Friday, February 18, 2011

NFL socialism

Poor old Bill Maher, left in the dust by Jon Stewart.

This Maher piece on the NFL helps illustrates why. First Maher thinks that socialism equals redistribution. Well, no. Socialism means government ownership of the means of production. I think he means social democracy, something one might have expected an editor at the HuffPo to catch. Second, he confuses the NFL's business strategy of partially leveling the playing field among its teams via revenue sharing and salary caps with government redistribution. Sorry Bill, but unlike the government's redistribution, the NFL's redistribution is not motivated by altruism or by a desire to buy votes with other people's money; it is all about profits.

Maher's particular species of confusion reminded me of a remark that Lester Telser once made at a seminar at Chicago about a store owner who shut down everything but the cash register because that was the only part of his store that made any money.

For a better informed discussion of the actual socialism in pro football, look here.

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