Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I have the secret for you to earn anywhere between $25 million and $250 Million in a single year.

It is so simple, you will wonder how you didn't think of it yourself.

Lean in closer.


Are you ready?

Be one of the 400 most successful people in the world, in your chosen profession.

That's it! Easy, right?

Sarcasm aside, you may not have noticed, but we are currently enduring an "armchair analyst" explosion. "Armchair analysts" are people who have no idea what a particular job entails, yet feel qualified to assume that the protagonists are overpaid for doing it.

By way of illustration, professional basketballers in the USA, millionaires themselves, are in the midst of a major industrial dispute with the billionaire owners of their professional teams. They are fighting over the future rules for the player's employment contracts and salaries. In response, sports bloggers decry that these basketballers should accept a bad labour deal from their team owners because, relative to a parking attendant making $30,000 a year, it is obscene for them to be haggling over millions. By comparison, the highest paid player, Kobe Bryant makes $25 Million a year.


In Hollywood, every year, Forbes publishes a list of the highest paid film actors and film directors, ensuring an annual wave of indignation at the millions of dollars these "entertainers" make. Leonardo Dicaprio reportedly made $77 Million in 2010. James Cameron, meanwhile, made $250 Million in 2010 on the success of Avatar, which by that point had grossed $2 Billion at the worldwide box office.

Compare that to the teenager ripping ticket stubs at the local cinema for $7.25 an hour (minimum wage), is the logic these "analysts" use.

But are we really comparing apples with apples here?

Approximately 2700 people attended the Oscars in 2010. Enough to fill one auditorium.

There are approximately 450 professional basketballers in the professional American league (the NBA). Enough to fill one large hall.

In 2010, there were 6.8 Billion people in the world.

Even if you pro-rata it for the guesstimated number of people that are actually in the film or professional basketball industries, worldwide, you are still talking about athletes or film professionals in the top 0.001% to 0.1% of their field, respectively.

I'm not saying that people who do everyday jobs, not earning millions, don't deserve respect.

But comparing the people who work hard for years to become the top 0.1% of the world in their chosen profession - performing feats that the vast majority are incapable of - is lazy thinking at best, and insulting at worst.

But if you think I'm wrong, just pick up a basketball and play.

It's that easy, right?

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