The PJ Tatler

Walter Williams: Why Protest Wall Street Moguls, but Not Celebrities Who Earn Twice As Much?

Dr. Walter E. Williams, the John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics since 1980 at George Mason University, is a wise man.  Observing the spectacle of President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Ried shamelessly “siding” with the Occupy Wall Streeters and parroting their claim that “Wall Street” is solely responsible for all their woes, his analysis is apt.

In his syndicated column this week, “Pitting Us Against Each Other”, Professor Williams makes a novel and trenchant point:

Attacking CEO salaries, the president — last year during his Midwest tour — said, “I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.” …

Let’s look at CEO salaries, but before doing so, let’s look at other salary disparities between those at the bottom and those at the top. According to Forbes’ Celebrity 100 list for 2010, Oprah Winfrey earned $290 million. Even if her makeup person or cameraman earned $100,000, she earned thousands of times more than that. Is that fair? Among other celebrities earning hundreds or thousands of times more than the people who work with them are Tyler Perry ($130 million), Jerry Bruckheimer ($113 million), Lady Gaga ($90 million) and Howard Stern ($76 million). According to Forbes, the top 10 celebrities, excluding athletes, earned an average salary of a little more than $100 million in 2010.

Professor Williams notes that, according to Forbes, the top ten celebrities — excluding athletes –earn an annual average of $100 million, while corporate CEOs take home a yearly average of $43 million.  While $43 million is nothing to sneeze at, nor is it half the “problem” — as the President views wealth — as celebrities’ ginormous salaries.

Why, therefore, Professor Williams asks, does the President and his unthinking, blinkered followers attack “corporate greed” and utter not a syllable against the more than doubly extravagant earnings of entertainment and media celebrities?  Hmmm, excellent question.  His answer:

Demonize people whose power you want to usurp. That’s the typical way totalitarians gain power. They give the masses someone to hate… promoting jealousy, fear and hate is an effective strategy for politicians and their liberal followers to control and micromanage businesses. It’s not about the amount of money people earn. If it were, politicians and leftists would be promoting jealousy, fear and hate toward multimillionaire Hollywood and celebrities and sports stars..

Professor Williams’ entire column, “Pitting Us Against Each Other” is must reading for anyone who seeking to understand the true mindset of the President, the Democratic Party, the liberal world view, and their thuggish, anti-Semitic puppets in the Occupy movement.