Many on the left incessantly obsess about income inequality in America, invariably pinning blame on successful entrepreneurs and CEOs as being grossly overpaid. President Barack Obama has recently gone so far as to declare this his latest “defining challenge,” which, of course, is anything but new, meshing as it does with his long overriding goal of redistribution by any and all means.
We’ve all heard the indignant complaint that a particular CEO makes X-times as much as the average employee of his company. The credibility of the uproar is badly weakened, however, by the selectivity of such criticism. Our idolized athletes and Hollywood elite are among the wealthiest folks on the planet, with incomes that often dwarf those of the typical CEO. Forbes recently reported incomes for the top 10 Hollywood moguls, and the average was $102.4 million each, with Oprah Winfrey leading the pack at $165 million. Oddly, we hear no complaints that Oprah makes 5,000 times more than her stage hands, or that Alex Rodriguez makes 1,000 times more than stadium ushers, when Ralph Kiner made only 25 times more. We find no irate protests of unfairness outside the ballparks or movie sets or at your local film or concert halls. The only folks found occupying those places are idolizing fans.
It is tellingly inconsistent to vilify our corporate leaders for earning large amounts of money, while our egocentric celebrities somehow escape rebuff for their far more glaring extravagance. Liberals profess grave concern for income inequality, yet they seem to deem it perfectly acceptable to make almost unimaginable amounts of money, provided you are of liberal persuasion and don’t lead one of those repugnant, profit-seeking corporations.