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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • KEVIN WILSON: The pay / worth inconsistency

  • It may come as a surprise to some of you but I do pay attention to news outlets besides Fox News. And, I do know the difference between news and commentary. I have to admit that sometimes the lines get a little blurry but I’m usually astute enough to distinguish between what is fact and what is opinion.
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  • It may come as a surprise to some of you but I do pay attention to news outlets besides Fox News. And, I do know the difference between news and commentary.  I have to admit that sometimes the lines get a little blurry but I’m usually astute enough to distinguish between what is fact and what is opinion.
    Unfortunately, a lot of so-called “journalists” like to take the facts and “spin” them just a little bit to the point that instead of just the facts you also get the “journalists” bias in the story as well. You notice I put quotation marks around the word journalist. I did that because when you let your own bias creep into what should be facts then you are really not being true to the title.
    What a lot of people don’t know about me is that I originally wanted to go to journalism school and that’s one of the reasons I chose to go to the University of Missouri. They have one of the very best J schools in the world so why wouldn’t you go to the best if you have the chance to do so.
    Uncle Sam actually changed my mind with regards to my college major. I was on an Air Force scholarship and they didn’t think that the Air Force needed any more journalists at the time so they gave me a list of subjects in which I could major. Looking back, that was a good thing but I didn’t think so at the time.  
    But, given my interest in the field, I do know a little about being a responsible journalist. And, as such I know that facts belong on the news page and opinions belong on the editorial page. The sad thing is that way too many of today’s journalists think that they should be part of making the news and not just reporting the news. And, way too many average citizens can’t tell the difference.
    Like I wrote at the beginning of my soapbox speech, I do read and listen to news besides that on Fox. And, one of my favorite commentators is Robert Reich. I know I have written about him before so you may remember that the reason I like him so much is that he is so biased and so liberal and so wrong (in my opinion) on just about every subject that he writes about. He has been my inspiration for many columns so that’s why I like him so much – he makes my job easier.
    I have several friends and colleagues that I disagree with on a lot of topics. But, at the same time I can respect them because I know their motives are pure and their beliefs are sincere. I may think they are completely wrong but they probably think the same about me. And, a lot of times the true right answer is probably somewhere in the middle (although it might be more to one side or the other but still in the middle).
    Page 2 of 2 - In the case of Mr. Reich, I don’t question his integrity nor do I question the sincerity of his beliefs. But, a few days ago I ran across a news story that pointed out some, shall we say, inconsistencies in the philosophy that he espouses. Let me explain.
    The article that I read talked about one of his recent blogs where he “lamented that there is little or no relationship between what someone is paid and their actual worth to society.” I read Mr. Reich’s columns on a regular basis and he is well known to “rail” upon corporate greed and the need to redistribute wealth downward to those less fortunate in our country.
    Here is where the inconsistency comes into play. According to more than one article, Mr. Reich will receive an annual salary of $242,613 to teach one class this fall at the University of California-Berkeley. You read correctly – a quarter of a million dollars to teach one class. I live with a schoolteacher and have two more in the family and all their salaries put together don’t equal that and, I’m pretty sure that they will work a whole lot harder than he will for that salary.
    In one of his articles he writes that “paid-what-you’re-worth” is a dangerous myth. He then goes on to criticize the huge salaries that CEOs receive in this country while the average worker is underpaid for their efforts.   
    He may have a point that there is a huge inequality in salaries that people get paid in this country. But, somehow the message gets lost when he derides the very system that pays him a quarter of a million dollars to teach one class. I would really be interested in hearing his thoughts on this but somehow I don’t think it will be a topic of any of his columns in the near future.
    Kevin Wilson writes a weekly column for the Daily News.

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