Sunday, June 19, 2011

Inequality 7: Roger Federer, Manny Pacquiao and Free Market

Sports Illustrated recently released its "Fortunate 50" richest athletes around the world. Here is their 20 highest-earning international athletes. The Philippines' most famous person and athlete, Manny Pacquiao, is no. 2!

The amount stated is for salary/ winnings + endorsements. In the Top 20 richest international atheletes outside the US), Paquiao is the only boxer. He earns bigger than the heavyweight or super-heavyweight champions. Two are tennis superstars (Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal), three are F1 drivers (Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher, yey, Schumi!).

Soccer has the most number of rich superstars, there are 8 of them in the top 20: (Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Kaka, David Beckham, Ronaldinho, Carlos Tevez, Frank Lampard).
NBA superstars are 3 (Yao Ming, Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol), baseball has 2 (Ichiro Suzuki, Miguel Cabrera), and motorcycle racing has 1 (Valentino Rossi).

Meanwhile, here is SI's 50 highest-earning American athletes this year.

Money in golf does not come much from winnings, but from endorsements.

A friend in facebook, a self-confessed Marxist-socialist, posted the earlier link in his wall. I commented that it just shows one beauty of capitalism (hehe, alam ko dami galit sa mga friends ni bonn just to mention the "virtue of capitalism"). Those who really excel in their field are super-compensated. And here's another virtue of capitalism: those "super-compensated" are also super-solicited by so many charities, foundations, friends, relatives, clans, etc. And that diffuses the wealth of the super-compensated. Bill Gates for instance did not spend all his money for himself, he put up a super-huge foundation that grants money sometimes bigger than the grants by USAID or WB. Warren Buffet also gives several billion $ of his own money to the Gates Foundation.

He commented that capitalism "is the system that is causing suffering, impoverishment, and misery of billions and billions of people in the world", but that "there is a way to organise capitalism - its production and distribution - to improve the lot of billions of people in the world." And finally added, "we have an experience of modifying capitalism just like the Keynesian welfare state which is far more acceptable to my values than the Hayekian-Friedmanian life of misery and selfish individualism."

Imagine that statement, "billions and billions of people", including the billion plus in China, another billion plus under near-socialist India. I reminded him that facebook is also a product of capitalism, does fb also causes lots of capitalist exploitation?

And the reference to ‎"Keynesian welfare state", like Denmark where he currently works that he's beginning to criticize more ofen now. That welfare state of 4 or 5 million people which does not want to open its border to people victimized by socialism or other statist capitalism somewhere. A welfare Keynesian state will always be allergic, even paranoid, to open its economy to "billions of people" that socialists and welfare statists wish to help.

Another friend commented about small or micro capitalism. I also like "people's capitalism" or micro capitalism. If being an employee forever sucks, then employees who are ambitious and hard-working enough should start becoming an entrepreneur, to become job creator themselves. But look at how the governments of the Philippines and other countries treat entrepreneurship with lots of bureaucracies and taxes to pay even before one can start a business. Statism and envy of entrepreneurship are the cousins of socialism.

Global capitalism, or nation-based capitalism, or even micro-capitalism aka people's capitalism, will always result in inequality. Even among siblings raised in the same house by the same parents and went to the same school, etc., will have inequality in performance someday -- academically, financially, economically. And this leads us to individual freedom, individual ambition and responsibility, vs. its other side, individual irresponsibility, dependence and lack of high personal ambition. And that explains why some guys are super-rich while others are super-poor.

If you is too focused on equality, then good examples will be N. Korea, Myanmar, Congo, Zimbabwe, etc. People there are generally equal, equally poor, except the leaders of their socialist or near-socialist state.

If one will focus on greater wealth creation, then one must accept inequality as one inevitable result. Give three people one hecare of land each, contiguous to each other. One may develop an organic farm (no tractor, no factory, environment preserved, yeah). One may develop it as housing for the squatters. One will develop it into a compound of high-rise condo buildings. See the huuuuge inequality later.

By writing the inevitable result of inequality in a free society, I was mistaken for advocating or valuing inequality per se. Wrong. I value individual freedom or liberty, period. The individual's freedom to ambition soooo high, freedom to work so hard to realize that ambition, and that individual will soon become a super-rich entrepreneur or capitalist. The freedom to move across islands, across countries and continents, is part of that individual freedom.

(These pictures of airplanes I took while inside various international airports in some my recent foreign trips). Incidentally, it is those global multinational capitalist enterprises that allow such international mobility -- the multinational airlines, hotels, and those huge capitalist enterprises like facebook, google, youtube, yahoo, facilitate information gathering by people before and during their international mobility. Inequality is an outcome, not advocacy, of individual freedom. Government coercion like socialism and big statism is the main enemy of individual freedom.
--------

See also:
Inequality 1: Rich Getting Richer is Good, August 29, 2009
Inequality 2: To Each According to his Needs... September 01, 2010
Inequality 3: Freedom, Free Market and Inequality, February 14, 2011
Inequality 4: Why Inequality is Good, May 10, 2011
Inequality 5: Comments to Why Inequality is Good, May 11, 2011

Inequality 6: On Social and Class Dominance, May 13, 2011
Hayek 3: Inequality and Progress, May 19, 2009

8 comments:

Bonn Juego said...

FB exchange between Bonn, Nonoy, and Kissy, 18 June 2011

Bonn Juego
Whew! It's somewhat surprising that Pacquiao earned more than the football superstars! Oh well, imagine human beings earning this much....

2011 Fortunate 50 - SI.com
sportsillustrated.cnn.com
‎2011 Fortunate 50
Yesterday at 12:42pm

Kathlyn Kissy: grabe, he more than Nadal and just a few notches away from Federer! No wonder he has a new "gift-giving" show.
Yesterday at 1:38pm · Like

Nonoy Oplas: and that shows one beauty of capitalism (hehe, alam ko dami galit sa mga friends ni bonn just to mention the "virtue of capitalism"). Those who really excel in their field are super-compensated. And here's another virtue of capitalism: those "super-compensated" are also super-solicited by so many charities, foundations, friends, relatives, clans, etc. And that diffuses the wealth of the super-compensated. Bill Gates for instance did not spend all his money for himself, he put up a super-huge foundation that grants money sometimes bigger than the grants by USAID or WB. Warren Buffet also gives several billion $ of his own money to the Gates Foundation.
Yesterday at 2:16pm · Like · 1 person

Bonn Juego said...

Bonn Juego: Yes, Noy, the capitalism you know has made fortunes to the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffet. But it is also the very same system that is causing suffering, impoverishment, and misery of billions and billions of peoples in the world.
Yesterday at 2:27pm · Like

Nonoy Oplas: ‎"billions and billions of people" -- including china under socialism, india under near-socialist govt. Btway, fb is a product of capitalis. It also causes lots of capitalist exploitation? hehe
Yesterday at 2:29pm · Like

Bonn Juego: Noy, I am with Marx and Engels in the understanding of capitalism as a 'historically progressive system' that can improve means of production and that can draw all 'even the most barbarian nation into civilisation'. I believe that there is a way to organise capitalism - its production and distribution - to improve the lot of billions of people in the world.
Yesterday at 2:36pm · Like

Nonoy Oplas: Uhrm. About 13 minutes ago, you blamed capitalism as the "system that is causing suffering, impoverishment, and misery of billions and billions of peoples" and then 4 minutes ago, you hope that capitalism can "Improve the lot of billions of people". Which is which? :-)
Yesterday at 2:41pm · Like

Bonn Juego said...

Bonn Juego: Noy, it is why I qualified my statement in the phrase "the capitalism you know", which is different from the capitalism I'm referring to. To me, there are 'types' of capitalism, or capitalisms, if I may.

True, Noy, we do not have historical experiences of social development and economic growth outside global capitalism. And I am not an apologist to the kind of capitalism - definitely not the socialism that I know and believe in - of the usual systems you love to mock ('china under socialism, india under near-socialist govt.'). But we have an experience of modifying capitalism just like the Keynesian welfare state which is far more acceptable to my values than the Hayekian-Friedmanian life of misery and selfish individualism.
Yesterday at 2:54pm · Like

Kathlyn Kissy: im a little intimidated to join in the fray. i take noy's point that the capitalist system rewards those who invest in multiplying their resources and talents. in the last few weeks, ive had my own pondering on wealth creation, which society should not frown upon. the flip side of it is bonn's point about its darker, exploitative nature where its distributive effects have yet to be felt by billions. i have heard of many groups not totally rejecting the tenets of capitalism; instead they want to promote ownership of production by small 'capitalists', and not the gross accummulation of wealth in the hands of a few. so to both of you, which aspects of the capitalist system work or do not work to support wealth distribution?
Yesterday at 2:56pm · Unlike · 1 person

Nonoy Oplas: ‎"Keynesian welfare state" like Denmark that you're beginning to criticize more. That welfare state of 4 (or 5?) million people, and don't want to open to people victimized by socialism or other statist capitalism somewhere. A welfare Keynesian state will be an allergic state to open their economy to "billions of people" that you wish to help.
Yesterday at 3:04pm · Like

Nonoy Oplas: Yes Kath, I like "people's capitalism", micro capitalism. If being an employee forever sucks, then employees who are ambitious and hard-working enough should start becoming an entrepreneur, to become a job creator himself. But look at how many govts treat entrepreneurship with lots of bureaucracies and taxes to pay even before one can start a business. Statism and envy of entrepreneurship are the cousins of socialism.
Yesterday at 3:06pm · Like · 1 person

Bonn Juego: Noy, again, I'm not an apologist for what Denmark has become, or for what the welfare experiments have become in Europe since the postwar, or the so-called 'golden age of capitalism'. There have been many factors at work, and 'the political' aspect has lots to do with the destruction of the welfare state. (Political parties, industrialists, labour unions, etc. have different perspectives on immigration policy.) But structurally, I see this as a manifestation of the contradictions of the combined and uneven character of development under global capitalism. That is to say, the scope of capitalist dynamics is combined or global, but its effect is uneven. And as evident in 'reality economics', it's the people who follow capital, and not the other way around.
Yesterday at 4:30pm · Like

Bonn Juego said...

Bonn Juego: Kissy, on your question 'which aspects of the capitalist system work or do not work to support wealth distribution?' I'm much more on production-based economics. Meaning, my interest is in the fundamental and first order development strategy - wealth creation. We have to create or produce wealth first before we can redistribute. An aspect of capitalism that works is technology that can unleash productivity explosions. As I see it, what do not work for the great majority of peoples are: values (profit over people; market over society; money over the environment), institutions (for the elites and capitalists, and not for the common good), and political will (of those who govern and wield power).
Yesterday at 4:38pm · Like

Nonoy Oplas: So you lambast capitalism in general as causing misery to "billions and billions of people" and advocate the Keynesian welfare state to possibly help those "billions and billions of people" and we know it's not happening. I also did not say that you apologize for Denmark, I said that you're criticizing it more often lately.

Global capitalism, or national capitalism, or even micro-capitalism aka people's capitalism, will always result in inequality. Even among siblings raised from the same house by the same parents and went to the same school, etc., have inequality in performance -- academically, financially, economically. And it will lead us to individual freedom, ambition and responsibility, vs. its other side, individual irresponsibility, dependence and lack of high personal ambition. And that explains why some guys are super-rich while others are super-poor.
Yesterday at 4:47pm · Like

Kathlyn Kissy: if the welfare states of europe are not the best examples of wealth creation and redistribution, where do we look to? what democratic experiments are possible that encourage both capitalist production in the way that you both (or individually) envision and near-equality?
23 hours ago · Like

Nonoy Oplas: Kath, if you are too focused on equality, then good examples will be N. Korea, Myanmar, Congo, Zimbabwe, etc. People there are generally equal, equally poor, except the leaders of their socialist or near-socialist state.

Now if you focus on greater wealth creation, you have to accept inequality. Give 3 people 1 hecare of land each, contiguous to each other. One may develop an organic farm (no tractor, no factory, environment preserved, yeah). One may develop it as housing for the squatters. One will develop it into a compound of high-rise condo buildings. See the huuuuge inequality later.
23 hours ago · Like · 1 person

Bonn Juego: Noy, I used the noun 'apologist' ('a person who offers an argument in defense of something'), not the verb 'apologize'.

Anyway, we haven't had a 'global Keynesian welfare system' - if I may call it as such - which I would personally prefer than your notion of global capitalism marked by inequality. But then I'm becoming more critical now of 'globalising' or 'universalising' a particular ideology. My vision of an alternative future is 'a world with many worlds in it'. A requirement for this is the free movement of people. Let a human being move freely wherever, or to whichever social system, s/he feels like leading a 'good life'.

Again, we are different, Noy. I value 'difference'. You value 'inequality'.
23 hours ago · Like · 1 person

Bonn Juego said...

Nonoy Oplas: Wrong Bonn. I value individual freedom, period. The individual's freedom to ambition soooo high, freedom to work so hard to realize that ambition, and that individual will soon become a super-rich entrepreneur or capitalist. Freedom to move across islands, across countries and continents, is part of that individual freedom. Incidentally, it is those global multinational capitalist enterprises that allow such international mobility -- the multinational airlines, hotels, and those huge capitalist enterprises like facebook, google, youtube, yahoo, facilitate information gathering by people before and during their international mobility. Inequality is an outcome, not advocacy, of individual freedom. Government coercion like socialism and big statism is the main enemy of individual freedom.
23 hours ago · Like

Nonoy Oplas: Btway Bonn, I advocate the abolition of visa system. People will just need a passport as their "national ID", and they shd be allowed to travel to any country anytime. Only those with proven and unserved criminal records will not be allowed to travel abroad, their passport be recalled, voided, and their names and pictures be forwarded to all countries. Do you favor such view and if not, why?
23 hours ago · Unlike · 2 people

Kathlyn Kissy: What is the practical place of equality when what we have been trying to do for ages to bridge inequality, based on the supposition that inequalities have been roadblocks to the enjoyment of individual (and collective) freedoms? Please shed light on whether these two are morally incompatible.
22 hours ago · Unlike · 1 person

Nonoy Oplas: Actually Kath, racket lang lahat ng mga programs to promote equality. UN programs, WB, ADB, USAID, JICA, etc. I think ALL foreign aid workers and officials who earn tax-free income and yet getting their salary and perks from tax money, know that equality or even "near equality" is impossible to happen.
22 hours ago · Like

Kathlyn Kissy: ‎Nonoy Oplas: I agree with you on the concept of a "national ID." I get so frustrated every time I come home, when I am asked for two, three secondary IDs, when my primary ID, the passport, has been recognized, stamped, tramped, scrutinized in 10 other countries! I saw how efficient it is to have such an ID in Hong Kong. Sans the inconvenience of having to prove the authenticity of your identity(or identities) every time. Back in my university days, opposing then proposed national ID system seemed to make sense with the government on your heels. In an information flooded times, I dont see any reason why a national ID should be disdained, given that the government can run after you if it wants to (Read: profiles on facebook, linkedin, twitter, friendster, etc).
22 hours ago · Like

Bonn Juego said...

Nonoy Oplas: Yes, I also support having a national ID system. And that ID is our passport. A passport shd also have at least 8 years expiration period, not the current system of only 4 1/2 yrs, as the passport becomes invalid if one will travel with 6 months to expire.

Meanwhile, I wrote a blog post, inspired by this exchange, http://funwithgovernment.blogspot.com/2011/06/roger-federer-manny-pacquiao-and-free.html. Enjoy!
22 hours ago · Like

Kathlyn Kissy: hahaha...quick...will read. Meanwhile, Manny Pacquiao gets to spend Father's Day in the US with his fat billions, and we're not complaining. Peace!
22 hours ago · Like

Nonoy Oplas: Yep, we shd not complain. If we get rich someday, it's ugly if other people will complain why we travel more often and have more money than them. Envy is for the socialists :-)
22 hours ago · Like

Kathlyn Kissy: ‎Bonn Juego and Nonoy Oplas: bright men, i think you two should individually evolve your own people's economics since the welfare state economics and the variants of capitalism(s) do not provide the middle ground of wealth creation and redistribution in a well-functioning (and imperfect) society.
22 hours ago · Like

Bonn Juego: Noy, philosophically speaking, your strong 'normative' take (i.e., 'what should be', instead of 'what is') on individual freedom takes for granted a range of concrete social conditions and relations that limit freedom of action. The two aspects of 'freedom' - 'freedom from' and 'freedom to' - are never absolute, in ideational and practical terms.

I maintain that the "capitalism you know" - that is characterised by what you deem as "individual freedom" - is not a system/realm of freedom or choice, but of contradictions, coercion, and domination. Since the capitalism you advocate necessarily entails 'inequality' and the unhampered drive for accumulation, there can never be 'freedom from' want, poverty, hunger, exploitation, and inequality itself.

On the welfare system, of all the many other arguments for it, I think I shall borrow the feminist adage in its defence: 'the personal is political'. I do not wish bad health or a lingering illness to my dear friends or to anyone else, but it is in moments when you or me or our loved ones suffer from woes and misfortunes - the sick, the elderly, the unemployed, the youngsters who need education - can we appreciate the virtues of, and the rights to, welfare. It is in those moments of personal tragedy can we realise deeply that life is not all about money.
21 hours ago · Like

Bonn Juego: Ang bilis mo, Noy! Ilang beses na ako na blind item sa blog mo ah, hehe. Ito ang ayaw ko sa fb kasi hindi siya tulad ng blog na may archives. Dapat i-post itong exchange of comments dito sa blog entry mo para fair.

Meanwhile, my girlfriend asked me kung sino na naman daw ka chat ko ngayon. Sabi ko: "Naalala mo si Nonoy, iyong nakasalubong natin dati sa SM Annex?" At ang pambungad pa na salita ni Nonoy noon ay: "Ang ganda ng capitalism, noh...."

Hehe! Good night sa inyo riyan! ;)
21 hours ago · Like · 1 person

Nonoy Oplas: Bonn, a personal blog is an expression of the personal ideas of the blog owner. Pwede naman to copy-paste everything in the exchange, but I think it's too long. What should make things "fair" is if you also blog your own ideas about this and many other exchanges. Kaya dapat may blog ka na rin. If you have one, you shd update it regularly. Masarap may blog, you can express your ideas anytime, put pictures, video, etc. Mainstream media is corrupt, I think. The media owners, editors and reporters have their own biases, they can amplify something including fiction (like man-made warming) and block off other stories that dont conform with their belief and biases. Blogs equalize the freedom of expression.
9 hours ago · Unlike · 1 person

Nonoy Oplas said...

Oh, thanks for posting the entire fb exchange bonn. This blog has "unmoderated" comments setting, so all comments are automatically posted, except when blogger itself thinks that a comment is a spam, it goes to a spam folder first for approval or rejection by the blog owner.

Todd said...

No one forces anyone to pay $50 (the going rate in the US) to watch a Pacquiao fight. No one forces anyone to pay $100 for a pair of shoes that are worth $30, without an athlete's name on them.

It is very expensive in the 21st century to be a fan of professional sports in the US, and in more and more cases, Europe. It's also a personal decision whether or not one is going to be a fan, and financially support such. But ya know know, life is still worth living without professional sports in them. :-)