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How come no one complains about socialist sports leagues

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  • Jul 6th, 2015 10:16 pm
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[OP]
Banned
Apr 23, 2015
994 posts
162 upvotes
Toronto, ON

How come no one complains about socialist sports leagues

Hey,

Based on what I have read and seen, Americans proudly view themselves as being anti-socialist. However, I don't hear a lot of people complaining about how socialist most of America's major sports leagues are. Salary caps to benefit poorer smaller teams, anti-trust rules, lack of competition, restrictive contracts, etc.

I was watching an ESPN video and a lot of people were speaking at length about how beneficial this system is because it creates a fairer and more competitive system with less inequality. Why is it fair to help out a smaller team in a small market but unfair to redistribute more income and help the poor, sick, or unemployed? Why are so many people for one and vehemently against the other?

I realize that a lot of you have strong views on this so please don't chew my head off. State your opinions and beliefs and let's respect one another.
9 replies
Deal Addict
Dec 9, 2003
4997 posts
837 upvotes
Calgary
It's not socialism. It's cooperative capitalism.

[QUOTE]The structure of the National Football League has evolved over the years by agreements among team owners on a number of important factors that promote a balanced competition on the field. Having competitive games is essential to maintaining a strong level of fan interest in NFL games. In essence, the owners are uniting to produce a joint product of entertaining and profitable games. The desire of each individual club owner to have a team that outperforms all others must be constrained in the context of rules that provide for increased profit for the entire league. Several times each year, the NFL owners gather to discuss rule changes, schedules, player issues, expansion team proposals, revenue sharing, and other league-related issues. It appears that "this structure is becoming the prototype approach to operate a sports league in the United States." (1) In the market for sports entertainment, it is parity and cooperation among clubs, as opposed to cutthroat business competition, that result in the best product for the customers and the greatest profit for the producers.

Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue described his league's organizational structure as a prototypical capitalistic market that favors "the little guy." Tagliabue supports the concept that capitalism in its purest sense results in parity. (2) However, it is not the free market principles that have led to the increased parity among NFL teams. Instead it is the organizational structure embraced by their governing board that keeps the playing field even. The following policies and regulations are most effective in a cartel structure, where decisions are made at an aggregate level in an effort to maximize the collective profits of the participating members.
[/QUOTE]

This is a good read:

Capitalism for the cooperative: the NCAA and NFL model of parity and profit.
Sr. Member
Jul 10, 2005
763 posts
123 upvotes
Toronto
The dichotomy Capitalism vs Socialism is so loaded, that every time it is used it evokes a pre-digested frame of mind and it deviates from the issue being discussed.
I prefer to avoid pre-loaded words and treat each situation by its own merits.
Deal Addict
Jan 27, 2015
1037 posts
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Edmonton, AB
Funny you should ask. It's all because of the $$$. Further, it is far more exciting to see 8 or 10 different teams vying for the championship than just 2 or 3. This is because we do not really know who is going to win. Helping out "small market" teams this way enables more contenders.
Deal Addict
Feb 26, 2008
1821 posts
1281 upvotes
HumansOfToronto wrote: Hey,

Based on what I have read and seen, Americans proudly view themselves as being anti-socialist. However, I don't hear a lot of people complaining about how socialist most of America's major sports leagues are. Salary caps to benefit poorer smaller teams, anti-trust rules, lack of competition, restrictive contracts, etc.

I was watching an ESPN video and a lot of people were speaking at length about how beneficial this system is because it creates a fairer and more competitive system with less inequality. Why is it fair to help out a smaller team in a small market but unfair to redistribute more income and help the poor, sick, or unemployed? Why are so many people for one and vehemently against the other?

I realize that a lot of you have strong views on this so please don't chew my head off. State your opinions and beliefs and let's respect one another.


Salary caps are not socialist; they are price discriminating monopolists.
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Aug 18, 2005
21124 posts
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Burlington-Hamilton
HumansOfToronto wrote: Based on what I have read and seen, Americans proudly view themselves as being anti-socialist. However, I don't hear a lot of people complaining about how socialist most of America's major sports leagues are. Salary caps to benefit poorer smaller teams, anti-trust rules, lack of competition, restrictive contracts, etc.

I was watching an ESPN video and a lot of people were speaking at length about how beneficial this system is because it creates a fairer and more competitive system with less inequality. Why is it fair to help out a smaller team in a small market but unfair to redistribute more income and help the poor, sick, or unemployed? Why are so many people for one and vehemently against the other?
1. Pro sports leagues are private enterprises, and you don't have to support them if you don't want to. (Whereas government taxes are mandatory.)

2. There's the whole aspect about using your own decision making to do what's best for the group AND yourself for the best gain, i.e. the Nash Equilibrium.
- casual gastronomist -
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Dec 27, 2007
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Jucius Maximus wrote: 1. Pro sports leagues are private enterprises, and you don't have to support them if you don't want to. (Whereas government taxes are mandatory.)

2. There's the whole aspect about using your own decision making to do what's best for the group AND yourself for the best gain, i.e. the Nash Equilibrium.
If there are no rules preventing them, teams will do whatever is in their best interest, not the best interest of the "group" (or league, in this case). Sports teams will bleed a well dry before they voluntarily propose a more equal playing field. Just take a look at the MLB - the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, etc. have no problem running up their team payrolls year after year. Similarly, most companies outside of sports will also operate in their best interest, with little regard for society as a whole.

This video illustrates OP's original point: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNbMPz5CPY8
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Aug 18, 2005
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Burlington-Hamilton
Legend24 wrote: If there are no rules preventing them, teams will do whatever is in their best interest, not the best interest of the "group" (or league, in this case). Sports teams will bleed a well dry before they voluntarily propose a more equal playing field. Just take a look at the MLB - the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, etc. have no problem running up their team payrolls year after year. Similarly, most companies outside of sports will also operate in their best interest, with little regard for society as a whole.

This video illustrates OP's original point: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNbMPz5CPY8
Without commenting on the validity of your response, I want to point out here that the OP is asking about what fans put up with, rather than what teams would do in certain situations.
- casual gastronomist -
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Feb 29, 2008
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f you agree wth something it's capitalist. If you disagree it's socialist.
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Dec 27, 2007
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Jucius Maximus wrote: Without commenting on the validity of your response, I want to point out here that the OP is asking about what fans put up with, rather than what teams would do in certain situations.
I was more referring to your second point in post #6, not so much the contents of the original post. I think my response is relevant to your comment about the Nash Equilibrium, as I am assuming you are speaking about it in the context of team cooperation within a given sports league. If your context differs from my assumption, then nevermind.

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