Thursday, January 10, 2008


Alexander Ovechkin just signed a multi-year deal that has been rumoured to earn him $124 million dollars over 13 years. That's the first six years at $9 mil and then next seven years at $10 mil.

Okay, so I love hockey and all, but, are you serious?!

$10 million?! What does one do with 10 million dollars a year?!

Sure, about half of that gets eaten up in taxes (if you're in Canada), and you've got to pay for a house and utilities you barely use... But all your travel and accommodations are paid by the team. You even get meal vouchers and/or a daily stipend.

Sure, it's nice to party once in a while when you're not at work, and as a "celebrity" you need good looking (read expensive) clothes.

Still, $10 million dollars is a whole lot of cash! But somehow, for some reason, I don't think he's gonna donate, say, 1 year's salary to charity. Not in a chunk, that's for sure. And chances are, even if he does make donations, they won't total up to 10% of his total gross salary. As in $12.4 million.

I don't mean to rag on Alexander Ovechkin. There are other superstars out there being locked up for longterm multi(gazillion) million dollar deals and entertainers racking up millions for one project. This is just the latest case in a series of (un)fortunate events.

Lets just take a second to put things into perspective.

* Half the world - nearly 3 billion people - live on less than $2 a day.

* Every year 15 million children die of hunger.

* Every day, about 25,000 people die from hunger, most of them children

* Every 3.6 seconds someone dies of hunger, but...

* It is estimated that some 800 million people in the world suffer from hunger and malnutrition, about 100 times as many as those who actually die from it each year.

Closer to home,

* One out of every eight children under the age of twelve in the U.S. goes to bed hungry every night.


Now consider this...

* The combined wealth of the world’s 200 richest people hit $1 trillion in 1999; the combined incomes of the 582 million people living in the 43 least developed countries is $146 billion.

That's insane. What's more insane is this:

* The cost of ending world hunger completely is about $195 billion a year.

And there are more shocking statistics available online about how a little bit of money can change a lot. And check this out!

We can raise the $195 billion if, for every $100 made in Canada, the country donates 30 cents. In the US, that's 17 cents.

That's not too hard to do, yet we prefer to pay exorbitant amounts of money to watch 40 grown men take to the ice. (And yes, I do this too...)


Oh, and just fyi...

During the 2 minutes it took to read this post, 33 people died of extreme poverty.

I'm all for hockey players getting million dollar contracts. It's a tough life, I get it. Maybe you can't donate your whole paycheck... taxes eat up most of it anyway. Still, I don't think it's right to pay someone $10 million a year to lace up skates where there's so much more we could be doing with the money.

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