Monday, September 24, 2012
If You Are a Fan of The NFL, NBA, or MLB Then You Are a Fan Of Socialism
These leagues have figured out that they can maximize the profitability of the entire league by implementing a system of equality that is very socialistic. They have identified which advantages are unfair and have developed ways to manage and contain those advantages in a way that promotes healthy and strong competition and fairness. I believe that the American people have already embraced democratic socialism via professional sports. If the same type of rules were applied to the corporations and the Government in this country we would be as enthusiastic, supportive, and pleased with our local economy and Government as we are with our local football, basketball, or baseball team.
How are the NFL, NBA, and MLB Socialist?
The Salary caps, luxury taxes, players unions, and extremely rare possibility of revolving door (owners becoming players and vice versa) problems make professional sports socialistic.
Salary caps are a limit on how much money a team can spend on player salaries. Salary caps are used to prevent wealthy team owners from being able to dominate the league by signing more top level players than their competitors. Limiting salaries also keeps overall costs down. This is extremely important to the leagues because keeping the economic power of each team close to equal brings greater economic benefits to the league as a whole and subsequently the individual teams in the league. What the leagues have realized is that there needs to be parity between the teams and that every team should be given an opportunity to succeed because if the same team wins repeatedly, the fans will lose interest. Salary caps also protect teams from themselves. It prevents a team from spending itself into bankruptcy while trying to attempt to compete with wealthier teams.
The NBA has what is referred to as a soft cap because they can exceed their salary cap under certain circumstances. The NBA however also has a luxury tax, and once a team exceeds a certain dollar amount then they have to pay a tax to the league which gets divided amongst teams with lower payrolls. Did somebody say Robin Hood? Major League Baseball does not have a salary cap, but indeed uses the luxury tax as their main equality mechanism. The funds from the MLB luxury tax is used to pay players benefits and to their Industry Growth Fund which promotes and funds baseball around the world.
So how else is the NFL, NBA, and MLB Socialist?
The draft process used by professional sports organizations is very socialistic. All sports fans are familiar with the draft process. The draft process is what gives many fans hope that their team will be able to have a good season despite having a bad record the prior year. In a draft, the worst teams have the first picks and the best teams pick last. This process allows for the equal distribution of talent throughout the various teams in the organizations. Without these mechanisms in place you would see the complete domination of the leagues by a few very wealthy teams.
How does this mean that Americans love, support, and prefer Democratic Socialism?
Substitute each team for American corporations and each professional sports league or association as the United States of America. Substitute the league or association’s commissioner for the U.S. Government. The Players Unions represent the unionized American workers. If we were to adopt the structure of professional sports, we would encourage all corporate employees to unionize.
Given the prior analogical substitutions, we should apply the salary cap and luxury tax concept to American corporations. We, via the U.S. Government should encourage healthy competition amongst our corporations and aspire for them to have a fair chance to succeed in their industry. Why should we do this? The answer is explained via a basic economic concept. Competition is always better for the consumer because it reduces the price of goods and services. We should either cap the salaries of employees or place a luxury tax that goes to competing corporations with less wealth just like in the NBA.
We should also parallel the concept of the professional sports draft. Students with the highest grades and perceived potential should still receive higher initial wages than lower achieving students upon graduating, but should be essentially be drafted by the corporations with the least money first. This would prevent the wealthy corporations from hogging the best talent as they frequently do.
In conclusion, the American people have already embraced socialism. Most Americans have no clue that it is indeed the socialistic structure of professional sports organizations that make them so beloved by so many. Come on America, let’s play ball.
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