Economics Week 30 Actors and Businessmen

Prompt: “Why do voters accept the riches of movie stars, but resent the riches of businessmen?

There’s different reasons for this, different people hold different opinions. But generally I’d say there’s one big reason. That is the emotion, and the sacred feeling of art and creation. Art in all forms, film included, is often a mirror of someones soul or thought process. It is the creation of something unique, something that can affect people emotionally. Film can inspire people, and often does. In a well made movie the actors behave as a conduit of this inspiration. They are the faces you link to the emotion of the character. If they act well they are the ones bringing the emotional impact into the film.

Business is often very different. Generally the person creating and manufacturing a product is not the face of the business. Even if they are there isn’t the emotional link to the product. It is a physical product or service they are selling, not an emotional one. When somebody buys a television they are not having the same emotional journey that they will have watching a passionate film on the television. The person making the TV may be passionate about making it, but we don’t get to watch their process the same way we watch a characters development in a film.

So it feels more cold, less personal. We have less opportunities to put ourselves in the shoes of the businessman. We have less emotional interaction, and thus there’s less relatability. If a business owner released a documentary about the years of work, the trial and error, the passion and the ambition they had to maintain in order to produce something we would be able to relate more. But when we think of businessmen hidden away in metal skyscrapers it feels much less emotionally deep. So we collectively have less resentment for rich movie stars because they make us feel, while business men make us things.

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