I absolutely HATE celebrity gossip! That’s why I try hard to avoid any “news” article that is just updating me on someone’s relationship, or party habits. Even when it’s a sports mega-star like Brett Favre. However, I came across this article on Yahoo Sports yesterday, and it immediately caught my attention.
Apparently, Favre is being accused of sexually harassing a woman in 2008 when he played for the Jets.
Favre could possibly be suspended by the NFL for this, and that would severely damage his image. If that happens, his chances to make money in “retirement” from endorsements, working as a TV analyst, and speaking engagements will be greatly hindered!
The author of the article (Patrick Rishe of Forbes.com) goes on to estimate that Favre can make at least $10 million each year over the next 10 years – or $100 million!
***warning: what follows is a bit of a rant***
So, my amazement isn’t over the charges – I honestly don’t know any of the details of this case (nor do I want to) – but I’m amazed that a guy who retires from playing a game can still earn $10 million a year for doing next to nothing!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of these guys who doesn’t think that people should take advantage of these types of opportunities! If someone thinks he is worth $10 million because he used to be able to throw a football around, then he should take it!
But, where are we at as a nation when that is the thing we place the most value on? Entertainment seems to be the thing that drives this country. Commercials have gone from giving you information about a product, to mini sitcoms that get you to buy with comedy instead of facts! We’ve gotten to the point where people can be “famous for being famous”, and paid tens of thousands of dollars just to show up at an event! What’s really bad is that we have people who are struggling to get out of debt, now paying the salary of these entertainers!
The most respected and influential people in this nation are entertainers, and that’s who we tell our children to look up to as role models!
Why is this the case?
Obviously, this couldn’t happen unless our dollars chased these things! If the various sports leagues, record companies, movie studios, and cable companies didn’t earn billions of dollars from the public (and advertisers), then this wouldn’t be possible.
Also, the fact that we buy everything in sight because of a funny commercial, and a general lack of self-control, allows companies to pay billions in advertising to further perpetuate this problem.
Like I said, I have no problem with someone creating demand for a product (whether it be entertainment or a helpful service), and then profiting from that demand.
My problem is with that demand! We crave entertainment so much, that it pushes people to make unwise financial decisions that they pay for many years after!
Now, I’m not against entertainment, or the need to relax once in a while; but that’s become our goal in life. We (in a general sense) have become allergic to hard work! Maybe that’s why we are so enamored with entertainers and reality show “stars” – we see them making tons of money but seemingly not working hard for it!
An absence of hard work?
In the past, the American dream has been achieved by hard work and ingenuity, and if someone wasn’t willing to work hard, they were (usually) satisfied with “just getting by”. But now we want both! We desire a life filled with fun, entertainment and ease, and we envision a life of wealth and luxury, where we can obtain anything that we want no matter the cost!
Between frivolous entertainment, and massive consumerism in general, we have become extremely short-sighted in regards to our finances. If we want something and can’t afford it, we won’t work harder, we’ll just borrow from someone else. Then we get upset when we don’t pay them back and they want to take our stuff (or they call us after 7pm), and we ask the government to step in and give us a bailout, or at least make the creditor play nice.
We are now at a point where the price of most things is quoted in terms of monthly payments, instead of the true price! We are so comfortable with borrowing and living above our means that we can’t envision our lives without debt.
So far we’ve seen that many Americans…
- Are not inclined to work hard
- Desire wealth as if it’s the source of happiness
- Want all the luxuries that hard work allows us to afford – without the effort
- And want the government to save them from their own mistakes
On top of all of that, once these mistakes are made, we are not wise enough to learn from them and make intelligent decisions!
Think about the sad fact that a cable bill is the last thing that people will neglect when their life is falling apart. They will let their car, house, debt, and even insurance payments lapse before cutting off cable! How insane is that?!?!
I have known people to have a huge cellphone bill due to having a smart-phone and data plan (usually unnecessary), and a huge cable bill, but are behind on rent/mortgage payments, ducking phone calls from creditors, and hiding their car from the repo man!
It’s one thing to fall into this trap and make these bad decisions, but it’s something totally different to keep repeating them!
Thank you for indulging me for the last few minutes! I’d like to hear your thoughts:
- Why do you think there is such a focus on entertainment?
- Do you think that a good number of Americans hate hard work?
- Do you mind that entertainers and people who play games make more in a week than a teacher will make in 10 years?
- Why is it that when people ruin their finances chasing after luxuries (or even from not being prepared for life), they continue to make the same mistakes?
Photo by cliff1066™