My Two Cents: Rich celebrities don't need free stuff

I’m not one to bash the rich, mostly because that makes it less likely they’ll give me money. No, actually you won’t hear me criticizing people just because they are wealthy or harping that the financially blessed don’t pay their fair share of taxes.

Having said that, is it really necessary to give the affluent – specifically movie, television and music celebrities – all kinds of free stuff? I’m referring to the bag o’ goodies stars receive free of charge at awards shows.

For example, at this year’s Academy Awards, presenters and performers were given a gift bag filled with $20,000 worth of merchandise, including:

– a $1,500 private dinner party for two at any Morton’s steakhouse worldwide;

– a pair of Beamer Video phones valued at $499; and

– a four-night stay at Rosewood’s Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, a luxury hotel in St. Moritz, Switzerland, worth $1,500.

As if that wasn’t enough, some celebrities got “unofficial” Oscar bags filled with up to $40,000 worth of stuff!

This practice, of course, is a good way for the companies involved to advertise so as to spark mass appeal among consumers.

Still, it’s a perverse paradox that some of the most moneyed people in our society are showered with free products and services in the hopes of getting your average Joe and Jane to shell out their hard-earned dollars for those same products and services.

It’s obvious that celebrities like freebies as much as the rest of us. Perhaps I’m just being petty, but it rubs me the wrong way that pretty boy actor Brad Pitt, who already makes millions and lives in a big house with his hot wife, actress Jennifer Aniston, gets a bag filled with stuff that’s worth way more than my car because he shows up at an awards show.

(Emphatically proving that life is not fair, earlier this month in Atlantic City, N.J., Guadalupe Lopez won a $2.4 million jackpot on a $3 bet. She, of course, has not been suffering as of late, being the mother of stinking filthy rich singer/actress/maneater Jennifer Lopez.)

Maybe it’s just me, but what’s the point of being rich if you get everything for free? I, of course, wouldn’t know, but Oscar officials can rectify that situation by sending me a free gift bag.

“My Two Cents” is a weekly column where the author – who doesn’t really have anything against Brad Pitt, but just used him as an example – gets in his two cents worth, in spite of the old saying that you only get a penny for your thoughts.