Over the weekend, it was reported that Hollywood powerhouse superstar and everyone’s favorite liberal Matt Damon earned $3 million, or $150,000 per second, for a simple 20-second coffee advertisement. Is this too much money for a simple ad?
Indeed, it might appear that it is excessive, but this is the market at work. Damon – George Clooney too since he stars in the same commercial – provides name value to the Nespresso brand and the company is willing to dole out that much cash to grab the likes of Damon in order to increase its revenues.
Sure, many would complain if a Wall Street executive or an entrepreneur earned that much cash for such short and effortless work, but most individuals don’t care if a celebrity or an athlete earns that extravagant sum of money. Either way, the general public shouldn’t be complaining because it’s simple economics.
A film studio or a production company may want to sign a Hollywood heavyweight, such as Damon or Clooney, to a huge contract to star in their picture. Twenty million dollars for three months worth of work is worth it to the players involved because a star like Clooney might help the participating parties make $100 million at the box office.
The same can applied to a baseball player. If a shortstop is one of the best players in the league then a team like the New York Yankees will sign that player to a $50 million-per-year-contract in the hopes of winning a championship.
This is just another example of how the free market benefits everyone: the Yankees want a championship, the shortstop is earning $50 million and watchers are being entertained by his tremendous abilities.
What could be seen as hypocrisy is when a star like Damon complains about not being taxed enough and lambasts those who earn an obscene amount of money. Take a couple of these quotes, for instance:
“The wealthy are paying less than they paid at any time else, certainly in my lifetime, and probably in the last century. I don’t know what we were paying in the Roaring ’20s; it’s criminal that so little is asked of people who are getting so much.”
“I need to pay more taxes.”
“…I would rather pay another percent or two for some, you know, police who are going to make sure that, you know, our kids are safe and we’re safe. You know?”
He needs to pay more taxes? In the words of New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie, “Shut up and write a check.” It’s interesting because no one is stopping Damon from doing so. During a tax season, there is always a line that allows the taxpayer to give the Treasury extra money. If he believes the government is the solution to all of our problems then why doesn’t he give $9 million out of his $10 million to the federal government?
Instead of doing that, Damon should be investing in businesses, donating to various charities across the globe (like he is doing with H20 Africa Foundation) or even, you know, continue doing what he is doing and entertain the masses with films like “The Bourne Identity” and leave politics to those who aren’t so self-righteous with a net worth of nearly $100 million.