Friday, October 16, 2015

Friday Fun Day - a sports related video: Who Pays and Who Plays?

Ok, so it is more serious and not pure entertainment.

But ask yourself the next logical question - who is benefiting from this arrangement? Follow the money.

It is not the players who benefit; they don't get paid, and are frequently injured, losing their scholarships after injury. It is clearly not the schools, students or ordinary tax payers who benefit; those are the people who pay the bill for this.

Sure a few superstars might go on to the major league sports teams, and make big bucks; but that is really the hook to attract athletes in the first place. It is not unfair to assert that college level sports operates as a farm team for the pros at the expense of most of the athletes - and students, and tax payers, and academic staff.

Watch the video below; and then remember what you saw the next time you see a Republican whingeing on and on about Democrats who want to give 'free stuff' like debt relief to students, or eliminate tuition. Aren't they REALLY just trying to keep rigging the playing field, keeping an unfair status quo in place?

Higher education is an investment in our future economy. Higher education is essential to avoid structural unemployment (job sectors collapsing, or people unqualified to fill open jobs), as distinct from frictional unemployment (normal economically healthy job changes as people advance leaving old jobs, retire, etc.). An educated labor force is essential to a competitive economy. Free higher education to those qualified to receive it is smart, it is an investment with a future payback, a future return. It is not a give-away, it is not a bribe, it is not a gift.

But if we DO enact free tuition, or at the very least less student debt, maybe it is time for either a drastic refinancing of college athletics, or their elimination entirely - let the pros run their own farm teams and pay for them. Ditto their stadiums. Get out of the public pocket benefiting the private sector wealthy.

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