The title refers to how professional sports are organized in the
Back in the 1920’s professional sports in
In American sports, small cabals of owners make all relevant decisions. If they so choose, those decisions can be totally oriented towards their own personal benefit. They are not required to give any consideration whatever to the public good.
That is how the process of awarding cities with major league franchises becomes how much a city is willing to subsidize the owner. At a time when support of all manner of public services and infrastructure are suffering, owners demand and receive brand new stadiums. While Average Joe is called on to subsidize wealthy owners and spectacularly paid stars, his children go to substandard schools for lack of tax revenue. And if the people don’t cough up? They move the team to a city where they will.
A most disgusting example was the money extorted from the people of Washington State back in the 90’s by Paul Allen, owner of one of the Seattle franchises (don’t remember which one). He couldn’t get the city to meet his demand for a new $500 million stadium, so he financed a statewide ballot issue asking the people of the state to pay for it. He spent $5 million of his own money in the process of getting his subsidy enacted (it passed by a small margin).
As co-founder of Microsoft, he is one of the world’s richest men. At the time he was worth around $20 billion. So do the math: 500 million is 2.5% of 20 billion. For an amount of money that he wouldn’t even notice missing from his stash he could’ve gifted the stadium to the people: he could’ve been magnanimous, a local hero. For him it was peanuts, loose change. I don’t put him down so much for gaming the system (actually I do since I think almost everyone at his level of wealth is prima facie an asshole) it’s really the system that needs to be reinvented.
This is very similar to ‘race to the bottom’ economics. If
Poor countries compete with subsidies for the rich so the latter can save a few pennies on their next pair of panties or cheap plastic doodads. In world trade lingo: A level playing field for all… corporations, that is. And a system totally skewed in their favor.
It works the same in
That could not happen in
With this type of system, there’d be no need or logic in limiting the number of teams, any city that wanted to could have one. There’d be no need to bribe wealthy owners with tax money. New teams would start at the bottom and work their way up.
Another negative facet of the anti-trust exemption that owners enjoy is their ability to determine what types of entities are allowed to join the club, so to speak. For instance, except for the Green Bay Packers football team which was grandfathered in; municipal, community or foundation owned teams are not allowed.
The team may be called the
I enjoy sports and think it’s a worthy endeavor for society, but the way it’s organized in