No other professional endeavor in this country returns so little in compensation in exchange for so much.
Neil Portnow: The Penny Paradox
Recording Academy

I and many working in the non-profit sector would respectfully disagree. We work hard to eradicate poverty, find cures for diseases and fight injustice, among many other important causes. The work we do reaps invaluable benefits for society at large and which extend to future generations. Yet many would tell us that we ought to work for free.

I’m all for fairly compensating artists (I’ve bought many albums over the years) but I find it difficult to sympathize with your views. It’s bad enough that some would rather not see those of us in the non-profit sector get paid for our work at all. Even worse, whenever we demand that we get paid a fair salary for the work we do, we would get vilified. “How dare they take resources away from the cause”, some would say. Somehow, we became the bad guys for choosing to commit our careers to solving the problems no one else wanted to work on. This is the real paradox.

I admire the work you’re doing in championing all musicians, especially up and coming artists. I agree that all musicians deserve to make a decent living. But please don’t go claiming that “no other professional endeavour returns so little compensation in exchange for so much”. Believe me, many others have it just as bad, some even worse. Though I’m sure it was not your intention, your statement just screams self-aggrandizement while minimizing the plight of so many in the non-profit sector, who unfortunately don’t have a platform as visible as The Grammys on which to advocate for their cause. Don’t get me wrong, I believe music is important but don’t be surprised if not everyone can get behind your lobbying efforts with so many other pressing issues that Congress must grapple with.

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