Many avid sports fans and those less ravenous come to a point where they ask one simple question, “Are pro athletes paid too much?” This question has been around since professional athletics became a profession, and it most likely is here to stay for some time.
No matter what your personal stance on this topic may be, it is difficult to grasp how playing a game that you love and have fun doing should net you $24million a year. Obviously America as a whole is okay with this because fans keep paying ludicrous ticket prices to see over-paid athletes “have fun.”
For those that support the idea that athletes are paid too much, there are countless examples of why athletic salaries are ridiculous. This article reveals but a few of those.
League minimums are ridiculous
First off, even if a pro athlete is paid the league minimum for sitting on the bench for 99.99% of the season, they are still making more money than the individuals people rely on day-in and day-out to make the world go round. When you think of the most important jobs in the United States, what comes to mind?
For some people, the list would include the military, teachers, police officers, firefighters, doctors, and still others. Out of the five listed, doctors are more well-off than the other four, but compared to professional athletes, their income is still minuscule. An enlisted military member’s salary is so small that many are forced to utilize food stamps in order to feed their families. Despite slight annual increases in military salary, the number of military members using food stamps is on the rise. When is the last time you heard of any NBA or NFL player needing food stamps?
This quick synopsis leads even the simplest of individuals to the following question: Why are the most important jobs in this country the ones that on average pay the least? One of the answers is because of the value Americans put on entertainment. Another is that most Americans take the important figures in life for granted unless they need them.
Despite a substantial military budget; which is mostly used to buy fancy new aircraft and ships; military pay and benefits are continually cut. Active duty military members fair better than veterans and retirees, who routinely lobby Congress to prevent further cuts in pay they earned defending the nation.
Who would you rather pay more?
Now when your house catches on fire, or your kids need an education, or heaven forbid someone invades the United States, who are you going to call? Are you going to call that basketball player that you and other Americans pour the money into every year, or are you going to call that Army Sergeant who makes only $32,000 a year? If you answered correctly, (the Army Sergeant), then you must ask: Why are pro athletes paid so darn much?
America’s value on entertainment
The answer lies in the first reason given above: Americans put a very high value on entertainment and will pay exuberant amounts of money to get it. People are willing to shell-out $150-300 for one seat at a concert when they can get the CD for $20 (or go to Ticketmaster and get the tickets for cheaper!).
Other individuals pay even higher prices to get into NFL games which can be watched at home for free on television. Americans pay over $350 for video game systems and thousands of dollars for cruises, swimming with dolphins, personal concerts, etc. All this is because America is a free society where if you want to do something, for the most part you can do it, if you are willing to pay the price.
Parallels to Rome
This over-valuation of entertainment is a warning sign, but one most people will ignore. Numerous articles have been written detailing parallels between Rome and the United States. These articles provide a staggering conclusion: the United States is doomed to fail. The culture of Rome and the culture of the United States are remarkably similar. They both overvalue/overvalued entertainment and the affects were felt throughout society.
Rome showed disinterest in its veterans and paid its “enlisted” military members paltry sums for the job they performed. Other similarities between Rome and the United States include corrupt election processes, constant warfare, and over-expenditure which bankrupted the government and eventually the populace.
History reveals that Rome fell, and unless some things are changed in the United States, the future holds the same conclusion. Not necessarily from external invasion, but more from internal implosion due to bankruptcy, an oppressed military class, and an obsessive fixation on entertainment.
When it comes to paying people for the job that they do, Americans should re-evaluate their priorities. When the next Pearl Harbor, 9/11,or Hurricane Katrina hits, they need to look to their televisions and see who is on the ground cleaning up the mess. It won’t be the top NFL quarterback or NBA all-star. It will be that low-paid firefighter, police officer, or military member. It’s time for America to pay the right people and stop paying athletes too much money.