Saturday, July 26, 2014

Robert Downey Jr. Selflessly Offers Other People's Money

Robert Downey Jr has "heroically" campaigned against the meager 6-figure payments that his fellow movie stars received for Avengers compared to his 8-figure deal.

Why does this strike me as ridiculous?  Because there is a simpler, more honest way that Downey can make for equality.  He can simply divide up whatever ridiculous amount the studio pays him for Avengers 2 and share it with his worthy colleagues.

In fact, he can split the $50 million that he was already paid for the first Avengers among his co-stars who were paid a paltry $200,000 to run around in costumes and be the toast of the town. (I'm tellin' you, the Man has really got them down.)  Which co-stars are worth including in this charity pool, Downey can decide for himself, of course.

Why was Downey paid so much more?  Because with him the studio execs feel strangely generous, or because replacing him (who has practically built the Iron Man franchise and therefore the Avengers franchise) is costlier to the money-making potential of the film than replacing anyone else?  How much costlier?  Look at the payment to find out.  The studio has a budget for production that competes with a budget for paying actors, both of which compete with the expected intake of money.  In terms of a limited budget, the more they pay Downey for his continued participation in the franchise, the less they have in their budget to entice the future participation of the other actors.  It is "zero sum," and instead of volunteering his own ludicrous share,  Downey opted to pressure the studios into taking on more risk.

Sure it's his fortune to gamble.  But don't you just feel sorry for those actors struggling by on six figures?  Why, that wouldn't even begin to pay for one of poor Hillary's many homes.

But Downey was worried about fairness.

When I read things like Downey's generosity with other people's money instead of his own, especially with these ridiculous overpaid actors speaking against those who get rich off of corporations and capitalism, I think that these people should put their money where their mouth is:
The Frivolous Pay Law:  For anyone in the movies, in music recording, in the arts, in sports, or in politics making over $300,000 (that is, mainly people who don't have to deal so directly with the consequences of of the economically illiterate policies they advocate) in a single year (this is 20% greater than the $250,000 mark our President favors), everything over that $300,000 goes to the IRS.  
Because at some point you've made enough money, as someone once said.  Because you didn't earn that, as someone once said.  You got there through luck and through money illicitly gained from the rest of us through manipulative corporate advertising.  Your movie crews travel on vehicles and roads the rest of us built.  Because you've got to eat your peas.  Because we got all this here debt to pay.  Uh-huh.  Lead the way, ye selfless beings. Show us how it's done.  Physician, heal thyself. You first.

Is there really such a shortage of good actors that we have to recycle the same actors over and over to make them into their own brand names?  Are they really so special and indispensable that they have to make more on one movie than most of us will see in several decades?  If anyone is overpaid ...

Just have that law in place for eight years (as long as the rest of us have had to deal with some notable politicians these people financed for us), and see what good it does.  See if these luminaries of egalitarian righteousness can stand only making a measly $300,000 like the rest of us yokels.  Just for eight short years to help make up for several years of trillion-dollar deficits.

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