A Mere $20,000

In checking up on the results of the recent All-Star Baseball game I read that the winners had little incentive to win — aside from the fact that the winning league gets to have home-field advantage for the World Series. Otherwise, we are told, each player makes a “mere”  $20,000 for winning the game. No incentive whatever.

Does this strike anyone but me as borderline obscene? I mean to take such a figure so lightly when there are people on the streets who cannot eat and have no place to live? That’s a year’s salary for many in this country. We have always realized that athletes are the most spoiled and highest paid people in this country — and perhaps anywhere else as well. Steph Curry recently signed a contract with the Golden State Warriors for $200 million over five years. It boggles the mind. In reporting this we are told that this is OK because he only made $12.1 million this past year which is 82nd highest in the NBA. Goodness gracious! Poor Steph.

It’s small wonder that our kids hold their teachers in contempt because they make such meager salaries when we have arrived at the point where we measure success in dollars and cents. And compared with the athletes, who are our “heroes,” teachers suck. This only adds to the teachers’ plight, given that we now expect them to raise our kids in addition to teaching them.

I have played this tune before, I know. I have dwelt on the notion that those with great wealth have a moral responsibility to take care of those who have little or nothing — after they have bought their new $350,000 Ferrari (true that) or the new mansion for themselves and their close friends and family. It is said they deserve this money, “they have earned it.” That’s bollocks. They haven’t earned that much money. No one earns that much money. But given the fact that those of the rest of us who can ill afford it continue to pay outrageous prices for seats to watch them play and their owners make even more money than they do, perhaps is only fair that they get a larger share than many of them do at present. Perhaps.

To be sure, it is none of my business how much money another person makes or how that person chooses to spend their money. That’s a given. And there are those among the very rich, including the athletes, who are generous in their support of others in need. But at the same time, it is hard to look the other way when the pay-outs for those athletes are so out of proportion with the meager salaries others in this culture make, people who are much more important to the well-being of others — people like the fore mentioned teachers, and firemen and police. These people struggle to make ends meet while the wealthy among us think only about making more money when they already have more than they can spend in a lifetime.

Pity the poor players for the American League All-Star team. They only made a “mere” $20,000 for winning. Little incentive, indeed.

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8 thoughts on “A Mere $20,000

  1. I wish someone would pay that kind of money for a well researched and written book! But those sorts of prose usually sit on shelves and gather dust as society prefers to delve in the art of watching grown men play games and pat each other on the bum!

    We live in a very skewed world. Renumeration for career choices is more dependent on advertising (and ultimate consumer purchasing) potential created, than any sort of moral service to other people. Such thinking creates a mediocre society at best and a debased, fractious civilisation at worst. Sadly, I see we are heading for the latter, and at ‘light’ speed!

  2. $20,000 is no incentive??? It is more than my social security and small pension amount to!!! And I consider myself lucky, compared to many. And I probably contribute more to charitable organizations than at least some of those athletes who think $20k is peanuts. They ‘earned’ it? Sure, they should be paid fairly … but personally I think a factory worker in Detroit works harder than they do! Grrrrrrrrrrr ……
    Good post, Hugh … 🙂 Got my adrenalin going … 🙂

  3. Hugh, it is obscene that $20,000 to play a game where you are celebrated is scoffed at. Then, I see what Seth Curry signed for and it is embarrassingly obscene.

    While teachers are not about to make $20,000 a day, there efforts are worth more than they are paid. I go back to Finland where teachers are very well paid and attract the best. After all, they are teaching our kids. Keith

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