Where is the Balance?

I’ve read many blogs from my peers about the NFL and guaranteed contracts, safety, the risks but I want to compare the sport. Why is it that on average football players get paid less than baseball and basketball players. The average salary for the MLB in 2012 was 3.2 Million , NBA 5.15 Million and even the NHL coming in at an average of 2.4 Milllion. The NFL comes in 4th place at only 1.9 Million. I know many people would wonder why I say “only” but this is because compared to the average of the other sports players in NFL are at a serious disadvantage. Not only is Football a sport with higher risk and lower pay but it is one of the most popular, most loved sport in America. So, why is it that they are paid less and their money isn’t guaranteed like those in the NBA and MLB. My colleague gives great insight on NFL contracts and certain terms in. Instead of just assuming things about this topic I referenced some of the articles I’ve read in class. In Dunnings Dynamics of Modern Sports he talks about the relation of spectators and players so I thought. Do NFL players not have as many spectators is that why they don’t get paid as much, do people give more support to those who play different sports.

That couldn’t be the reason because out of the top 10 largest fan bases in professional sports majority were football with the number one fan base being the fans and spectators of the Green Bay Packers a team in the NFL. NFL Contracts are not only on average less than other professional sports but they are not guaranteed.

I would say that this isn’t fair but others may feel that this is a form of social contract. Although many kids don’t know that football is a sport that they may lack financial in relation to other professional sports they still agree to play this sport as opposed to baseball or basketball. In Social Contracts Hobbes speaks on the power of individuals and their decisions saying “ an implied agreement. Hobbes asserted that the people agreed among themselves to “lay down” their natural rights of equality and freedom and give absolute power to a sovereign. The sovereign, created by the people, might be a person or a group. The sovereign would make and enforce the laws to secure a peaceful society, making life, liberty, and property possible. Hobbes called this agreement the “social contract.” So are football players agreeing to be paid less than the other popular sports in the countries when they decide to play or is this not fair. People don’t determine what they are born with, these players couldn’t pick between basketball and football talent, they can just simply improve the natural skills they were born with. These players risk extreme physical trauma a lot more extreme than those who play baseball or football. Shouldn’t they get payed close to the amount. Basketball players get an annual salary that is on average more than twice as much as football players and they don’t risk nearly as much. I guess one could say that life isn’t “fair” that all these athletes get paid a lot more than a lot of people but when do hard work and risk begin to add up with pay across all boards. There is no social contract that can say that these athletes are agreeing to unfair treatment.

I Am Man, I Am Better

Why is it that Womens basketball games are so empty. Recently I attended a women’s basketball game, the first game of the season. In most cases the first game of the season is a very exciting time for both players and fans. I got in my car drove to the arena parked fairly close to the door I needed to enter through and saw about 3 people other than the two friends I came with before I got into the actual arena. This was shocking there was no traffic, no rush of people trying to get in, the gym was fairly empty. Many argue that women’s basketball isn’t popular because they aren’t as good as the men but that’s no excuse. I really enjoyed the basketball game and the Michigan girls basketball team won the exhibition game 74-39 which seems to be an exceptional display of talent by this team.

So if a team is talented enough to score that many points then why is it that they aren’t talented enough to have a following. This is an issue of gender norms, why is it that men get support for athletics and women don’t. My professor says in Being a Woman and Other Disabilities when referring to a women’s basketball game “you don’t see any spectators. Perhaps it’s no surprise:even today, a good many intramural college games take place with no spectators.”

The question is, if the institution invest as much money in womens sports as they do mens sports would they have a larger following. I don’t think that this is an issue of funding I think its a nationwide norm because the uneven following of women sports spreads past college athletics. “For a WNBA player in the 2005 season, the minimum salary was $31,200, the maximum salary was $89,000, and the team salary cap was $673,000. For NBA players in the 2004-2005 season, the minimum salary was $385,277, the maximum salary was $15.355 million, and the team salary cap was $46 million.”

So my questions is, is being a woman a disability in athletics. Yes, clearly women are not equally treated by the public and administration such as men are. Even here at the University of Michigan women are not treated equally in athletics. Womens tickets aren’t nearly as expensive as men’s are. So now the question is what should we do to change this? Is it really a big deal, if people don’t like to watch womens sports what’s the problem with simply not attending those certain events?

There is a deep history of the unfair treatment of women in America and I think this is just another case of injustice. Women are working just as hard as men to get half of the achievements, half of the support and half of pay. That’s where the problem is, having fans is an issue but not as big of an issue as not being equally paid for the same amount of work that come with the same risks. With the minimum salary in the WNBA being approximately 30,000 dollars a year how exactly are women supposed to make a sustainable living doing the same exact thing men are.

This inequality puts definite dents in the confidence of female athletes all over, when will athletics become fair for both men and women.

The Other Side of Communism

Hammer_sickle_clean

A Symbol Of Communism [1] (wikimedia)

To truly analyze an idea or opinion, one needs to step out of their own perspective and look at everything impartially. Unfortunately, the world’s history is never written analytically. As Winston Churchill once said, “History is written by the victors.” His words hold true throughout history, and as a result, most of history needs to be reanalyzed to be thoroughly understood. One major example of this is the way that we, as Americans, perceive the idea communism. Most of us have read about or experienced World War II, Vietnam war, the cold war, or the Cuban missile crisis that causes us to naturally feel an aversion to the idea of communism in general. However, this aversion may be misplaced; communism in its simplest form is actually meant to promote equality. Continue reading

Tradition Edition

United States Constitution

United States Constitution

Earlier this week, we discussed the excerpts of Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France. In class, tradition was one of the most common words used to describe modern conservatism. As a conservative, I would have to agree that this is true, especially in our strict interpretation of the United States Constitution. With that being said, Burke’s emphasis on using tradition to aid decision making, throughout history has not always produced positive results. Burke’s argument surrounding prejudice is the perfect example of how people in power have used tradition as a mask to implement or continue to enforce discriminatory policies.

The Judicial Branch was originally supposed to be the weakest of the three branches, as discussed in Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist Paper No. 78. The Supreme Court is unable to raise/spend money, build up our nation’s defense or use the military to enforce their rulings. The Justices were left with the job of only making judgements. Furthermore, the Justices who are nominated by the President and appointed by the Senate, do not have term limits, to ensure that their only commitment is to the Constitution of the United States and that their focus is not that of Congress, who’s main concern is to be reelected. Continue reading

War and Hobbes

“If there be a common power set over them both [parties in a contract], with right and force sufficient to compel performance, the [contract] is not void” – Thomas Hobbes, 17th Century philosopher and author of Leviathan

Thomas Hobbes, author of Leviathan

Thomas Hobbes, author of Leviathan

This quote from Leviathan is about social contracts and the state of nature as Hobbes sees it. He discusses the promises we make and specifically how when we enter into a contract with another party, there must be motivation to prevent us from breaking the contract.  Most of the time this “motivation” is going to be punishment, which must be worse than the benefit we would gain from breaking the contract.

Another important aspect in Hobbes’ theories are that a state of nature and a state of war are synonymous. It is my belief that no one truly lives in nature anymore.  Sure, there are some tribes in the amazon jungle that could be considered in nature, but in our civilized society, with iPhones, social media and other technologies it is impossible for us to live in nature. So then how can we see Hobbes’ social contracts in work? By looking at war.

There are many similarities between the United States’ military and Hobbes’ Social contract theory but I will only be

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, prisoner of war for five years (via wikimedia)

focusing on the aspect of motivation. It is hard to think about someone being punished in war because it’s almost impossible to top the trauma they’re already experiencing. As I began thinking about punishment I thought about the recent occurrences with Bowe Bergdahl. Bergdahl was serving in the US army in Afghanistan when walked away from his unit, or went AWOL (absent without leave). In doing so he broke the contract he had with the military, an action that Hobbes would no doubt disprove of.  He was then captured and held by the Taliban for five years. In May, 2014 the United States traded five Taliban members in exchange for Bergdahl. Many believed that the United States shouldn’t have traded for him because he abandoned his post and deserted.  I did some research and found out that desertion during a time of war is a crime punishable by death (although it is mostly handled with persecution).

A person would only go AWOL if they believed they were going to die or be severely wounded, so at first I wondered what the point in killing someone who walked away was.  But then I realized that the military is employing Hobbes’ philosophy that the punishment must force the parties to remain in their contract. So the punishment of death gives a possible deserter two choices 1) a consequence that they understood was a possibility or 2) die as a coward who is putting all the other brave soldiers in jeopardy. Any rational soldier would chose the first option which is exactly how a Hobbesian contract is supposed to work.

(via wikimedia)

I understand that this sounds harsh, but we live in a time where there is no draft.  Every soldier in our army is fighting voluntarily and knows that there are potential consequences of their service.  So once a soldier is actually facing possible death, they cannot back out at the last moment and decide that they would prefer not to fight. Imagine if all soldiers abandoned their post as soon as danger was imminent.

Hobbesian contracts are best exemplified in nature, but seeing as that is something that is nearly impossible to find in today’s world, war is the next best option.

Rights in School

You spent multiple years in elementary, middle, high school, and even college learning about the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, and Constitution. Students understand why the United States declared their independence from Great Britain. Students understand the issues with the Articles of Confederation and why we wrote the Constitution. Students understand the bill of rights and there rights under the constitution. It seems imperative that all students in the United States learn about their freedoms or rights. Continue reading

A Brief Discussion of Hobbes’s “Covenants” in Modern Economics

In Thomas Hobbes’s “Leviathan“, he discusses the concept of “State of Nature” and the important role of a “Leviathan” (Commonwealth) in a society. According to his argument, performing and keeping “Covenants” among men is paramount. Studying Hobbes reminds me of the market structures in Economics, and the nature of competitions in a market economy. After substituting “Companies” in an economy for “men” in a society,  I noticed Hobbes’s theory is no longer perfectly feasible in such a modern scenario. In fact, instead of “keeping Covenants”, the “Leviathans” in a market economy would more apt to break them.

In a modern Market Economy, does the "Leviathans" still act the same role? Are "Covenants" between companies, like those between "men", still encouraged to be kept by a commonwealth? (link)

In a modern Market Economy, does the “Leviathans” still act the same role? Are “Covenants” between companies, like those between “men”, still encouraged to be kept by a commonwealth? (link)

Continue reading