When Worlds Collide


One man. Two boys. Twelve kids.

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83 Responses

  1. Chad says:

    As a Democrat from Dallas who roots for the Cowboys I love everything about this post. Hopefully the Eagles will, lose their minds, sign Tim Tebow and have Rick Santorum bellow “Fly, Eagles Fly” every time he wants to talk about banning contraception.Report

  2. Tod Kelly says:

    Socialism = Nefarious and Nefarious = Socialism.

    That’s all you really need to know. Once you understand that, everything you hear from the right actually makes sense. If you try and load that word up with any definition or meaning, it just makes your head hurt.Report

  3. Mike Schilling says:

    The funny thing is that the NFL does have socialistic features, what with all the TV revenue being shared, a percentage of the profits being guaranteed to the players, and there being rules to prevent any of the teams from out-competing the others by too much (the salary cap, the limit on roster sizes, the draft, etc.) But that has nothing to do with what Baibn’s complaining about.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      I considered a post once on how the NFL’s more socialist approach seemed to create a better product than MLB’s more capitalist approach.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to Kazzy says:

        Good job you resisted writing anything so obviously false.Report

        • Kazzy in reply to Mike Schilling says:

          I don’t mean to imply football is superior to baseball. But the football system seems vastly superior to baseball’s system in a number of ways.Report

          • Nob Akimoto in reply to Kazzy says:

            Except for labor peace, competitive parity and the player development system… sure the NFL’s got it all figured out.

            I mean really, what’s not to love about tax-payer subsidized, player quality of life reducing, owner dominated economics that gets a feeder system from the public university system and only does business in the US?Report

            • I mean, yes…

              If you love crony-capitalism mixed with cartel behavior and protectionism, well the NFL’s got everyone (except maybe the NBA and NCAA) beat.Report

            • Kazzy in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

              The NFL has more compettive balance if you look top to bottom. Teams in MLB go a decade plus without a playoff appearance, a rarity in the NFL. MLB stadiums are often tax-payer subsidized (see the recent screwjob in Miami and don’t even get me started on the deal the Yankees got). MLB further manipulates young players, giving them no control until year 7.

              Sports teams and leagues do better when teams compete on a level playing field. They do in the NFL. Not so much in MLB.Report

              • Nob Akimoto in reply to Kazzy says:

                If your definition of “parity” is “playoff appearances” yes, perhaps. It also helps that a third of all teams get to go to the playoffs anyway. I’d imagine MLB would come out miles ahead on that score if the whole two-wild cards thing works out the way they’re hoping. Also when you start looking into who wins the leagues and conferences, the numbers start looking substantially different. Baseball’s got substantial more competitive balance in that regard.

                Also, MLB’s had a decade of labor peace. And for that matter, their product doesn’t have embarassing things like owners locking out officials because they wanna cut a few corners on pensions or pay. (And in fact, they have…*gasp* fully professional umpires! Oh the horror…)Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

                NFL is not without its warts. But geography does not determine a team’s ability to compete, as it does with MLB. That is directly due to the socialist/capitalist nature of rights deals and revenue sharing. On that metric, I think the NFL wins hands down.Report

              • Nob Akimoto in reply to Kazzy says:


                I don’t think geography plays a whole lot of determination on ability to compete in baseball. Else the Dodgers and Cubs would be winning a lot more World Series rings (or even division/pennant rings!) than say the Cardinals, Giants, or god forbid the Toronto Blue Jays.

                Now, even stipulating that we’re talking about a much longer period for baseball’s history of championships, there are 8 Major League baseball franchises to have never won a World Series, plus 2 that have never made a World Series appearance.

                The NFL in contrast has 4 franchises that has never seen a whiff of a Super Bowl (Detroit, Jacksonville, Houston and Cleveland) plus 10 teams that have never won it.

                Since 1980, the number is closer.
                It’s 4 MLB franchises without a single world series appearance.
                It’s 7 NFL franchises without a single Super Bowl appearance.

                But let’s look at the main “home market” for those poor bastards.
                The MLB franchises are:
                Seattle, Washington, Chicago and Pittsburgh.
                The NFL franchises are:
                Kansas City, New York (Jets), Minnesota, Cleveland, Jacksonville, Houston, Detroit.

                The metro areas are in terms of size:
                Chicago (3)
                Washington (7)
                Seattle (15)
                Pittsburgh (22)

                New York (1)
                Houston (5)
                Detroit (13)
                Twin Cities (16)
                Cleveland (28)
                Kansas City (29)
                Jacksonville (40)

                Now leaving aside for a moment the wisdom of sticking a team in a place like Jacksonville (it seems like a pretty dumb idea from my point of view) or having two major franchises in a state like Misery…err Missouri (KC, despite its name is in Missouri) the list really doesn’t tell us a whole lot except that both New York and Chicago have teams with long futility streaks going. And I’m pretty sure we all knew that by now.Report

              • And fortunately I don’t really like statistical analysis as a leisure activity (unlike say, Mr. Silver) so I’m not inclined to actually crunch the numbers on this, but given the shortness of the NFL’s schedule, there actually isn’t as much data to be gleaned from season performances as one might think.

                Now, if we were to be extraordinarily cruel to players and make them play 80 game seasons (like say in Hockey) and then analyze how the revenue model might influence outcomes.

                As it is in a sport where teams regularly having a winning percentage over 80% is common, it’s really hard to determine what’s an outlier and what’s not in terms of the season.

                There’s a reason why sabermetrics is baseball oriented and why the only other sports that’ve really gotten into statistics are the NBA and hockey, both of which have really long seasons.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Nob Akimoto says:


                In the NFL, the only money that isn’t pooled is ticket sales and merchandise sold in stadiums. Otherwise, TV deals, ad revenue, and other merchandise sales are all shared. That means teams in Jacksonville and teams in NY have roughly the same amount of money to spend.

                In MLB, teams negotiate their own TV deals, which is where the bulk of the money comes from. So if you are the Yankees with a television base in the 10s of millions, you can have your own television network and charge high fees to the cable providers to broadcast it. If you are Tampa, with a much smaller market, you’re going to have much less money. And MLB’s anti-trust exemption means they can prevent Tampa from moving to NY and becoming more competitive.

                While money doesn’t guarantee success, having more money is better than having less money. In this regard and ONLY in this regard do I think the NFL’s more socialistic system, where everything is shared and everyone gets the same, is better than MLB’s more capitalistic system. I think it is sort of screwed up that the Yankees have a built in advantage because they happen to play in NYC, an opportunity denied to other teams*.

                * I believe Peter Angelos, owner of the Orioles, got a huge settlement when they moved the Expos into the DC market, because he had previously had exclusive rights to the entirety of the area. That’s screwed up.Report

              • Will H. in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

                Florida is a very football heavy state; not really so much for the pros since the days of Csonka & Greise. But they go all-out for the Gators, Seminoles, & the ‘Canes. That’s what those expansion teams were all about, the same as moving the Oilers into Tenn.– to cash in on the native love of the sport.
                KC comes from the old AFL days, but it makes sense. There’s a big East-West rivalry through Mo., and KC will take any flimsy excuse for a party. Second (only to NY) largest St. Paddy’s Day parade in the nation for time out of mind. As long as they can still tailgate, people will turn out for the Chiefs.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

                MLB careers are longer and more lucrative, and almost never result in crippling physical and mental damage. And when the commissioner does something dreadful, it’s stupid like the All-Star game determining home field for the World Series, not evil like forcing players to work on three days’ rest. This obviously is related to the MLB players’ union being powerful, where the NFL union might as well not exist.Report

              • Kolohe in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

                MLB’s labor exploitation is abroad, in the Caribbean scouting & development system.Report

              • Nob Akimoto in reply to Kolohe says:

                Which they seem to be improving on through the introduction of a global draft.Report

  4. Morat20 says:

    About 90% of the utterances about “socialism” in the US that are ABOUT economics or politics are ALSO baseless and stupid.

    The word was watered down decades ago, and has basically survived as a Republican slur to throw against Democrats.

    Take the ACA — the Heritage Foundation’s own plan, one more conservative than what Republicans were contemplated three or four decades ago — and it’s now ‘socialistic”?

    Please. The most socialistic thing to fall out of a prominent Democrat’s mouth in the last decade was a suggestion for a single-payer health care system (aka: Medicare for all — and even that was rendered as a public option. No one seriously suggested a universal insurance system conveying base level insurance via taxation) which is scarely nationailization of the health-care industry.

    I suppose there were some calls to seize the banks during the financial crises, but given the call was to “break them up” (ie: seize them, clean them up, spin them off small enough to fail) and not make a national bank….

    The misuse of the word socialism is such a huge pet peeve.Report

  5. Kolohe says:

    You know who else used the term ‘socialism’…Report

  6. Rufus F. says:

    Man, I hate those… those friggin’ fascists that misuse political terms to slur people!Report

  7. M.A. says:

    For most of the right wing, it’s drugs.

    Exhibit A: Rush Limbaugh.Report

  8. Ryan Noonan says:

    I regularly tell my grandmother she’s a communist because she doesn’t like Winnie the Pooh.Report

  9. NewDealer says:

    Morat20 is pretty much spot on. The terms socialism and communism have been used as scare words by the right-wing since the 19th century and are now basically void of meaning in the United States. They roughly mean any kind of liberal, large-scale, government-centered program now. It is basically a Pavelonian reaction now on the right. Does a Democratic politician propose a policy? Answer: Yes. Reaction: SOCIALISM!!!!!!!!!!

    This could be something to an Anglo-American character. Though the UK has or had a strong labor movement, the labor movement in the United States was largely Anglo-Saxon free. Most heavy hitters and members of American labor units were various “white ethnics”: Germans, Jews, Italians, the Irish, etc. With the exception of Eugene Victor Debs and Norman Thomas, the most important American Socialists tended to be German and/or Jewish by this I mean those who ran for office and got elected.

    Keep in mind that I think this story below is what many on the Faux News right think of when they think of liberals even though she is an exception and not the rule. We are still seen as being a combo of spoiled rich kids who dabble in bomb-throwing anarchy.


  10. Major Zed says:

    Of course, liberals never make that sort of error, always being careful to distinguish capitalism from mercantilism or cronyism.Report

    • DRS in reply to Major Zed says:

      You know, I have a suggestoin for a New Year’s Resolution: could we have a stop to this kind of one-line sarcastic oh-so-supposedly-witty putdown? Could you at least come up with something original? Because it’s a styrofoam-peanut of a sentence, just put there to clog up the works. And it’s so boring to boot. It’s been done to death on this site. Give it a rest already.Report

      • Major Zed in reply to DRS says:

        Sorry, I didn’t realize this was a conservative-bashing-only zone. Just pointing out there might be some logs in some eyes…. Morat20 was right about ACA – socialism is not the appropriate label. The F word is more appropriate. But I don’t like to use it because it is SO overused and comes with too much baggage.Report

        • DRS in reply to Major Zed says:

          Way to miss the point, Zed. For the record, I’m a conservative. Duh.

          If you go back and read what I said, I was referring to the trite, sarcastic one-liner that you used. Boring, guy. Not nearly as insightful or as witty or as powerful as you think it is. Why not try putting some thought into a response that has some meat in it? Rather than just another zinger that doesn’t zing.Report

          • Major Zed in reply to DRS says:

            Not Witty Enough. Guilty, you honor.Report

          • Roger in reply to DRS says:


            I don’t get why you are jumping on Zed. It was indeed pithy and to the point, but it is an accurate statement, and can indeed lead to interesting discussions. People are constantly confusing cronyism and capitalism, with examples available as recently as the 2017 thread. Indeed, they do it so much, that I pretty much refuse to use the word capitalism at all. Endorsing it nowadays is the equivalent of saying someone is a good poopy head.Report

            • LWA (Liberal With Attitude) in reply to Roger says:

              “People are constantly confusing cronyism and capitalism”

              Where do they exist apart from each other?Report

              • BlaiseP in reply to LWA (Liberal With Attitude) says:

                Here’s the drill: capitalism makes good things better and cheaper as long as there’s some other firm out there ready to compete with yours. Cronyism is a constant temptation. If you and your competitor decided to have a discussion over a few piña coladas in the Bahamas, next thing you know, you’re involved in price fixing. Happens more than you might think in this wicked world. It’s a form of un-capitalism, where everyone divvies up the market and the profits. In a working capitalist system, they’d be competing on quality and quantity and style and be building their brands and suchlike, all the healthy aspects of capitalism we know and love. But in cronyism, they’re not.Report

              • NewDealer in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Hence why we have antitrust laws 🙂Report

            • LWA (Liberal With Attitude) in reply to Roger says:

              Zed was tying to make the argument that it is as much a fallacy to confuse our current economic system with capitalism, as it is to confuse the Heritage Foundation’s insurance plan with socialism.

              It wasn’t pithy, and it wasn’t accurate.

              It should be self-evident that the Heritage Foundation’s insurance plan is not socialism.
              So the point is, can our current economic system fairly be called capitalism?

              Well, we have two choices- yes or no.
              If yes, then the quip falls apart.
              If no, you have to assert that there is something called “capitalism” that is free of cronyism and mercantilism.
              Except that thing doesn’t exist anywhere, and never has.

              So what we are talking about is a thing that exists only as a theoretical construct, like, oh say, socialism. Pure socialism, mind you, not that perverted thing that happened under the Soviet Union which, as we all agree, could never be confused with socialism.

              We’ve been down this road, many times. Both roads, actually.Report

    • BlaiseP in reply to Major Zed says:

      It we must have a taxonomy of capitalism, perhaps you’d be so good as to outline the tree. Marx was a consequentialist, working from the real world back into the theoretical, scoffing at people who tried to impose their own axioms and morals onto the problems of society and economy. It’s a great pity more capitalists haven’t read Marx — and vice versa, that the Marxists don’t grasp what a fine student and thoroughgoing capitalist Marx truly was.

      Liberals understand rather more about capitalism than your gnomic utterances might suppose. But as I’ve said before, Liberals have a rather tougher lot in life: our positions are bound up in horrible people, poor people, disgusting people who might not seem to deserve their rights in law. But that’s okay by us, we know where all short-sighted thinking on the subjects of politics and economics ends: in tyranny.

      That’s the problem with Conservatives and Libertarians both. In the minority, they’re wonderfully eloquent on the rights of the oppressed. But given any credence, they’re always cravenly kowtowing and weeping bitter tears, like the Princess and the Pea, over the sufferings of the wealthy.Report

      • Major Zed in reply to BlaiseP says:

        The three terms I mentioned all have Wikipedia entries. As models of economic organization, they are readily distinguishable. Of course you are correct that nothing exists in pure form in the real world, yet we can often label policies and features as belonging to one model or the other. And IMO there is a tendency to conflate the models, on the left and on the right.

        Not being very familiar with Marx (and a thousand other writers) is one of my regrets; alas I must spend too much time with statistics and finance journals. I did try to read Capital once, but it was so fishing ridiculous, I couldn’t finish it.Report

        • BlaiseP in reply to Major Zed says:

          Ah, it’s Education via Wikipedification. Do us both a favour and quit condescending to the rest of us, especially to me. I’m a good old Leftie Capitalist who did get all the way through Das Kapital.

          It’s a pity there isn’t a Cliff’s Notes version for the likes of you. My old man used to have a joke about the country hick enlisting in the Army, goes into town with his buddies, sees a sign that said “Billiards.” Attempting to fit in, he says to his friends “I haven’t eaten any billiards in a long time.” And thus it is with you: Das Kapital is three books. It was the first attempt to integrate political systems with economics and if it seems a bit primitive by our standards, it was a very good first stab at the beast, a continuation of what Ricardo had started. If it seems simplistic, it was not ridiculous. Marx and Engels were working back from the real world, dissecting away all the nonsense surrounding the subject.

          True, the Marxists thought they could build a paradise around Marx’s thought but even Marx thought such efforts were stupid and impossible. You tried to read Capital and found it ridiculous. Hee hee. What an idiotic thing to say. I’ve been involved in markets for four decades now, as good a capitalist as anyone, believing in the power of markets to better mankind. The difference between us is pretty obvious: you read finance journals and I write systems through which billions of dollars move every day.Report

          • Major Zed in reply to BlaiseP says:

            The labor theory of value is ridiculous IMO. Couldn’t get past it. Maybe I should have made the effort, but you have to cut your losses somewhere. And I point to Wikipedia to make the point that the three terms I mentioned are distinct. Don’t need a big essay to do that.Report

            • BlaiseP in reply to Major Zed says:

              More proof you never read a word of Das Kapital. The entire third volume goes into explaining the problem of LTV. When labour becomes a commodity, it behaves as does any other commodity: to extract value, it becomes a race for the bottom.Report

            • BlaiseP in reply to Major Zed says:

              And just quit with the fishing condescending, Zed. It’s not at all clear even you know the distinction. Capitalism works while there’s meaningful competition. Mercantilism is as dead as the dodo and has been since the aforementioned Ricardo, who I’ll also bet my socks you haven’t read either. As for cronyism, that’s what happens to capitalism when competition dies. At least that’s what Liberals say, rather in contradiction to what you say we say.

              Just you stick to talking for yourself and quit putting words in other people’s mouths. That way you can keep your foot out of your own.Report

              • Roger in reply to BlaiseP says:

                I will certainly agree that someone is being condescending here. Should we ask fo a readers’ poll?Report

              • BlaiseP in reply to Roger says:

                Here’s a little Reader’s Poll for you, Roger. A poll with exactly one data point. Mene, mene, tekel upharsin: you have been weighed in the balances and found wanting.Report

              • Roger in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Reminds me of the guy that refuted the charge that he was violent by shooting the accuser.Report

              • Major Zed in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Protectionism is a perennial weed.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Major Zed says:

                Yes it is. Human nature, yes?

                After the mad rush into globalization has run its course I suspect well see lots of people finding new beauty in that weeds flowers, don’t you?Report

              • BlaiseP in reply to Major Zed says:

                Do you really think so? Capitalism seems to be evolving beyond it. Even in Adam Smith’s time it was on its way out. True, there’s lots of it embedded in the system, e.g. farm price supports and suchlike, but … okay, case in point, here’s why protectionism can’t work any more:

                Today I went down to Rouse’s Supermarket. Two different bags of frozen crawfish tails. The Chinese bag was six bucks. The Louisiana bag was almost 17 dollars. I still bought the Louisiana bag. Emotional purchase, I suppose the Chinese bag was just as good a product, but I’m willing to pay twice the price for local merch.

                Protectionism is more un-capitalism: governments trying to skew markets. Krugman did a lot of work on this subject, it’s a lot more complex than Free Market Good / Protectionism Evil. Basically, (and perversely) stimulus and its inverse, protectionism, benefit external parties who don’t have to pay for the consequences. Our fiscal stimulus packages helped Europe and Asia’s economies at least as much as ours. But protectionism, ecch, it’s always a short-haul bandage on a long-haul injury: it’s a valid response to dumping. Long term, the world need more and better trade frameworks, e.g. NAFTA.Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Major Zed says:

      Who doesn’t make that error? Show me someone who lauds the badly-dressed guy working as a liquor-store cashier because none of his small businesses panned out as a true capitalist, while sneering at the guy in the Lexus whose construction company has made a fortune due to his friends in the county planning department as a cronyst jerkwad. People worship success, not principles.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Major Zed says:


      My criticisms are not limited to conservatives. I spoke on this particular topic because I am an Eagles fan and found Babin’s comment nonsensical, with the nonsense predicated on the conservatives basterdization of the term “socialism”. There was no place to criticize liberals in this post because they were uninvolved.Report

      • Major Zed in reply to Kazzy says:

        And I did not mean to address the OP, but rather the long string of comments about the misuse of the term “socialism” among non-liberals. Apologies if I offended you through not making that clear.Report

      • Major Zed in reply to Kazzy says:

        I wonder, however, if Babin had more in mind than just a generic put-down. Something about central control, backroom/opaque decisionmaking, Soviet-style purges…? “Socialism” seems too specific a label; it has political overtones than must have meant something to him, even if inappropriate to a careful judge of meaning.Report

        • Kazzy in reply to Major Zed says:

          Major Zed,

          Very possible, if not likely. I don’t think Babin actually thinks “socialist” equals “poop head”. He clearly disagrees with how Philadelphia handled things, including his release. But there is nothing remotely socialistic about what they did. Yet he still chose this word, presumably because a thought process that looks something like, “Not how I’d do it thus wrong thus bad. I know for damn sure I’m not socialist. This must be socialist, then, because of how different and wrong and bad and unlike my very non-socialist self it is.”Report

        • greginak in reply to Major Zed says:

          What is a Soviet style purge? How does that compare to other kinds of purges? Are right wing purges different in character from left wing purges?Report

        • Kazzy in reply to Major Zed says:

          Central control of a private organization is socialism how?

          Did he want decision-making power? Did he want to be consulted before being fired? Did he want continued employment despite failing to meet expectations? PReport

    • Will H. in reply to Major Zed says:

      FWIW, I thought it was funny.
      However, considering my sense of (what I like to call) “humor,” that probably means that it will get you hated.Report

  11. Mike Schilling says:

    central control, backroom/opaque decisionmaking, Soviet-style purges

    If he’d meant that, he could have said “Republican”.Report

  12. Anne says:

    I hate it when people title a post and make me think its going to be about the Rocky Horror Picture show 🙂Report