I’ve been taking a look around social media and I made the realization that normal folks don’t really like capitalism. Let me explain.
We’re usually all for the good and the bad of this economic system until it affects us personally, whether that’s in the real world or in sports.
I’ll start with the sports example and work my way up to the real world.
In pro sports, the draft is inherently anti-capitalist. If we really wanted to stay true to American values, pro leagues would let rookies entering the league find out what they’re worth to teams and negotiate with whoever they please, instead of entering a draft.
The main argument against this is, “well what about fairness?” Except capitalism doesn’t care about fairness. And more on “fairness,” who is the draft “fair” to? Fans? Teams? They sure aren’t fair to the players getting drafted. Imagine you’re in college studying to become a computer programmer. Throughout college you work really hard and end up top of your class by graduation. But instead of working for Microsoft you’re instead drafted to work for some mom-and-pop shop because, you know, “fairness.” That’s not capitalism.
Even further, let’s take a look at how the NFL pays its rookies via the rookie scale.
Before the current CBA, or collective bargaining agreement, between the NFL and the NFL Players Association, rookies weren’t capped when they negotiated their contract after being drafted. Matthew Stafford of the Detroit Lions signed a six-year, $72 million contract with $41.7 guaranteed after being drafted first overall in 2009.
Now with this current CBA, Baker Mayfield, who the Cleveland Browns drafted first overall a few months ago, signed four-year contract worth $32.68 million in guarantee money. Nowhere near $72 million. This isn’t because Mayfield’s value is less than Stafford’s. They are both quarterbacks drafted number one overall.
Now let’s make the bridge to the real world while using sports.
There’s been some who have had issues with Nike over their Colin Kaepernick campaign. I even read about towns around the country trying to ban the use of Nike gear. But what Nike is doing is capitalism.
I have no clue what social justice reform Nike will be a part of. Nor do I care really. If this is strictly to make money, that’s what capitalism allows and Nike, as well as Kaepernick, is allowed to make money in this great country of ours.
Let’s take it to a more local level.
I try my best to keep my personal Facebook account away from the public view. Regardless of what I see on social media, I try to stay quiet, since I have my own platform, right here in the newspaper.
I almost broke my own rule this week.
We’re a few weeks away from the annual Come and Take It celebration here in Gonzales. The hardworking people from the Gonzales Chamber of Commerce have been promoting the event through any means necessary, whether it’s through advertising here in the paper, through a television spot on a San Antonio channel or even through social media, the chamber is out here hustling. On Facebook, I saw multiple people complain about various costs, specifically on the carnival and on the battle reenactment.
“They actually charge you folks for this?” reads one comment about the reenactment. “Kind of a shame to charge admission to see a historical event when the kids might actually develop an interest in local history.”
“I remember when bracelets were good all threw [sic] out the day and only $5,” reads another about the carnival. “Now it’s $25 for half a day and another $25 for the other half, smh. Sucks for ppl with kids and can’t afford it.”
Didn’t think I needed to remind adults this but, all of this cost money. The battle reenactors? That’s not free. They come from every which way. They aren’t local Gonzales folks reenacting out of the kindness of their hearts. These folks are actually dedicated workers who took the time to buy their own clothes, making sure they fit the era, while driving themselves to Gonzales for said reenactment.
The carnival? Well, just take a peek inside and you’ll see the numerous employees operating the stations. Whether it’s the construction or teardown of the attractions, or it’s the people who operate the rides or even the workers manning the booths, all of them have to get paid something. For Come and Take It to continue to thrive, we, as participants of the biggest party of the year for Gonzales, can’t rely on all the costs to be paid directly by our chamber of commerce.
After all, that’s not how our precious capitalism works, right?
For the folks who are so afraid of socialism or communism taking over, how about you take a look at yourself and ask if you really like capitalism. I’m all for it. But from the looks of it, whether it’s in sports, the real world or even at the local level, it sure doesn’t seem like you’re a fan.