Where are the inequality alarmists?

According to Bleacher Report (emphasis added):

Nike and Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James have agreed to a lifetime contract, the biggest of its kind in company history, according to ESPN.com’s Darren Rovell. CNBC Now confirmed the deal.

The official terms have yet to be announced, but Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com reported James’ annual earnings from Nike will be “multiple times” higher than the $30 million a year Nike is paying Kevin Durant.

Folks, it would appear that income inequality is the bee in this decade’s bonnet. Thomas Pikkety’s book, Capital, recently won a prestigious award for calling attention to inequality, and Bernie Sanders has become something of a sensation (particularly on college campuses) as his presidential campaign incessantly draws attention to the widening distribution of incomes in America.

Interestingly, though, almost none of the anti-rich rhetoric ever applies to the top athletes, Like LeBron James, or the top celebrities, like Taylor Swift. Instead the most unfavorable criticism applies almost exclusively to the CEOs of some of the world’s largest corporations. Just as an example, the AFL-CIO publishes yearly an “Executive Paywatch” report detailing what they consider as opprobrious compensation of S&P 500 CEOs relative to the average worker in America. Here’s a snapshot:

AFL-CIO “Executive Paywatch”

Now, as of today, LeBron is estimated to bring in “multiple times” more than $30 million per year, just to advertise (wear) Nike attire. Probably even the most staunch leftist could understand that a CEO works harder to earn that $13.5 million compensation package than LeBron will have to work in order to land the multi-millions from Nike.

So my question is: where are the inequality alarmists? This is clearly a case in which they wouldn’t hesitate to accuse corporations of paying an individual “beyond his fair share.” Does it only apply to CEOs of businesses, or will we begin to hear the same anti-rich rhetoric supplemented in the world of sports? When will you publicly decry LeBron James as greedy, overpaid, or any other term you shell on CEOs?

Time will tell, but I fail to see why anybody who is concerned about income inequality is not making a more serious effort to raise awareness as to the incomes earned by some of the top athletes.



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