Money and Outrage



 “Peter can no longer say, ‘Silver and gold have I none.'” Dominic turned and looked straight at the Pope, and said, “No, and neither can he any longer say, ‘Rise and walk.'”

Supposed comment by Saint Dominic during a tour of the papal treasury conducted by Pope Innocent III.


Michael Voris, who I personally have little use for, has touched off a hurricane in the Catholic blogosphere by revealing the large salaries purportedly received by some of the biggest secular names in Catholic apologetics.  Go here to Catholic Family News to read all about it.

My reaction?

1.  Voris better have been telling the truth that he is earning 40k a year because his finances are now going to be under a microscope.

2.  I am shocked at the size of the purported salaries.  The main sources of these salaries are often donations from people of very limited means and it rubs me the wrong way to see people making a very good living off what is very frequently a poor widow’s mite.

3.  I am always suspicious of secular people who are engaged in apologetics and who make their living from this work.  That smacks to me of being a professional Catholic rather than a Catholic simply writing or speaking in defense of the Church and neither seeking nor expecting monetary gain.

4.  My salary at The American Catholic since it was founded in 2008 has been $0.00.  I have not earned  a cent from my blogging. Continue Reading


Celebrity Pay

People often demand to know why it is that we as a society consent to pay movie stars and professional athletes such obscene sums of money, while teachers and other people clearly providing greater benefit to society are paid so very little.

There are a great many economic and social explanations one can go into, but one basic point that probably bears pointing out is that society does not in fact spend more on Hollywood or on professional sports than it does on teachers. Nationally, the US spends an average of $10,000 per year on each student in public schools, and average college tuition (blending public and private) is roughly the same. Thus, a person with a four year college degree has had roughly $170,000 spent on his education — almost certainly more money than he will spend over his lifetime on movies or watching sports.

The reason why teachers make so much less than movie stars or professional athletes is that the total amount of money collected by these entertainment celebrities is spread over a much smaller number of people. There are under 500 players in the NBA, around 1700 in the NFL. The number of actors who make truly large amounts of money (especially when averaged over a career which often has long dry periods) is at most a couple thousand. By comparison, there are over six million teachers and three hundred thousand college and university professors.

Entertainers make so much money because modern means of communication allow large numbers of people to enjoy the performances of a comparatively small number of people.