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Yes, the Wealthy Can Be Deserving
New York Times ^ | February 15, 2014 | N. GREGORY MANKIW

Posted on 02/18/2014 7:23:54 PM PST by grundle

In 2012, the actor Robert Downey Jr., played the role of Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man, in “The Avengers.” For his work in that single film, Mr. Downey was paid an astounding $50 million.

Does that fact make you mad? Does his compensation strike you as a great injustice? Does it make you want to take to the streets in protest?

Certainly, $50 million is a lot of money. The typical American would have to work for about 1,000 years in order to earn that much.

That sum puts Mr. Downey in the top ranks of American earners. Anything more than about $400,000 a year puts you in the much-talked-about 1 percent. If you earn more than about $10 million, you are in the top 1 percent of the top 1 percent. Mr. Downey makes it easily.

Yet, somehow, when I talk to people about it, most are not appalled by his income. Why?

One reason seems to be that they understand how he earned it. “The Avengers” was a blockbuster with worldwide box-office receipts of more than $1.5 billion.

Of that amount, only about 3 percent went to pay Mr. Downey. In other words, if you bought a matinee movie ticket for, say, $8, about 25 cents went to pay for Mr. Downey’s acting. If you have seen the movie, you might be tempted to say: “He gave a great performance. I’m happy to pay him a quarter for it.”

People are similarly unperturbed when they learn that in 2013, E. L. James, author of the “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy, earned $95 million, or that in the same year the basketball star LeBron James earned $56 million in salary and endorsements.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial
KEYWORDS: classism

1 posted on 02/18/2014 7:23:54 PM PST by grundle
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To: grundle
In a market economy, you get paid what you are worth.
The Left hates that. They want to pick winners and losers.
2 posted on 02/18/2014 7:28:12 PM PST by ClearCase_guy
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To: grundle

And if you’re a millionaire who works part time at the NYT, don’t be pissed at us. We’re libs just like you....


3 posted on 02/18/2014 7:29:28 PM PST by Tzimisce
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To: grundle

Wonder what Downey’s agent makes? Or his publicist?

The simple fact is that a lot of rich people aren’t nearly as rich as we think they are. Wealthy yes but they live very expensive lives and most are far busier than I ever want to be.


4 posted on 02/18/2014 7:32:00 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: ClearCase_guy

I follow Dave Mustaine on twitter. He’s the lead singer for Megadeth.

About a year back he started looking for a ranch in Texas because he wants to move out of California. Liberals went ballistic over how “greedy” he is for taking his money elsewhere. (He’s still in CA but has been almost steadily on tour since then)

He stirred them up again yesterday by mentioning that he was reading Charles Krauthamer’s most recent book and that it made a lot of sense.


5 posted on 02/18/2014 7:46:57 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: grundle

I liked him better as Sherlock Holmes, but the populous wants Ironman.

So pay the man.


6 posted on 02/18/2014 7:53:04 PM PST by mylife (Ted Cruz understands the law and does not fear the unlawful.)
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To: grundle

I don’t care if they paid him $50 BILLION, the fact is, people have a RIGHT to do what they like for work, at a rate that pays them what they like to be paid, buy whomever desires to pay it.

No, it doesn’t make me jealous or resentful of other’s success. I wish I’d had the skills to earn that kind of money, but I didn’t. And I don’t. I LIKE the old fashioned ideal of the ‘American Dream’ where the sky’s the limit, and where government does’t try to steal what THEY consider to be excessive income, and that they deserve to take that away from you. THAT makes me angry.

I DO believe that as a nation we have legitimate expenses, and that taxes aren’t entirely evil. They are necessary, but only to a point.

I do believe that when you ‘’invest’’ in your future, that YOUR money should be repaid in its entirety and with interest. If some big shot joker manages to loose YOUR money, as far as I’m concerned, he still owes it to you. I don’t care if it’s a ‘market crash’. Someone ‘lost’ money which means someone else gained it. Money doesn’t just disappear into thin air.

Stealing someone’s money isn’t the same as earning it legitimately. The actor agreed to a set amount, and if that’s what he was paid, then he earned every penny of his money. So good for him.

That’s the way it should be.


7 posted on 02/18/2014 7:53:29 PM PST by PrairieLady2
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To: PrairieLady2

I agree with you and feel I make enough money and most likely Downey is not any happier than me or mine are.


8 posted on 02/18/2014 7:58:52 PM PST by Cen-Tejas (it's the debt bomb stupid!)
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To: Cen-Tejas

It’s the old saw. Money can’t buy happiness, or as the Beatles put it, love.

Pablo Picasso was quoted as saying he would like to live like a poor man who owned a great deal of money.

Money is a necessary means of procuring many needs, unless one can avail oneself of payment by barter, but it’s funny how wants can turn into needs when the available budget is there. Many very satisfied individuals give away most of their money.


9 posted on 02/18/2014 8:03:41 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you. See my page.)
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To: grundle

Bump!


10 posted on 02/18/2014 8:05:36 PM PST by 4Liberty (Optimal institutions - optimal economy.)
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To: ClearCase_guy; grundle
In a market economy, you get paid what you are worth.

Hows that work when those in governemnt, (The countries BIGGEST employer), are paid better than those in the middle class America, have more secure jobs and receive top shelf tax paid retirement pensions and gold plated benefits....Yet at every level of government they've all but destroyed this country and economically gang banged the poor and middle class America.

11 posted on 02/18/2014 8:05:57 PM PST by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

“Pablo Picasso was quoted as saying he would like to live like a poor man who owned a great deal of money.”

That describes me to a tee.
Sadly I do not have a great deal of money.


12 posted on 02/18/2014 8:06:11 PM PST by mylife (Ted Cruz understands the law and does not fear the unlawful.)
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To: ClearCase_guy
The Left hates that. They want to pick winners and losers.

The Left only hates people who make money when those people are NOT liberal.

13 posted on 02/18/2014 8:32:23 PM PST by SuziQ
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To: dragnet2

He said “in a market economy”. Gov’t isn’t.


14 posted on 02/18/2014 8:52:43 PM PST by bigbob (The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly. Abraham Lincoln)
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To: grundle

Why does “deserving” come into the equation? It is a subjective decision.

I much prefer to see discussions of “earning”, where the individual made a product or produced something that others were interested in paying money for it.

You know - value in return for work.

If someone else can steal my earnings because they think I am not “deserving”, I am but a slave.


15 posted on 02/18/2014 8:56:57 PM PST by MortMan (Is a delayed shower a "stay of exablution"?)
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To: grundle

What made me mad that Robert Downey Jr made $50 million is that he mumbled thru-out the picture....


16 posted on 02/18/2014 8:56:57 PM PST by minnesota_bound
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To: bigbob

Are you telling me the biggest employer in the country is not part of our so called market economy?

lol...

And “getting paid what you are worth” does not apply to them?

What a hoot!


17 posted on 02/18/2014 8:57:23 PM PST by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
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To: dragnet2; bigbob

I’ll disagree with BOTH of you! I’m not sure people get paid what they are “worth”, but what other people are willing to pay them. Nitpicking on words I suppose. Reminds me of when my mom saw the neighbor’s house up for sale right before the housing market collapsed and she said “Why I bet your house is worth $XXX,000!” “Well Mom - if I sold it now I could probably get that much, but it sure ain’t worth $XXX,000!”

And with government, they don’t need to worry about what they pay for people or things, as it is just play money to them. I was going to say that they can just raise taxes, but even that won’t cover their expenses - so they just print more, or raise the debt ceiling, whatever. The price of something, or someone doesn’t truly figure into it. The competition that applies to the free market doesn’t apply to the government. And it doesn’t apply to the crony businesses either. Or unions for that matter.


18 posted on 02/18/2014 9:10:41 PM PST by 21twelve (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2185147/posts 2013 is 1933 REBORN)
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To: 21twelve; dragnet2; bigbob

In re-reading dragnet’s post about “gov’t in the market” - they most definitly are! But just not operating under the rules small companies and individuals need to follow.


19 posted on 02/18/2014 9:13:10 PM PST by 21twelve (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2185147/posts 2013 is 1933 REBORN)
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To: grundle

The very existence of this silly piece is testimony to the fact that with Obama striving all out to make communism popular again, people who earn money feel they have to defend themselves.

The entire planet is backwards.


20 posted on 02/18/2014 9:44:56 PM PST by Jack Hammer
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To: cripplecreek

I’m not really a fan of metal music, but I am a partner in a business that caters to metal musicians and their fans. My sense is that most of them are quite conservative.


21 posted on 02/19/2014 4:15:07 AM PST by KevinB (Barack Hussein Obama: Proof-positive that affirmative action does not work.)
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To: dragnet2
And “getting paid what you are worth” does not apply to them?

My wife has been a teacher for 30 years. She has been a top performer each of those years, even being nominated several times for teacher of the year in her county and winning once. She makes the same amount of money as other teachers having her years of experience who are lazy, cause problems in the school, and don't really care about the kids. Pretty much all a principal can do to crappy teachers is move them to another school. It's almost impossible to fire them short of them molesting the kids. Much of government operates the same way. So I would agree with the poster who said that government employment is not market based.

22 posted on 02/19/2014 4:23:27 AM PST by KevinB (Barack Hussein Obama: Proof-positive that affirmative action does not work.)
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To: KevinB

Yeah they go through their young rock star days and if they survive they often settle with a conservative slant.

Personally I think the GOP would do well to reach out to the heavy metal crowd.


23 posted on 02/19/2014 4:38:08 AM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: KevinB

OK, so you too believe the nations biggest employer, the government, is not part of the market economy, and “getting paid what you are worth” does not apply to them...

Roger that....Over an out.


24 posted on 02/19/2014 9:08:09 AM PST by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
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To: dragnet2
OK, so you too believe the nations biggest employer, the government, is not part of the market economy, and “getting paid what you are worth” does not apply to them...

Yup. Any employment situation where folks are compensated based on a scale or years of employment, or where affirmative action is mandated, or where it is almost impossible to fire people is, by definition, not a market driven employment situation. Government employment is all of those things. I'm sorry if you believe otherwise, but it seems rather obvious to me.

25 posted on 02/19/2014 1:27:47 PM PST by KevinB (Barack Hussein Obama: Proof-positive that affirmative action does not work.)
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To: KevinB

I away suspected the biggest employer in America and it’s millions of overpaid employees are not, “Paid what what they are actually worth”...

Nice system!


26 posted on 02/19/2014 1:47:43 PM PST by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
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Always too~


27 posted on 02/19/2014 1:49:55 PM PST by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
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To: KevinB

One other thing Kevin...Isn’t it interesting, or ironic, the biggest employer in the United States is not even involved with our so-called “free market system”?

It seems getting paid for “What you’re worth” only applies to the tax slaves...

Cheers!


28 posted on 02/19/2014 2:14:11 PM PST by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
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