While much of our country has focused on critical race theory, another area that creeps in fairly steadily – though perhaps not so noticeably – is a call for more income equality.
A growing number of young people today are unhappy with having to do two or three low-paying jobs just to pay the rent and put food on the table.
Not when they see others making twice or more money on one job.
We could discuss all day long about what is right or wrong, or why capitalism or socialism is better. I am not here for that today.
Instead, it’s just important that we realize that this is happening, and it certainly seems to be increasing.
Much of the wealth goes to only a handful of people in our country.
History assures us that such conditions do not last forever, because “the masses” tire of this status quo, and a backlash follows.
Until recently, it was fair to believe that this was very unlikely in our lifetime.
It may not yet be probable, but it seems to be getting closer to reality. The US government would be wise to take this into account – but using “US government” and “wise” in the same sentence risks being called an oxymoron.
One of the most interesting inventions in history is the air conditioner.
If you have good air conditioning in your vehicle, office, and home, be thankful. Some West Virginia and Americans still don’t live with that luxury.
And until after World War II, that was true for most people all over the United States.
The concept of the modern air conditioner became a reality in 1902. But it wasn’t until the 1950s that popularity really took off.
Before that, people used fans to cool themselves down. They also slept on the porches in the summer. And they made many trips to the local swimming hole or to the ocean. And the shade trees were as good as gold.
It’s no mistake that population growth in hot places like Florida, Southern California, and Arizona has increased in conjunction with more affordable air conditioning.
Think of it this way: Would you move to Phoenix if affordable air conditioning didn’t exist? It’s a dry heat, I know. But dry heat or not, the average high in July is 106 and the average low is 82. June and August are not much better. Try this for a week or two and get back to me.
So the next time this trusty air conditioning unit starts up, take a deep and deep breath in that fresh air and count your blessings.
The Major League Baseball All-Star Game is on Tuesday.
Baseball doesn’t make the headlines anymore these days, anywhere. And it certainly doesn’t generate much news in the smaller markets, where fans are patiently waiting for what could be forever.
Major League Baseball works for large markets and upper tier markets, unless the property is seriously flawed.
This is because the owners of these teams can afford to make mistakes in evaluating prospects and in trades.
This is not the case for teams like the Pirates or the Reds.
One mistake can cripple a team for years, even decades. It could range from paying a star a lot of money guaranteed over a long period of time and then seeing it fade faster than the winter sun, or getting the No.1 pick in the draft and then losing it. pick someone who never trains.
At the start of this century, it was believed that advanced statistics could make a big difference for clubs in smaller markets.
That may have been true for a little while. But then the teams in the major markets understood. And at that point, they did what they can always do: throw huge sums of money at the best advanced statisticians and develop franchise-wide models to implement that information.
Thus, the level playing field has once again been tilted.
It would be nice to say that change would be on the horizon soon, if not someday.
But the Major League Baseball collective agreement is what it is, and it doesn’t look like it will follow anytime soon.
Guaranteed contracts are great for players and great for teams that can afford those signings to go wrong every now and then. Not so much for clubs that just don’t have the huge local and regional TV deals.
This creates a lack of parity that is not seen as much in most other professional sports. Along with the slowness of the game, Major League Baseball’s lack of parity leads it inexorably towards less and less relevance.
This all explains why the 1970 All-Star Game – the one where Pete Rose beat Ray Fosse at home plate in one of the game’s most iconic moments – served as the climax.
Major League Baseball All-Star ratings that year hit an all-time high of 28.5, with a 54% share of TV households and 16.67 million viewers.
This rating share has declined since then, more or less, reaching for the first time a figure of 9.5 in 2002. In 2019, the last year, an All-Star Game was held (the 2020s were canceled in due to COVID-19), the rating had dropped to 5 and the rating share was 11.
Part of this is undoubtedly due to the many other viewing options available now compared to 1970. And part is certainly due to the fact that too many players today put less emphasis on the All-Star Game. .
But make no mistake: baseball drops faster than an Orel Hershiser or Roy Halladay lead.