In its November 6 issue, Time Magazine, not only had an interesting cover and story on George Bush dubbing him the Lone Ranger, but it also ran an even more interesting story “Home Truth” about America; its politics, religion, income, population and population distribution and of course immigration, the subject of local election in the town of Herndon, Virginia, out to get those “illegal and dangerous immigrants”.
What struck me most about Time’s article was a little chart, a column of people, profession and income. It listed names and professions and the amount of money it takes to make $1,000. This is how it goes; Howard Stern, the radio host makes $1,000 in 42 seconds while a policemen and a teacher make the same amount of money in 43 hours. A janitor, no doubt an immigrant and possibly cleaning Howard Stern’ office makes that the same amount in 103 hours or 2.57 weeks and is at risk of being thrown out of country.
Of course all of us have heard of Howard Stern or even at one time or another watched his show late at night. But for someone to make that kind of money, $1,000, in 42 seconds is simply a telling a bout America and its core priorities. It takes Dr. Phil McGraw 2 minutes and 42 seconds to make a $1,000 and it takes an average doctor attending patients in a hospital or clinics 13 hours and 5 minutes to make the same amount of money that Dr. Phil makes telling people what they want to hear.
Howard Stern is the host of the Howard Stern Show on the subscription fee based Sirius Satellite Radio. He moved there on January 9, 2006 and his show is broadcast 4 times/week one week and 5 times/week another week.
Mr. Stern knew how to “outrage” America and how to insult its core sensibilities and laugh all the way to the bank. His show is all about things “outrageous” outrageous racial and sexual slurs and insults, and of course “outrageous” in the kind of people who appear o the show. That is where Americans seems not bothered with such payments.
With that kind of income disparity, it seems clear that America and its people put premium on outrageous things and do not give much value or don’t give a damn about critical services such as teaching, police and fire protection and of course medical services. It is hard to believe that our own teachers, policemen and firemen, the key elements in providing protection and education to our own families, children and homes are not thought of much and in most cases live on borrowed money and credit cards to make ends meet. I do not understand why we, in a county like Fairfax, perhaps the richest county in the US do not pay teachers, policemen and firemen, the average medium income for the county. What is wrong with policemen or firemen who put their lives on the line every day to make $80,000 or $100,000? I see nothing wrong with that. However I do see a lot wrong with someone like Howard Stern making $1,000 every 42 seconds only because he insults our sensibilities. It seems we always reward such TV and radio personalities for being outrageous and we do not reward our policemen, firemen and teachers because they are courageous and provide us with critical services. That is one reason why I do not subscribe to Sirius Radio, as I do not wish to contribute any money toward an ever-increasing income of someone like Howard Stern, but will be very happy to add few hundred dollars to my taxes to reward our own policemen, firemen and teachers in Fairfax County and across America. It is time to vote our dollars and recognition to those who deserve it and not to those who insult us.