In our society, fame and fortune can bring one opportunities not easily available to others. There's the famous artist who, supposedly, can sell a canvases for a fortune by just putting a dot on it.
Relatives of famous politicians will often get breaks on name recognition. For instance Hunter Biden's stipend for being on that board; something being talked about in a few circles these days.
One way to deal with these sort of inequities would be higher taxes on the elite. Many in the elite even want this because they see it as a price to pay for civil society. Billionaire Warren Buffett is noted for advocating some tax increases that would apply to himself. He's said that it doesn't make sense for his secretary to pay a higher percent of taxes on her wages than he does on his capital gains.
During my college years, the gay student organization would bring speakers to campus for symposiums. They would get stipends for coming to campus. I think usually around $50 plus travel, food and hotel expenses. This was back in the 1970's.
One year, they brought a famous former football player to speak. David Kopay. His stipend was $1,000. I remember thinking that was a lot of money. I was participating in some events that the gay organization was sponsoring, but I wasn't directly involved in the project to bring Kopay to campus.
Kopay had made a big name for himself in professional sports and later came out of the closet. This was a big news item at the time. It made for bigger headlines than the gay symposium normally got in the campus. A win for symposium organizers. WWU was pretty liberal toward LGBTQ people, back then, but bringing Kopay to campus was a real headliner.
Since then, I've looked up Kopay in Wiki and seen that he has had a long career of support for gay rights, which is commendable.
Seems like my college days were just yesterday, but this was over 40 years ago now.
During 1977, sculptures on campus were controversial. A foundation paid $55,000 for an iron sculpture called "India." When people questioned it's worth, I remember a quote from one professor, on the Art Acquisition Committee at the time, saying, "$55,000 is not a bad price for an Anthony Caro Sculpture." Caro, a famous artist.
I thought, "it's the name."
After that sculpture was installed, a few gorilla artists left welded assemblies in the grounds around the campus with signs saying, "I donate." The money for India came from something called the Virginia Wright Foundation which had donated several sculptures.
One morning, there was a big pile of old tires in the main square of campus with a sign attached saying "Pakistan." A few days later, maintenance removed the tires.
It doesn't snow that often in Bellingham, but the best picture, I have, of India was during a snow storm.
The biggest art, sculpture controversy was during the intallation of For Handel. Said to be the biggest controversy to hit campus since the Vietnam War. Now accepted as part of the landscape.
Back issues of Western Front Newspaper can be searched online for that controversy around 1976-77. It's a whole nother story in itself.
Post a Comment