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The Campus

The student news site of Allegheny College

The Campus

The student news site of Allegheny College

The Campus

The price of affluence

Isn’t it crazy- no, strangely optimistic- no, pathetic- no, disappointing- no, confusing- no, sad- that we have baseball players making $2,000 a pitch, basketball players making $15,000 a quarter, football players making $100,000 a game yet we still can’t build enough satisfactory homes for the hurricane victims in New Orleans, we can’t pull this country out of a huge defecit, and we cannot feed the hungry in our country and in others?

It is not just the athletes either. There are singers and performers making millions of dollars a show.

Some “rep” their home, singing about how tough life was on the farm or in the city but they wear $5,000 necklaces while they do it.


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They have multiple homes, multiple cars, and multiple mistresses. Who are they? What are they worth?

To me, they are nothing.

When I hear one of the many multi-million dollar singers performing the national anthem I am infuriated. This person is singing a song about unity, about Americans helping Americans, about standing together to fight for what is right, but he or she has five cars and multiple mansions that emit more than their fair share of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

They sit there with tons of potential good in their wallets, and yet they often do nothing with it. They may inspire us with their voices and their lyrics, but they are hypocrites when they sing our National Anthem. Yes, some may start organizations and what not. This is great, but in a time of massive poverty, hunger and danger, don’t you think we should demand a little more from our financial leaders?

I don’t need to try to convince the players, the “playas” and the CEOs to do something about all this. This isn’t about them. We make them. They are part of our market and we choose them. If we don’t buy tickets to the show or game, they don’t get a fat check. If we don’t buy their merchandise or their entertainment, they don’t get that new house they want.

We control them. They are in our hands. They are nothing but puppets on a string to us. We do what we want; we just have to realize it. And right now we don’t.

We idolize these people. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery. Everyone strives for the big cars and houses and the fame. We watch “Celebrity Rehab” on TV and see how messed up these people are, but still think we want to be like them. I don’t know about you, but if I ever find myself washed up, selling my dignity in order to be filmed while I am in rehab for my drug or sex addiction with millions of dollars to my name, please someone slap me, hard- really hard.

If we realize it, this “power to the people” propaganda isn’t all a bunch of junk. We control what companies do and what people do. We can boycott, demand and persuade. They are tied to us. We are not tied to them. Keep this idea in your heads over the summer.

Let us not be blind, let us please not be ignorant. Let us realize our power and use it wisely. Don’t forget during our time off, that there is a lot going on in the world around us. Please just look. That’s the key. I know that we are good enough to not turn away once we do. Once we see, then let us do something with this power we have. I am not trying to preach a load of garbage about peace and love to anyone. This is cold reality.

Who is more powerful than a person with a lot of money? The person who writes them the check. We write the checks here, so let’s start giving them to the right people and do something with these dollars. After all, money may not make the world go round, but it can do a whole lot while we are on the trip.

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