Thursday, September 8, 2011

Major league basketball is a Social Democracy

Social Democracy is a political ideology of the left and centre-left.  It advocates the creation of a democratic welfare state that combines capitalist and socialistic institutions and practices.  Rather than challenge the capitalist system, its aim is to reform it.  It is sometimes described as a “wide array of welfare and social insurance functions and removing large chunks of wealth and commodity distribution from the market.”  Put simply, it is a sharing of the wealth.

Almost all of the world’s developed countries think of themselves, and are, social democracies; however not the United States.  SD does work in countries like the United Kingdom and Canada.  But what does it have to do with major league basketball?

In a recent article about theNational Basketball Assn. lockout, the owners are crying foul over player salaries and want to slap new caps on them for the future.  In effect, the teams want new contracts that will return them to the black.  In dispute is an argument over how to split a very large amount of money from TV revenue that would ensure that every team is profitable.  The key here is the term “every team.”

The players are already making ridiculous salaries, especially when it comes to what teachers, police and firemen are paid.  In a recent articleon the economy, Paul Wiseman writes that the “economy’s meager gains are giving mostly to the wealthiest…and higher corporate profits.”  In the NBA lockout the general agreement is there should be revenue sharing to make every team—especially the smaller ones with less revenue—profitable.  Sharing of the wealth.

What’s good for the NBA is good for the American public.  A Social Democracy would carve up some of the absurd high salaries of overpaid people in sports, entertainment and the business world, as well as the profits of large corporations, and divide that among the less fortunate.  Just like the National Basketball Assn.

Read more about Social Democracy here.

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