Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A pithy observation on the salaries of professional athletes

Allen Barra in a short article at the Wall Street Joural outlines exactly why we as consumers should not get upset about the high price of tickets.
It isn't some vague indefinable "they" who pays the players. It really isn't even the owners. It's you, or rather, it's us. If we put our money where our mouths are and support cancer, AIDS or Down syndrome research and then buy our tickets with what's left over, athletes and rock stars will actually be paid what we pretend they should be paid.
He also includes this brilliant quote from Bill James:
One of the unwritten laws of economics is that it is impossible, truly impossible, to prevent the values of society from manifesting themselves in dollars and cents. This is, ultimately, the reason why athletes are paid so much money.
That really is James at his best: pithy, clear, and enormously insightful.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Sad, but true. It made me realize what kind of tickets we could get if our financial priorities were different... but I'm glad they're not. Baseball gets as much money out of me as I think it is worth. However, I would prefer to spend the same amount and be able to go more often! Did I just contradict myself?