Gods and Fastballs

2 Dec

I’m a Yankee fan… as in the New York Yankees but I have to admit that it’s getting hard for me to care about whether the Yankees do well or not these days. After all I’m not a kid any more and at the ripe old age of 57 it just feels embarrassing to root for a team of millionaires, with even wealthier millionaire owners and a top season ticket price that now eclipses what the average American worker earns in a year.

Andy Pettitte just signed a one year contract to pitch for the Yankees for 12 million dollars. Last year he started 12 games and he won 5 of them. At 1 million dollars per game that would mean that Andy Pettitte earns as much money in one start, perhaps 2 hours, (After all no one expects him to pitch all 9 innings any more…not that he ever did) as the average American worker earns in 25 years.

Wow! 2 hours work = 25 years of work. It’s hard to wrap one’s head around a statistic like that isn’t it? But after all Andy Pettitte is one of the best pitchers in baseball isn’t he? Actually no, he’s not. And at 40 years of age and having won only 5 games last year he’s not even close.

In fact, the minimum salary in major league baseball will rise this year to almost 500,000 dollars which means that the lowest paid player will earn in 3 years what the average American worker earns in a lifetime.

3 baseball years of playing = 1 average lifetime of working.

I won’t even mention meal money. If I did you’d probably cry like I am right now.

But it’s a free country and we live in a free market economy where workers earn what the free market can bear.

I just no longer can understand how the market can bear it or can even bear to look at it? How is it that the free market supports these salaries and ticket prices and why do average American wage earners pump money into sports and entertainment personalities and venues that must be crippling their ability to meet their own family’s needs?

How is it that In an age and civilization where we are still undecided on whether or not all citizens should have access to affordable healthcare or retirement benefits or well funded schools or decent places to live we are still so able and eager to sustain such frivolity and waste at our own expense?

Once upon a time Roman citizens turned their thumbs down and brought the anger of the gods upon the poor wretched souls who entertained them in their arenas… and now 2 thousand years later we shower cheers and applause upon the richest men who play among us and treat them as though they were our gods, with thumbs up in approval as we spy one another wearing their names on our backs as though if only we could be them then all would be right with the world.

Is it their wealth that makes the difference? What is it about wealth that we revere so much and destitution that we so revile?

The rich get richer because we make them richer while we get poorer and can’t seem to help ourselves.

Meanwhile our elected leaders who themselves can’t help but get richer with each election’s victory no matter how poor their constituents may be, debate and cat fight over whether or not the wealthiest individuals in our country can afford to be taxed at a higher rate without bringing the entire ass backwards society of ours down.

Can a nation’s wealthiest citizens who earn as much in one year as that nation’s average citizens earn in a lifetime afford to pay for that privilege at a higher tax rate?

It seems to me that shouldn’t be the question. The question should be: How can they afford not to? How can they afford to screw such a good thing up? Let’s face it most of us actually do revere them as gods! All they need to do is pony up a little  more of their chump change so we worshipers can have our medicaid and medicare and social security and 30 year mortgages and jobs with minimal healthcare.

Are the gods really gonna screw this one up?

Will A-Rod hit the fastball next year?



8 Responses to “Gods and Fastballs”

  1. momshieb December 2, 2012 at 3:00 am #

    This life long Red Sox fan agrees with you 100%. The system is dysfunctional only because we have allowed to be this way.
    It is truly time for the 99% to stand up and find a way to fix the problem!

  2. John December 2, 2012 at 3:09 am #

    Wow, you have no idea how much this subject cranks me off. The salaries of sports figures that is. You nailed this so perfectly! I despise the idea, the fact that these people make such salaries. I have felt like a chump when buying season tickets the Detroit Red Wings games. How about a salary cap for both sports figures and the Washington dolts that suppose they know what is best for us… Meanwhile, our taxes are soon to rise as though we can afford more socialism in this country. America’s best days are in my opinion, gone with the wind.

  3. samsorbo December 2, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

    You sound like you’re pissed-off at millionaires, and jealousy is certainly your right, but you make some pretty ridiculous assumptions which I will refute here.
    1. This country’s spoiled baseball players and entertainers represent wealthy people in general. (Wrong.) They do represent the American Dream, however, which is something to support.
    2. Millionaires paying “a little bit more” will make a difference in where we are headed – as if this wasn’t actually a spending problem, instead of an earning problem. (Taxing “the wealthy” will pay for 8 days of gov’t, and it won’t solve any spending problem Gov’t has.)
    3. Poor people make the rich wealthy but are unable to help themselves. (Where do poor people get their jobs? From businesses. Where do businesses come from? From entrepreneurs who risk everything to create wealth. American Dream: get a job, become an entrepreneur, get wealthy. The gov’t’s new Dream: work, share, work some more, share even more.)
    4. Equality of outcome is a good thing that should be legislated. (That’s communism.)
    Think of it this way: supporting a tax hike is like giving more money to the drug-addict son who comes begging and promises to reform. They spend too much money, and a lot of it is lining their own pockets. Tell the government to get their budget in order before coming to the people with their hands out.

    • gpicone December 2, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

      Thanks for reading 🙂 Yours is definitely a popular alternative view. May I ask what cuts you would suggest for our bloated gov. budget?

      • samsorbo December 15, 2012 at 12:34 am #

        I would say all the cuts possible. Two years ago, the budgets had overages that instead of being turned back in, were handed out as bonuses. Heaven forbid government save money. How about limiting Pelosi’s personal jet time? Why not reduce the budget for the study of robotic squirrels? There is far too much waste, mainly because there is no fiscal responsibility in DC anymore. It isn’t their money, and they receive personal benefits from the spending of it, not to mention job security.
        The fiscal cliff? That’s nothing compared with what’s really looming in the not-so-distant future – 85 T in non-funded entitlements.

    • polaris299 December 4, 2012 at 4:51 pm #

      In my home city, drug addicts are given free needle to shot up their chemical of choice. I served my country for 20 years and I have to pay for the needles I just to administer the medication for my wifes’ condition. It makes me insane to see that.
      However, I am proud to know that I do not have to worry about going to Emergency to have my broken arm tended to without having to worry about the bill when I get out.

      Communism comes from the Latin word communis, which means “shared” or “belong to all”. What is so wrong with that? I know how to fix computers, I enjoy that work. Mr Smith across the street is a plumber, he enjoys that work. What is so wrong with me sharing my skills with Mr Smith and he returning it? When we work together, we can accomplish anything. As a form of government, communism has not ever been tried – to my knowledge. China, Russia, North Korea… etc don’t run a communist society. All the power, all the pleasures, all the comforts still flow uphill to the person at the top, just as they do in any feudalism system, or dictatorship, or capitalist.

      All that being said, I agree with your thought of having the government, our employees, to get our house in order before they come to us for more.


  4. david December 2, 2012 at 11:53 pm #

    One day of everyone boycotting live games and TV broadcasts may start a trend.

    • bakersfieldlad December 3, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

      Have to agree with David. Nothing will change until people start voting with their feet and wallets. Frankly its politicans who really hack me off, they are the only ones who can bring about real change and they dont! Why? Too busy feathering their own nests, working to get the next job when they leave office and enjoying the high life that tax payers all pay for. They all support big businesses like banks and look at who caused the current world-wide financial crisis? It sure wasnt hard-working Joe going out to work every day to support his family!

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