I hear it and see it all the time, “I wish someone would pay me millions of dollars to catch a ball.”
People are sometimes quick to judge others’ salaries and not realize what the antithesis of their view would entail. I am in favor of an open marketplace with little regulation (A libertarian just read that and their heart soared).
In all seriousness, though, NFL, NHL, NBA, and MLB players should be paid what the market offers. In August of 2016, NBA superstar LeBron James signed a 3-year/100 million-dollar contract. He will be making about $33 million per year. Is that too much?
Well, the answer is no, not according to Dan Gilbert, the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
You do not want to live in a world where someone who is not a part of the business decides what you get paid. That is called socialism. A more extreme view of that is called communism. Imagine that you are an electrician and someone comes along and says, “You make $90,000 per year, that’s too much, we are going to knock that down to $60,000.” Is that fair for them to do that?
Of course not!
If professional organizations have the capital to pay players that kind of premium salary, then let them do it. I am not even going to justify why they should earn that much because it doesn’t matter. If a business owner is willing to pay someone that type of salary, then there must be a great return-on-investment that comes because of that salary. Moreover, if a second business wants that player and they are willing to pay more, now the market is getting competitive and a bidding war begins.
The terms of a salary are between the business owner and the employee. There should be no ceilings and no floors. I am for the marketplace dictating what people ought to be paid. You may think that $100 million-dollars per year is an insane salary, but it doesn’t matter because that is what the market is playing. The TV money, sponsorship, attendance, and merchandise dictate that type of salary, among other factors.
I want people to think about the repercussions of their outrage and what it would mean in their own lives. If we start dictating what people ought to get paid, where does it stop? If we say they should only make a ceiling of $1,000,000 per year, where is the rest of that revenue going? To the owner? Who is now making, say, $100,000,000 per year? Who is going to stop that salary ceiling?
You can see the slippery slope. Socialism and communism aren’t valid responses to the outrage of someone making a multi-million-dollar salary. That is what the market is paying, and that’s what they should get. If my services are in demand and a bidding war starts, then I should get paid what the highest bidder bids. If there is no market for my services, I make nothing. That is the free market and we should all be proponents of it.
If you think athletes are overpaid and there should be an income ceiling, you’re probably a socialist. If that’s news to you, you probably haven’t thought about the repercussions of imposing a salary ceiling.
Our views on the economy are important. We need to have a robust, healthy, and free marketplace where businesses can operate how they want to and pay what they want to. That is how a free market society works and it is something that I will fight and vote for in the years to come. It’s an important issue that people need to think about.