Donald Trump, Mouton Rothschild 2006 and other subjects
Donald Trump has successfully sued a woman $5 million for saying nasty things about him, or rather about a beauty pageant that he organized. I don’t think Donald Trump’s reputation, nor the good name of beauty pageants, is worth $5 million. In my mind neither has much honor. I don’t understand how a judge could award such a ridiculous amount. It’s not as if Trump needs the money, nor is held in high regard by most people. To me this action by Trump just confirms him as a dishonorable person.
While on the subject of money and what things are worth, an interesting thing happened to me two evenings ago. A dear friend and his wife came to dinner. He had recently celebrated his 80th birthday. A friend of his, whom he had known forty years ago, when they were both teachers, had sent him a birthday gift. This friend of his had become very wealthy. The gift was a bottle of wine. My friend brought the bottle to our place and told us it was a special bottle. He didn’t tell us the price of this bottle of wine. It tasted very nice but to our minds it was nothing special. After dinner we looked up the price of this Mouton Rothschild 2006 Pauillac wine. The price tag was $1200 per bottle. To me it tasted marginally better then my normal wine, which I pay $15-$20 a bottle for.
What are things really worth? What is Donald Trump’s reputation worth? What is a nice bottle of wine worth? What, for that matter, is learning a language worth? I guess it is all in the eye of the beholder. I’ll take learning a language over an expensive bottle of wine or Donald Trump’s reputation anytime.
While on the subject of language learning and what things cost, here is another example of strange values. The Canadian government spent $16 million to put up a website called the Canadian language portal. Mind-boggling, and they are probably continuing to spend lots on this silly project.. But then the Canadian government spends hundreds of millions of dollars a year on English language training for immigrants. This ESL training is largely irrelevant to the language success of immigrants. Those immigrants who want to learn do so mostly on their own. Those immigrants who rely on government funded ESL schools tend not to improve their language skills very much, according to this recent study.