Wednesday, March 01, 2006

bread and circuses

I heard on the radio this morning that Reese Witherspoon is being paid 29 million dollars for her next movie. Ray Lewis is complaining that his several million dollar per year football contract is insufficient, despite having had a terrible season. Parker Stevenson negotiated $70,000 per month in spousal support from his actress wife, because he needed that much to support his lifestyle. We pay our entertainers a fortune, and our policeman and teachers very little.

Do we value being entertained above all else? is amusement the key thing we have? is it a case of bread and circuses?

should we all aspire to acting careers because it is rewarded best by our capitalist system? how do you inspire a child to choose a career wisely in this climate? Money does not buy happiness, and success is not measured in dollars. But those are adult ideas. Where will the next generation of caregivers and caretakers come from?


cl-sandy said...

Both policemen and teachers START OUT with salaries higher than mine in this market.

elwinter said...

And in a similar vein, where are all the scientists and engineers who are supposed to implement President Bush's so-called Vision for Space Exploration going to come from when he cuts the NASA science budget as was done this week? Last year, NASA Administrator Michael Griffin said "not one this dime" would be taken from science programs to pay for shuttle operations - which are scheduled to be terminated in less than 5 years. And yet 2 days ago, immediately after testifying before a House Committee on NASA's budget, Science Mission Directorate Associate Administrator Mary Cleave returned to her office and cancelled the Dawn mission to asteroids Ceres and Vesta. The mission is scheduled to launch on just a few months, and needs $40M more to get there. Shutdown costs alone will be $10M. Where is the logic in that?

I know from experience that scientists enter the field because they love it, not because they will be well-paid. And many of us do even more - I am volunteering my time next week to fly out to New Mexico to teach an astronomy course to NPS rangers. Cutting the science budgets at NASA is not the answer.

My 2.0x10^-2 $ worth.