New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 28, 1985, New Braunfels, Texas
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THE WHITE HOUSE
I James Kilpatrick
Dave Kraacr, General Manager Hobart Johnson, EditorHow much is anyone really worth?
Philosophers teach us that for many of the most abiding questions of mankind no definitive answers exist. What is truth? What is justice? What is beauty? Lately we have been hearing a great deal about "worth.” What is “worth”?
People magazine recently reported the 1984 incomes of 57 celebrities. In Atlanta, the Constitution rounded up the salaries of the city’s professional athletes. In Washington, the Fist published the reflections of a physician who inquired, "Do doctors deserve what they earn?”
Consider a few figures. People magazine reported that Clint Eastwood earned $5 million for his role in "City Heat.” Sally Field go $1.5 million for playing in "Places in the Heart.” Tom Selleck is paid $220,000 for each episode of "Magnum, P.I.” or $4.8 million for the season. Geraldine Ferraro
has received a $1 million advance to write an autobiography; she was paid a half a million for a 30-second Pepsi-Cola commercial.
Gavin MacLeod, captain of the Love Boat, sails along at nearly $1.4 million a year. Bill Cosby earns $1.1 million for his show. Other TV salaries: Brent Musburger, $2 million; Bryant Bumbel, “more than $1 million,” and Diane Sawyer, $800,000. Alex, the dog that does commercials for Stroh’s beer, takes home $317 a day.
Down in Atlanta, home of the Braves, outfielder Dale Murphy tops the club payroll at $1.6 million. Third baseman Bob Horner scoops up $1.5 million. Pitcher Bruce Sutter threw for $1,125,000 last season. On the gridiron, the Falcons’ running back William Andrews runs for $655,000. On the basketball court, the Hawks’ center Tree Rollins dribbles along at $678,000.
The Washington doctor, a woman internist, provided some figures from the American Medical Association. In 1983, on the average, a practicing physician earned $106,000. A few specialists, chiefly surgeons, earned in excess of $250,000. The typical pediatrician takes in $61,500 after expenses. A family doctor might charge $35 for half an hour of consultation.
The doctrine of comparable worth is a hot topic here and in the state capitals. If roughly the same levels of education and stamina are required for < I) driving a truck and (2) running a laundry machine, are not the jobs of comparable worth? Shouldn’t the wages therefore be roughly the same? What is the job of a trash collector worth? Are quarterbacks, rock stars, doctors and truck drivers "worth’’ what they earn?
Pubilius Syrus, who spent much of his life
writing maxims, provided the best of all answers 2,000 years ago. "Everything,” said this philosopher in his Maxim 847, "is worth what its purchaser will pay for it.”
Precisely. I have a friend, Dr. Lois DeBakey of Houston, who rumbles and growls incessantly at the injustice of an economic system that pays a rock star more than it pays a neurosurgeon. The rock star may not be able to write a coherent sentence; he may be a high school dropout; his social responsibility is zero. His take, after expenses, is $2 million a year. Is he worth it?
Obviously the rock star is worth it. The free market says so. There is only one Michael Jackson, and thanks to a benign God, only one person called Prince, but evidently there are enough neurosurgeons to meet the demand. Geraldine Ferraro would not be getting that advance if her publisher
didn’t expect to make it back. As custom in the marketplace yeilds to laws against sexual discrimination, more women are driving trucks, and more men are becoming flight attendants.
Dr. DeBakey insists that something is all wrong — something is woefully false — in the way society fixes its values. Ray Marshall, who served as Jimmy Carter’s secretary of labor, says that theories of the marketplace bread down when it comes to comparable worth: Adam Smith’s “invisible hand,” he remarks, gets to be all thumbs. But the alternative in a free society is not to have a free society. The alternative is to have government fix wages, so that one neurosurgeon is officially worth four nose tackles. Maybe such decrees would work in a totalitarian state. They would never work
Networks act out media drama
By DONALD M ROTHBERG AP Political Writer
WASHINGTON — The most exciting television drama these days is a story of corporate intrigue and big money, involving the power struggles of a large cast of flamboyant characters.
Don’t look for it in the regular program listings, though. This show is real, played out in die media, as conservatives complain about a “liberal bias” in television news and talk of taking control of a network.
John T. Dolan, chairman of the National Conservative Political Action Committee, recently used NBC videotape to offer the New Right’s view of how a profile of new Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev should be handled by the networks. The network ran its own version followed by Dolan’s, and there was no doubt the New Right would have handled that story far differently than NBC.
Dolan’s segment on the “Today” show was
something of a cameo appearance compared to the lead roles being played recently in the network drama by Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., and Ted Turner, the owner of Cable News Network. While Dolan was displaying how he’d play the news if he ran a network, Helms and Turner are talking about taking control of one.
Talking about forming an alliance with Helms and EIM is Turner, who is hungry to gain control of one of the three major networks. The Atlanta-based entrepreneur says he is looking around for the $4 billion it would take to get control of CBS.
Is CBS worried? Network board chairman Thomas H. Wyman says there is “no financial substance” to reports Turner might launch a hostile takeover bid, his way of saying Turner couldn’t raise the kind of money needed.
However, CBS has gone to court and alleged that Fairness in Media has violated federal securities laws and engaged in improper political activity.
Is NBC worried? Dolan’s appearance on
“Today” bas "nothing to do with the conservative onslaught on the media," said Steve Friedman, the show’s executive producer, "nothing to do with any complaints We’re just trying to do some different television."
The NBC profile of Gorbachev was based primarily on the Soviet leader’s recent visit to England and quoted several members of Parliament describing him as sensitive, self-confident and talking “very much like a westerner ... a Western intellectual.” "Humorless” was the most critical adjective used to describe the Soviet leader.
The Dolan profile described Gorbachev as "the new Soviet dictator”
Is ABC worried? If the network was, it isn’t any more. Against the backdrop of media criticism and rumors that more people than Helms and Turner were interested in network takeovers came the surprise announcement that ABC had been acquired by Capital Cities Communications Corp. for $3.5 billion.
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Gov. Mark White Governor's Office Room 200 State Capitol Austin, Texas 78701
Sen. John Traeger Texas Senate Capitol Station Austin, Texas, 78711
Sen. Lloyd Bentsen United States Senate Room 240 Russell Bldg Washington, D C. 20510
Sen. Phil Gramm United States Senate Washington D C., 20510
Rep. Edmund Kuempel Texas House of Representatives P.O. Box 2910 Austin, Texas 78769
Rep. Tom Loeffler U S. House of Representatives 1212 Longworth House Office Bldg Washington, D.C. 20515
Rep. Mac Sweeney (Guadalupe County) U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D C., 20515
Garbled stories get correction
Were you a little confused trying to follow the breaks in two (rf the City Council profiles Wednesday?
If you weren’t, you should have been. I certainly was.
What happened was maddening, but simple. Some lines on two of the profiles — Ed Sciantarelli’s and Darrell Sollberger’s — were transposed where the story breaks on Page I and jumps to Page 14.
As a result, you’re reading Sollberger’s views and suddenly you come across a paragraph that says, “Sciantarelli said...."
Over on Sciantarelli’s side, the last paragraph before the break reads like random words thrown together.
Fortunately, both stories lose this “Alice in Wonderland” effect by the time you get to Page 14.
We’re sorry about the error, Darrell and Ed. Rest assured this wasn’t an implied endorsement of Yale Simpson, whose profile made a clean jump to Page 14.
To rectify matters, here are the garbled, transposed and generally abused portions of Wednesday’s profiles as they should have read:Darrell Sollberger
("It was most surprising to
someone with my background” not to see that information on a budget summary, he said.)
“I was looking at the financial situation and there will be a tax increase to handle operating expenses,” he said. “And if we need a tax increase to handle the bond issue, there will be a combination increase to handle the same level of service."Ed Sciantarelli
(“To offset some of our problems, we have to address the issues on the whole,” he said. “The number one beneficial thing is a sound economy.")
And developing a sound economy can be done “by bringing in quality industry, non-polluting industry that provides a large number of good-paying jobs."
Sciantarelli said he has talked to people who are concerned abut the approaching city bond issue, especially elderly persons on fixed incomes. “The people are just getting used to the increase in their school taxes and (are facing) the threat of another bond issue," he said.