Patrick Ryan is a a junior at HCHS; he is a frequent reader of the now Professor. Feel free to leave a comment addressing his well articulated point of view.
Though it may be hard to believe, I was actually taking time out of my busy schedule the other day to sit back and watch an episode of Real Time with Bill Maher. I typically don’t waste time on such rubbish, but a guest appearance by Roseanne Barr really caught my attention. I have always been entertained by her stupid political commentary and frequent bull-headed remarks so I was thinking that this episode would be quite funny. The topic for discussion was the current economic crisis that was gripping the world and what factors led up to this occurrence. Like any good liberal, she brought up big business owners who were making large paychecks when the economy was going well but weren’t paying “large enough” of a share of the taxes. There is nothing odd about that, it is a common liberal statement. Despite how common her statement was, it really made me beg the question of why Movie Stars in Hollywood are such fervent liberals when they easily make much more than most big business owners in corporate America. I did some searching to find the answers and my findings were amazing.
The American Movie Industry is an approximately $12,000,000,000 dollar-per-year domestic earner (meaning that this amount is a figure that does not include earnings that are made from exporting American films). Though this number may appear to be extremely large, you must take into account that the average spending budget per movie in 2008 was in excess of $35,000,000 dollars. Thus, each movie made in America today would have to earn in excess of that $35 million dollar budget in order to turn even the slightest profit. From this profit, the directors are typically given a large portion and the amount that was negotiated for the actors is typically increased depending on how profitable the movie turns out to be. With this in mind, the top earners in Hollywood in 2008 were Cameron Diaz, $51.5 million dollars; Mike Meyers and Eddie Murphy, $55 Million; $72 million dollars for Johnny Depp; and a whopping $80 Million Dollars for Hancock star Will Smith. Is it just me, or has Hollywood spending gotten out of control?
I am not going to play like I don’t enjoy their work, but come on; some of the 2008 movie profits are higher than the GDP of the countries of Comoros and the Solomon Islands. Actors always try to play the moral high ground on issues like charity, but all the while, they are living lives of opulence and greed. Why should they make so much money because they are attractive and can memorize lines. Anyone paid that amount of money could probably do the same. Why take extra tax money from people who are actually creating jobs for others while Hollywood actors are spoiling themselves by filling the time of bored Americans. I may sound a little socialistic in this regard, but if it were up to me, I think that the maximum movie budget should be set at that $35,000,000 benchmark with a $20,000,000 dollar profit threshold. The maximum amount of money that an actor can earn should also be regulated to $300,000 dollars per movie. I am sure that some actors would not look too favorably on that, but it is still fun to think about. If it were to happen the way I envision it, the government can take all profit over $55,000,000 dollars and lower the tax burden on the people who actually create jobs; the large and small business owners of America.