While trolling (and I do mean trolling) through the Web site for the upcoming National Conservative Student Conference, I stumbled across this fascinating speaker's fee page at Young America's Foundation, which lists the $$$ requested by speakers big (Bill Bennett, Ann Coulter, Zell Miller[?], who demand $20,000-plus and, doubtless, a bowl of mono-color M&Ms) and small (YAF President Ron Robinson, YAF spokesman Jason Mattera, YAF Director of Campus Programs Patrick X. Coyle, who will show up for $0-$1,000 and bring their own food to boot).
Most curious to me: Former Attorney General John Ashcroft is listed as demanding $20,000–putting him the top category–while equally former (and clearly fatter) Attorney General Ed Meese only snags $3,000-$5,000, the same amount of green pulled down by former Rep. Bob Barr, B-52s' backup singer Phyllis Schlafly, and National Review "girly-boys" (to use La Coulter's own phrase) Jonah Goldberg and Rich Lowry.
Why is Meese selling at such a discount? Didn't he go out of his way to help rev up Reagan's War on Drugs and persecute (prosecute doesn't really get at it) good, upstanding citizens in the name of porn prohibition, among other sins? Or, perhaps more accurately, why is Ashcroft selling at such a premium, assuming anyone actually pays him that much? I mean, really, who other than Jean Carnahan would ever cough up that much to have him in the room?
Post theories of market failure below.