Sports (entertainment etc) and surplus value
kbevans at panix.com
Thu May 23 11:57:14 MDT 1996
"Free competition"? Are you mad saying things like that?
You're liable to give someone a seizure.
The position of CEO of AT and T is always going to be a 10 million
dollar job, no matter who fills it. Capitalists set the wage structure to
keep meritocracy and other trappings of power going. Point guard for a pro
basketball team could be anywhere from a half to 10 million, maybe less. Pro
basketball players have to have a union to keep wages up. CEO's need no
The market operates very little for most workers, if at all. The
same work is done for vastly different rates even within this country.
You go to Mexico, the disparity is off the charts. Most work is boring
simple, and dull, requiring few special skills - even with our super-tech
economy. For proof of this, you need no more evidence than the fact that
people pay the Culinary Institute of America all kinds of money to learn
to become chefs. I was a chef. It is a miserable job. If people are
escaping to professional kitchens for excitement, there's really not much
Employers don't shop for skills for most jobs. They just don't want
to take the time to find someone who will do the work for a lower wage and
stay on more than a month. There's no question, however, that one can find
those cheap laborers. The idea of a labor market is there to re-enforce
the myths of meritocracy and scarcity. They are all bogus bourgeois
Sports exist largely to reinforce the myth of meritocracy. Of
course, sports *are* a meritocracy, except when it comes to the Yankees,
who are a fascist front. Michael Jordan, a unique worker if ever there
was one, is taking MILLIONS less than he can get. Why? Michael doesn't
want to go through the hassle and controversy of leaving Chicago and
signing a new contract, maybe holding out or getting into a dispute.
Similarly, many lower-paid workers would like to hold out for that perfect
job, would like to make the market work, but they don't want to go through
the hassle of putting their kids out on the street, living in a box, and
eating in soup kitchens. With each passing day of unemployment, they find
their dedication to time-honored economic principles waning, and go for
that factory position at pretty much what the boss is giving, and keep
their mouths shut. By the same token, now that Mexican workers have
proved they can handle (as if there was ever any question) the most
sophisticated of industrial labor at a fourth the price (tops), supply and
demand bid CEO's and owners move their operations there. However, they
can effectuate operational economy more simply by *threatening* to move
down there, and getting tax breaks from towns and counties. Interestingly,
they find that suddenly they have lots of American workers willing to work
for less. It's that "t" for time, Rahul. Human labor is a perishable
commodity. There is ALWAYS someone who will do the job for less.
Haiti - 'nuff said.
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