Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Capitalism and Values

     The other day I found some old journals that I had written in the late 70s.  In one I lamented the demise of professional sports that was surely on its way.  Nolan Ryan had just signed with the Houston Astros for the astonishing amount of $1 million a year.
     There was no way society or our economy would support that kind of money being paid to athletes, I was sure.  How out-of-whack must our priorities be to pay someone a million dollars a year to play a game?  Something had to change.
     Change it did.  Million dollar a year athletes are no longer even newsworthy.  The average major league professional athlete makes more than a million dollars a year.  Many sportscasters are now in the same income bracket, which has cut down dramatically on their criticizing the out-of-proportion pay.
     My parents live in Arlington, Texas; a city that voted less than a year ago to spend $600 million dollars to build a stadium for Jerry Jones.  Are professional athletes and their teams/organizations really worth the money we continue to pour into them?
     If you are a good capitalist, you’ll have to answer with an unequivocal “yes,” or even a “YES!”  The market determines worth.  If athletes were not worth what they are paid, they wouldn’t be paid so much.  If it did not benefit cities to build stadiums for teams, they would no longer be built.  That’s if you are a good capitalist.
     Capitalism began as a moral philosophy.  Market forces would determine or follow what was right and good.  Thus, what people in the market pour their money and other resources toward, are therefore “good.”
     I think there is a strong argument for questioning the moral health of a society that pays professional athletes and their teams the way ours does.  But, on the other hand, arguing against such a system while continuing to support it with my viewing and spending habits makes me something of a hypocrite.

1 Comments:

At 6:08 AM, Blogger John said...

My parents live in Arlington, Texas; a city that voted less than a year ago to spend $600 million dollars to build a stadium for Jerry Jones.

That doesn't sound like capitalism at all. Voting tax revenue for public entertainments is a socialist activity.

It always annoys me when sports fans force me to pay for their stupid entertainment with my tax dollars. I wish that I could force them to pay for gaming conventions.

 

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