Monday, May 21, 2007

Two Americas

Edwards is right, there are two Americas--one that sees value in paying him a $55,000 speaking fee, and one that doesn't.

Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, who as a Democratic presidential candidate recently proposed an educational policy that urged "every financial barrier" be removed for American kids who want to go to college, has been going to college himself -- as a high paid speaker, his financial records show.

The candidate charged a whopping $55,000 to speak at to a crowd of 1,787 the taxpayer-funded University of California at Davis on Jan. 9, 2006 last year, Joe Martin, the public relations officer for the campus' Mondavi Center confirmed Monday.

That amount -- which comes to about $31 a person in the audience -- included Edwards' travel and airfare, and was the highest speaking fee in the nine appearances he made before colleges and universities last year, according to his financial records. (emphasis mine--Darren)

The earnings -- though made before Edwards was a declared Democratic presidential candidate -- could hand ammunition to his competition for the Democratic presidential nomination. The candidate -- who was then the head of the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at the University of North Carolina -- chose to speak on "Poverty, the great moral issue facing America," as his $55,000 topic at UC Davis.


Anonymous said...

Ain't capitalism grand!

Of course, we could institute an economic system that would preclude groups from paying speakers such fees. I mean, sometimes organizations need government to protect them from themselves, doncha think?

CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

Gee, one speaking engagement netted John more than I make in an entire year!

Anonymous said...

A-Rod makes more than your annual salary every time he grabs a bat. Bill Gates makes more every time he blinks.

Objections, capitalists?

Darren said...

No objection to the money they make. My only objection is to the hypocrisy of lecturing me about poverty in the course of making several times the poverty wage.

Jetgirl said...

Agreed, I have no problem with him making that much money. However, his actions should be considered along with his words.

Funny though, I didn't see capitalist anywhere on this site advocating for government interference with how much university speakers are paid. Anon seems to have come up with that all on his/her own.

Anonymous said...

No Jetgirl, no good capitalist should be complaining about speaker's fees. There is a modicum of hypocrisy on a blog that derides socialism AND complains about the fruits of capitalism. It's a bummer when "lefties" command big bucks, huh?

And don't worry, Darren. I'd wager that Edwards' wealth trickles down nicely to poverty organizations via donations and such. You like trickle-down economics; your hero was a big fan of it. So just think of Edwards as raising money for poverty.

rightwingprof said...

Both A-Rod and Gates provide a service or a product. Edwards has never done anything but fleece others out of their money, whether its lawsuits based on no evidence at all, or primping in front of the cameras and playing presidential candidate.

Let them pay him as much as they want. Every fool should be free to be separated from his money.

Darren said...

Anonymous, you're intentionally misreading--as I've been more than clear--so as to take a swipe at me. This isn't Daily Kos; you have to do better than that here. You actually have to make sense here, and unfortunately you're not. What part of this don't you understand?

No objection to the money they make. My only objection is to the hypocrisy of lecturing me about poverty in the course of making several times the poverty wage.

I read today that Edwards is an investor in the company that found that treasure ship in the Atlantic last week. He'll make about 8 figures off that. How much of that will help the poor? If you believe in trickle-down so much, and I do, why do you want *my* taxes raised? Edwards' generosity and paid taxes should take care of the poor. And if the poor still don't have anywhere to live, maybe Edwards can give them a room in his house, which happens to be the largest house in the county.