all, athletics and entertainment have been an essential part of human life for thousands of years—is as valuable as, and probably more valuable than, what many a banker or trader contributes.
They Ain’t With Main Street | The New Republic
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