Letters to the Editor

Game highlights capitalism’s faults

NFL owners locked out union referees to reduce their pension by $3.3 million a year. This amount is relatively small compared to the $3 billion of TV revenue a year the 32 owners get to divide.

The NFL brought in referee scabs from lower-division college, high school and even the Lingerie Football League to keep the games going. As you can expect, the NFL got what it paid for: Bad calls and delayed games as the new refs tried to figure out the rules.

The bad call that decided the Seahawks/Packers game created outrage from football fans, even Paul Ryan.  He demands that the union referees be reinstated to protect the integrity of the game.

What’s funny is that Paul Ryan and his Republican colleagues don’t have the same concern about the integrity of other professions, such as the teaching of our children. They are more than happy to hire the cheapest labor for everything else except football.  It’s good to have priorities.What’s also funny is that Paul Ryan’s team is the Green Bay Packers, the only NFL team to be collectively owned by the city and its fans. I wonder how the NFL’s decision would have been different if the whole league was collectively owned. There is no doubt that only the best referees would be at work and that the shared revenue would be more than enough to maintain their current pensions.

Now imagine if U.S. factories were collectively owned by their employees like the Green Bay Packers. How many would choose to shut down and move to China?  How many would use toxic chemicals to incrementally speed up production rates?  How many would pollute the water where they live?  Absentee owners of capitalism don’t care about the integrity of the game nor the workers who make them money. Let’s promote the American ideal of democracy to the work place.  Let’s make collective ownership the norm, not the exception.

Christian Henry


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