Sunday, February 16, 2014

Yes, the Wealthy Can Be Deserving

By Greg Mankiw

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? These questions go to the heart of the debate over economic inequality, to which President Obama has recently been drawing attention.

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?

Read the rest here.


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

    You talk to the wrong people? I don't know many who don't understand that RD jr deserved every penny contracted to him, and how his wealth as he sees fit to use it benefits the greater society and doesn't come at the expense of the poor. The few who believe that are too stupid to know they are being shunned by the rest of us who have better things to do than argue with them.

    1. Cut cable and movies back when Hollywood was pushing Morton Downey, Jr.

  2. ‘Nothing will be fixed until [US] Criminals are arrested’: top US official

    Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury, Associate Editor for the Wall Street Journal, and Senior Research Fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. He writes (for years):

    “Nothing will be fixed until [leading US] criminals are arrested and put on trial for treason… Americans have lost the rule of law.”

    I agree.

    Treason (and here) is the most fitting crime because every reason given by US oligarchs for the current wars were known to be false as they were told for UNLAWFUL wars that directly attack and kill US military.

    The 2014 Worldwide Wave of Action (parts 1, 2) has objectives of:

    Expose 1% oligarchs in the US and elsewhere as OBVIOUS criminals centering in war, money, and media (also in ~100 other crucial areas).
    Cause their surrender through arrests or Truth & Reconciliation.
    Initiate true freedom for all Earth’s inhabitants to explore ready breakthroughs in economics (links below) and technology, and discover what it is to be human without psychopathic criminals who joke about killing millions, harming billions, and looting trillions.

    Ready to stand for justice from lying sacks of spin criminals?

  3. Ah, but most of the insane income this thespian got is courtesy of US Government and its "intellectual property" thuggery. Without offloading the costs of the exclusion of non-paying access to his art onto the taxpayers (and public in general) he'd get nowhere close to what he got.

    1. I never watch movies like this on a TV or computer. Like many (most?) viewers, I expect to be engaged by the fully immersive spectacle--I'm not expecting much substance from The Avengers or Iron Man. Were all IP laws to disappear tomorrow, people would still be forking over cash for the big screen, big sound experience only a movie theater can provide vehicles such as these.

      The costs of providing such experiences for their audiences place inherent restrictions upon the number of market entrants. There is absolutely nothing contradictory to the NAP with the establishment of exclusivity contracts among the production, distribution, and exhibition agents. Mr. Downey's income derives from his ability to attract an audience, regardless of the IP regime in place.