Go West this summer and get ahead.

Do GSU’s top professors deserve their pay?

Is a $1,000,000 a year too much?

Last year I met Occupy Atlanta protestors who said so. Yet some brandished t-shirts with famous musicians or pro sports teams. While viciously condemning faceless millionaires who orchestrate the seamless delivery of every materialistic goodie and service they cherish, they shamelessly celebrated wealthier singers and athletes who could care less about how much their groveling fans pay to see them.

How evil can these CEOs actually be in comparison to pop culture icons? Does Lebron James share half his wealth with the 99%-ers who put him where he is? Does Bradley Cooper take a pay cut when a film flops to protect the livelihood of potential out-of-work “gaffers” or “best boys?” Do Nicki Minaj’s roadies even have a health plan?

URGE Abortion

After interviewing Occupy participants for 2 hours, it struck me that within varied misunderstanding existed a common, faulty grasp of basic economic realities. Simple realities. A free market remains the most efficient system for equitable (not equal) distribution of goods and services. Government intrusion has created a mixed system, a tainted free market. Income is largely determined by what the (tainted) market will bear.

So, take it easy on the greedy corporate leaders bringing you the HD flat screen on which you’ll watch Beyonce and Brady sing and play on the Sabbath for ten times the money earned by their corporate counterparts.  Easy on CEOs getting bonuses in bad years from whom you might have purchased soap for the night you paid $12 to be the sole theatergoer for Will Smith’s “After Earth.” Will still made his millions – the film did not.

Logically the tainted market continues to bear Professor Viswanathan Kumar’s $1,000,000 yearly take from Georgia State.  It also bears the almost 50 other faculty who top the quarter million mark, which seems to be the Occupy movement’s threshold for undeserved rewards. Though rock star professors may be seduced by pecuniary enticements just like real rock stars, should the university be shelling them out in the midst of a tuition hike on a student body who may be suffering more economically than any other in recent memory?

Drastic 20% cuts in these high earners’ university earnings would mean roughly $100 extra in each of our pockets. Take 10% from those making less but over $100,000, we would have another $160. And so and so on. Lest this sound like socialism, recall that we consumers pay the company employee salaries.

But there’s a twist. The “company” is part of government, whose taxes help pay institutional expenses.  Government grants and loans help pay tuition. A “free” market determines neither tuition nor professor salaries. At best, an extremely tainted market does. And yet, this public institution competes with private Emory, Oglethorpe and Duke for the same faculty and students. What a pickle!

Wake Forest University

In fairness, not all Occupy’s occupants supported millionaire performers or watched Superbowls. Neither will I. Matt Ryan only earned his millions until a couple of weeks ago.  And I’m a Falcons fan.

2 Comments

  1. Have you had Kumar for a class? I hold 2 undergrad degrees from two colleges at GSU. 3 majors across them. I am finishing my grad degree. With that understanding, I can tell you that Kumar brings value. Further his research drives the University ranking. This translates to enhanced value for your degree. It gives you a competitive advantage over an institution like Clayton State.

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