From Haircuts to Diplomacy
I loved the recent headline in the Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch. It reads: “Francois Hollande’s $11,000 could buy Warren Buffett 611 haircuts.”
Until the Nice attacks, France’s press and citizens had been having a field day skewering French President Francois Hollande for spending € 9,895 ($13,500) on haircuts. And a French government spokeswoman “confirmed the stylist’s salary to Bloomberg,” asserting that “Hollande isn’t ‘just anybody.’ ”
Problem is that this is not the stylist’s annual salary. No sir! This is the stylist’s monthly salary, a salary equal to a French legislator’s parsimonious monthly pittance. Apologists for Monsieur Le Président assert that the poor hairdresser “is committed to secrecy and needs to be available 24/7. … He missed the birth of his children.” (France 24)
The scandal has been termed CoiffeurGate. And there is no shortage of vanity among the powerful, for after all, with power comes not only vanity, but also narcissism, entitlement, egotism, hubris, and self-absorption of the worst kind.
Halaby, Raouf J. Professor Emeritus, "From Haircuts to Diplomacy" (2016). Articles. 106.