I know: it’s a feature, it’s a gag, it’s not meant to be taken seriously. I don’t care: the underlying attitude behind The Daily Caller’s recent slideshow, “Top 10 People Who Don’t Deserve To Be Millionaires” is too common these days to be emulated, even in half or whole jest. The belief that citizens of the U.S. “don’t deserve” to have the money they do is at the root of toxic politics, bad economic policy, class resentment and self-excused jealousy, and it shouldn’t be encouraged. If there is a genuine and persuasive argument to be made that people don’t deserve the money they earn, then make it, and you have to do better than “you didn’t build that!”
Taylor Bigler, the Caller’s entertainment editor who compiled the list, doesn’t. She just appeals to jealousy, as if nobody really really does resent people who have made more money than they have so its fine to pretend they do. “Now, some people are millionaires because they are ambitious and kept their noses to the grindstone,” she says. “Those people certainly deserve their hard-earned success. But honestly, there are many other people who are millionaires that simply don’t deserve to be.” Like?
- The Kardashians. “The Kardashians are millionaires for having sex and/ or getting married on TV…and that’s about it,” Bigler sneers. No, the Kardashians are millionaires because they are talented promoters, attractive, willing to sell their privacy for notoriety, and successful make people want to watch and look at them, allowing sponsors and business partners to make money too. That’s called “earning your money.
- “Honey Boo Boo,” the spin-off toddler pageant star from “Toddlers & Tiaras.” First of all, she definitely deserves her money, since her awful parents are warping her childhood by exploiting her. If she ends up with any money from being made a national poster child for a sick sub-culture, I’ll be pleasantly surprised. Second, she’s no millionaire. Bigler writes, “Ok, so Honey Boo Boo Child is not a millionaire, but she is worth a reported $50k from her appearances on “Toddlers and Tiaras” and now has her own show, “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo Child,”….This 6-year-old has more money than the average family of four.” Is the slideshow now about “People who don’t deserve to have more money than the average family of four?” Talk about a bait and switch…
- Justin Bieber. Ridiculous. Bieber, like all recording artists, works like a dog, and produces music that people buy, making lots of money for other people as well as himself, and providing entertainment for millions of kids. Of course he deserves his money.
- “Bubbles,” Michael Jackson’s pet chimp, who received two million dollars from the singer’s estate. Well, he’s not a people, so there is that, but there is also this: Jackson was being responsible to provide sufficient funds to take care of his pet primate and ensure that he would not be caged, gassed, or otherwise mistreated. Chimps live a long time. Bubbles earned that money, which is not excessive to provide for him in his old age.
- Director Michael Bay. “Michael Bay has no discernable talent whatsoever,” Bigler asserts. So she says: the box office receipts say movie-goers would rather see Michael Bay movies than Robert Altman films any day. In fact, so would I. He makes successful movies that return movie studios’ multi-million dollar investments in them. Ask Terry Gilliam or Michael Cimino if that’s a talent.
- Skrillex. Yup, never heard of him, but he’s apparently very good and successful at what he does, which is producing, composing and performing electronic dance music.
- Snookie, the ridiculous, low-life reality TV star. Snookie, like freaks and other oddities, sells what she has to sell, which is her own bizarreness that allows people to point, laugh and feel superior. She, as my father used to say, cries all the way to the bank. The lack of shame and the presence of audacity are and have always been great business assets. If she can make people want to watch her be idiotic, it is the watchers who are the idiots.
- Paris Hilton. What? Paris Hilton is a millionaire because her family runs an international hotel chain, and has every right to provide for its children and grandchildren. You try running a hotel some time. The American dream includes working hard and passing down what you save and earn to the next generation. Being fortunate is not the same as being undeserving.
- Kate Gosselin. Yes, she’s a monster, and exploits her children. Her TV show should have been banned for engaging in child labor violations. Still…OK, no still. Kate Gosselin doesn’t deserve to be a millionaire. I’ll go with Bigler on this one.
- Heidi Montag, the now plastic-filled and pumped former star of the faux-reality soap opera “The Hills.” This is the third cheap entry in her Top Ten by Bigler, who admits that Montag is no longer a millionaire, having blown through the estimated ten million she made on the popular, if stupid, show. I’ll agree that people who blow through ten million dollars don’t deserve to be millionaires, since they aren’t. And like nine out of the ten Bigler named. they don’t deserve to be on this unethical list, either.
Source: The Daily Caller
Graphic: Michael Jackson Moon
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