Monday, July 18, 2011

Michael Wilbon's latest terrible column

Wilbon is basically in favor of paying players their market value. That sounds fair. That's how it works in the rest of our economy. As he says, it's "capitalism" and "supply and demand."

He doesn't seem to care about the negative cultural or institutional impact the money will have. Professional sports have already, arguably, have an immense negative impact on black culture. Lots of people invest their time and energy in basketball and football and never development marketable skills. They end up without a job, without the prospect of one, and often illiterate. That doesn't sound so bad when you consider that if their dreams of playing pro ball had come true they'd be just as broke by 35 and be well on their way to dying at 50 (I'm exaggerating a bit here. But I think this is a fair picture.)

Paying college players only increases the incentive to work on playing hard and ignore developing real, marketable skills. The supply and demand lesson that kids need is that demand for football players is small and the supply is large while demand for programmers and nurses is high and supply is low.

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