On this week’s episode of Foreign Entanglements, Matt speaks with Brent Sasley about the Emergency Committee for Israel:
Category: Robert Farley
On this week’s episode of Foreign Entanglements, Matt speaks with Brent Sasley about the Emergency Committee for Israel:
Edward McClelland has been thinking very hard:
The deregulation of the American economy that began in the 1970s has increased the salaries of professional athletes enormously while reducing those of blue-collar workers. In 1975, pitchers Andy Messersmith of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Dave McNally of the Montreal Expos appealed to arbitrator Peter Seitz to strike down baseball’s reserve clause and allow them to sell their services to the highest bidder. The Seitz decision, which was upheld by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, began the era of free agency in professional sports. After increasing arithmetically for the first three-quarters of the century, salaries rose geometrically during the past 25 years of the 1900s and have continued to balloon in the 2000s.
Because the reserve clause was eliminated at the insistence of the Major League Baseball Players Association, the Seitz decision is considered a victory for organized labor. It wasn’t. It was a victory for the laissez-faire marketplace.
Labor unions are cartels that increase their members’ salaries by bargaining collectively, thus winning a more lucrative contract than workers could negotiate on their own. Baseball players are entertainers with specialized skills. They didn’t start earning their true market value until they were allowed to negotiate individually with owners—the antithesis of collective bargaining.Marvin Miller, the former United Steelworkers of America economist who became executive director of the MLBPA, was a talent agent, not a labor boss.
I would like to suggest that the connection between striking down the reserve clause and the stagnation of American blue collar wages is… murky. What follows is a long discussion of how perturbed McClellan is that Alex Rodriguez is paid a lot of money by the tremendously wealthy, successful businessmen who own the New York Yankees. Thinking about this makes him sad:
As baseball players accumulate plutocratic riches (Rodriguez will have earned a third of $1billion by the time his contract expires), I find myself wondering why I’m supposed to cheer for a guy earning $27.5 million a year—he’s already a winner. When I was 11, I hero-worshipped the Tigers’ shortstop because I could imagine growing up to take his place. Obviously, that’s not going to happen now. Since my past two jobs disappeared in the Great Recession, I can’t watch a professional sporting event without thinking, Most of those guys are set for life, while I’ve been buying my own health insurance for 5 1/2 years…. I know we’re never going back to the days when Willie Mays lived in Harlem and sold cars in the offseason, but the market forces that have overvalued ballplayers’ skills while devaluing mine have made it impossible for me to just enjoy the damn game.
Here’s the thing; while there are obviously problems associated with determining the “value” of the skills of professional athletes, it’s not at all obvious that Alex Rodriguez is overvalued, or that Willie Mays was appropriately valued. Compensation, obviously, depends on how law and organizational rules structure the ability of owner and worker to negotiate; changes in those rules can have dramatic effect on how much players get paid. I don’t know why people still need to point out that investment in Justin Verlander isn’t irrational if the Tigers win, the owners make money, and franchise value increases.
McClelland is unhappy that he has to pay for health insurance, and has determined that the solution is a set of rules that arbitrarily suppress the value of extremely skilled workers. Such rules will be of no direct material benefit to McClelland, although they’ll surely make billionaire team owners happy; perhaps McClelland hopes that elaborate demonstrations of fealty to these billionaires will land him a more lucrative position.
[SL]: This seems to be the “logic” that buttresses a lot of anti-union sentiment, but once again money generated by professional sports that doesn’t go the player does not then go to teachers or cancer researchers or starving orphans — it goes to (generally obscenely wealthy and lavishly taxpayer-subsidized) owners. If you find yourself longing for the good old days where the almost all of the money generated by the labor of players stayed with the owners, you really need to think harder. (I’m guessing that McClelland is one of those guys who thinks it’s a massive scandal when someone buys an SEC QB a pair of shoes.)
[EL]: Whenever you see someone write, “Labor unions are cartels that increase their members’ salaries by bargaining collectively,” you can pretty much assume that they don’t know what labor unions actually do or why they exist.
The following is a guest post by Dr.KennethNoisewater, who you may remember from such logo artwork as our own. Enjoy!
I recently read a fun article at The A.V. Club called “Shitty Miracles,” which refers to projects so stunningly bad one wonders how they were ever greenlighted. The staff of A.V. Club seemed to have so much fun recalling their “favorite” shitty miracles, I thought I’d give it a go myself.
Since “The Room” was mentioned in the Q&A I decided not to discuss it here. Besides, “The Room” is not shitty. It is unbelievably wonderful, a transcendent movie-going experience. If you looked up the phrase “so bad it’s good” in the dictionary, there’d be a picture of Tommy Wiseau winking impishly.
So I’m stuck picking another, erm, winner. And that has to be the 2008 remake of the 1939 classic, “The Women.” Now, the original “Women” is one of my favorite, if not my straight-up favorite film of all time. It is a fast-paced, fast-talking, funny, snarky, silly, feminist (in its own twisted, antiquated way) film about an extremely privileged woman who’s dealing with her beloved husband’s infidelity and her circle of friends’ reaction to her turmoil.
If the original “Women” was sparkly, chilled champagne, the remake is a bottle of Peach Riunite that was left in the sun. It has no bubble, no verve and might make you throw up.
- The casting. It was terrible all-around, but special mention must go to the casting director who’s answer to “Get me a smart, snarky, jaded, single writer” was “I know–Jada Pinkett-Smith!” Not Aisha Tyler. Not Janeane Garafolo. Not Margaret Cho. Jada fucking Pinkett. What’s worse, was that the character was inexplicably made into a lesbian apparently so she could stand around being lesbian and saying lesbianish things like “Hey, that woman who’s banging your husband sure is hot.” I do give the writers credit for not having her wax poetic about trips to the Home Depot, but this movie is such a huge mish-mash of moronic non-sequitors, they probably had to stop somewhere.
- At one point the twiggy tween daughter (who worries about being fat) talks about her father finding her mother’s “coming into her own” sexy. Daughters talking about their mother’s being sexy is dead creepy. Full stop.
- At not one, but two, points in the film, the extraordinarily annoying Sylvia character has over-earnest, goofy, feminist primer sessions with the possibly-more-annoying tween. Feminism is awesome. Talking to young girls about feminism is also awesome. Doing it in a clunky, dated, “where the hell did that come from?” way is not awesome. Oh, and the 1990′s called and it wants its feminist issues back. PLUS, I’m a liberal, not a wingnut. I don’t need my films to be rife with smarmy, obvious propaganda that confirms my worldview.
- The original film nods earnestly–albeit quickly–to the main character’s privilege. And somehow the the time period of the film makes the first world problems of these women seem less irritating. Not so for the remake. Somehow the idea of these thoroughly unappealing women pondering love and loss and how hard it it is for a tough-talking rich woman to get by in the magazine business kind of makes me want to vomit. I simply don’t care. Honestly, the movie would have been better if they had all click-clacked their way in their Manolos–or Jimmy Choos or whatever the hell idiots wear these days– into the middle of the street and had all been run over by trucks. Also, “Sex and the City” wants its…everything… back. (Although, to be fair, SATC was occasionally funny and goodness knows the “Women” remake didn’t steal that from it.)
The 2008 remake of “The Women” is like what chunky vomit would be if it were a visual medium. #WhoFuckingGreenlightedThis?
— Dr.KennethNoisewater (@vacuumslayer) April 3, 2013
I don’t know how the film managed take everything that was good about the original film–its crisp dialogue, its amazing cast, its catty humor– and turn it on its head. So instead of a soapy treat about women and their relationships, you get the treat of watching a horribly mis-cast, humorless pile of shit with leaden dialogue and feminist propaganda disguised as a meandering plot.
Feminism is great. I am proudly and rabidly feminist. The most feminist aspect of “The Women” is it that features no men. If you don’t understand the visual and psychological impact of that, you have no business remaking the film.
P.S. : WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SHITTY MIRACLE?
|1||gfunk6000 2, gfunk6000||200||220||200||240||320||320||
|2||carlericson 1, carlericson||220||220||120||240||320||320||
|4||deadlydude44 1, deadlydude44||190||200||160||160||160||320||
|6||Drstankus 1, Drstankus||220||240||160||80||160||320||
|7||Zapoteca_y_villa 1, Zapoteca_y_villa||230||220||160||80||160||320||
|7||jordan_BSU 1, jordan_BSU||210||200||120||160||160||320||
|7||RyanF9100 1, RyanF9100||210||200||120||160||160||320||
|10||clarkstooksbury 1, clarkstooksbury||200||240||160||80||160||320||
gfunk6000 should contact me with regard to prize information (address available under “contact” on far right sidebar). Congrats!
My latest feature at the Diplomat expresses some skepticism about the potential for accidental war on the Korean Peninsula:
Again, few wars happen by accident; most take place because policymakers want them, even if those policymakers operate with poor or incomplete information about the prospects for success. Given the current balance of capabilities on the Korean Peninsula, a full war seems exceedingly unlikely, as none of the combatants stand to benefit.
Still, even the low probability of an accidental war demands some attention from policymakers. Seoul, Washington, and, perhaps most importantly, Beijing should take every possible step to ensure that some form of communication remains between the potential belligerents. The United States must be extremely careful in assessing North Korean moves, even if the DPRK decides to expand its provocations to incidents like the sinking of the Cheonan or the artillery barrage of 2010.
This does not mean that the U.S. or the ROK should simply accept such attacks as the cost of doing business, but they do need to respond with great care. Finally, the leadership of the DPRK must come to an appreciation of how dangerous a situation it has created for itself, and strongly consider stepping back from the brink before something tragic happens.
And we arrive at the end…
|1||gfunk6000 2, gfunk6000||200||220||200||240||320||0||Louisville||320||1180||99.9|
|2||carlericson 1, carlericson||220||220||120||240||320||0||Louisville||320||1120||99.8|
|3||swerny 1, swerny||190||200||120||240||320||0||Michigan||320||1070||99.5|
|4||Fightin’ Boozehounds, TMTZac||200||200||120||160||320||0||Michigan||320||1000||98.8|
|6||armando.dkos 1, armando.dkos||200||220||240||80||160||0||
|7||matthewdkirk 1, matthewdkirk||250||200||200||80||160||0||
|7||byeh 1, byeh||230||220||200||80||160||0||
|10||deadlydude44 1, deadlydude44||190||200||160||160||160||0||Louisville||320||870||94.1|
|10||Not looking good…, Kevin-Wells||210||180||160||160||160||0||
“gfunk6ooo” wins if Louisville wins; “swerny” wins if Michigan comes away with the title.
Blogging at you today from the 2013 International Studies Association Conference in San Francisco, California. If you’re currently enjoying ISA, please consider stopping by the International Studies Blogging Reception, which should include blogger types from Monkey Cage, Duck of Minerva, and LGM. A few random links of note:
- Mmm… $900 million…
- This is how Auburn prepped for the 2011 BCS National Championship Game.
- Glenn has a good column on “rational atheism” and islamophobia.
- Arrested Development Redux premieres on May 26.
- How PACOM is thinking about North Korea.
- If you were wondering if it’s just about the hate, then yes; it is just about the hate.
- The PLAN is ramping up the amphibious ops.
- Jonathan Bernstein would like to point out that we’re all weird.
My article at Political Science and Politics is now available, gated here (Complicating the Political Scientist as Blogger. PS: Political Science and Politics, 46:2 (April 2013), pp. 383-386), ungated here. Key graph:
If you are reading this article in PS, the article has gone through a vetting and editing process that has probably lasted at least 18 months. This process undoubtedly improved the quality of the article, but it also substantially delayed its entry into the debate. Had I simply posted this discussion as a blog response to Sides, it probably would have taken me three or four days to write and edit it. I would have included multiple hyperlinks, effectively “citing” not only Sides article but a plethora of different pieces on blogging and the academy. The article could have been viewed by some 4,000 regular visitors to Lawyers, Guns and Money, plus another 8,000 or so subscribers. Any one of these subscribers could have responded (helpfully or unhelpfully) in our comments section, likely generating a long debate both on the merits of the article and on the merits of the author. Sides could have responded within a day, and a multitude of other political science bloggers might have chimed in during the ensuing weeks.
Instead, I published the article here in PS, giving up all of that in return for a line on my CV with the “peer review” annotation.The delay of this article, the loss of all of the interactivity that the Internet provides, and the substantial reduction in the number of people likely to read the piece buy me a slightly improved chance at tenure and promotion.
To say that this makes little sense is an understatement.
This article is a response to John Sides’April 2011 article “The Political Scientist as Blogger.” Core argument is this: Sides treats blogging (and what I tend to think of as associated “public intellectual” activities) as adjunct to a successful political science career. I, on the other hand, think that we should take seriously the possibility that these activities should become the main course of a successful career in political science (and other fields). As the above passage suggests, there are severe drawbacks associated with the centrality of the peer review system to academic hiring and promotion. To add another; I wrote the first draft of the attached article in June 2011, and my calendar tells me it’s now April 2013, which is perhaps why the article now feels dated. As we try to make the case that political science is sufficiently relevant to public policy to deserve NSF funding, we have to take seriously the problem that career incentives in our field do not support the efforts of scholars to make significant, timely policy contributions early in their careers.
And also this:
@cmorgangmu Funny how an article about blogging, which became popular because it’s free, costs $30 to access. Academics just don’t get it.
— Beirut to Jupiter (@BeirutToJupiter) March 29, 2013