Thursday, October 20, 2011

Are you "Overpaid"?

I listen to sports radio quite often. Many callers often complain about a players lack of performance; and usually somewhere in the diatribe is a comment about the athlete being "over-paid." I often laugh because most people don`t think they are overpaid; only other workers are over-paid. Now we start with some basic economics. In a free market system, wages are determined by supply and demand. It is really simple as that. If you perform a duty that is high in demand but low in supply; you will experience the pleasure of extremely high wages. This is why Kobe Bryant and Lebron James earn so much money for just shooting a round ball in a basket. The duty that they perform is in very limited supply because they represent the elite in basketball in the entire world! Secondly, the duty they perform is in extremely high demand. This is what determines wages. Think of football players, baseball players, boxers, or any athelete for that matter. Think about the rarity of the duty they perform, and think about the demand for that duty. This is why Michael Vick of the Philadelphia Eagles could step out of federal prison into a $100 million dollar contract. He is not "over-paid," but he (NFL level Quarterbacks in general)  are in extremely low supply but very high in demand. Now take the best of the best of NFL quarterbacks; Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Breeze and Vick. They make astronomic amounts of money because of simple supply and demand. These simple rules can be applied to any profession. Why do actors get paid so handsomely? fill in the blank. Why do fast food workers get lower wages? Think about it. Almost anyone off the street can be trained in a few hours to perform the duties required at a fast food restaurant. This means there is a high supply; which tends to lower demand. Therefore wages will be lower. So the key to high wages is to be a rarity in high demand.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The "Myth" of Race,Borders and other things that divide people

Throughout the history of mankind we have battled each other for resources. The first people that would come to dominate the world understood the importance of unity. Let us say for example that there are 3 people in the world. One is very strong, and the other two are weak. The strong one dominates and has more food and property than the other two. However, one day the two weaklings decide to join forces and overcome the "strongman."This is an elemantary picture of how early societies may have formed out of necessity. People realized that strength lay in numbers and began to live together,depending on each other in areas that they were lacking in. As societies grew complex people evolved from small families to klans, to tribes, and eventually nations. Intellegent leaders used many types of tools to inspire others to follow. After all, why should I follow you, if you are the same as I am? So religion became one of the earliest forms used for controlling large groups of people. The Egyptian kings were thought to be the very incarnation of God in the flesh. Who is going to rebel against that? Of course other tribes had Gods of their own, and it became a showdown to prove who had the stronger God. Eventually, large groups of people created man made borders which divided humans from each other. For instance; there is no genetic difference between French and Spanish, but  "topical" issues, such as language and history, create the myth of difference. What does all of this have to do with race? Race is just another "tool" used to divide people. In reality; the reason for our differences physically are connected to our environment. If you lived in a hot, sunny area, then you would have a darker skin complexion. If your ancestors came from heavily forested regions, then sun exposure would be less, and therefore the skin would be lighter. This is all basic; so what is the problem between us all? It is our collective experience on earth. Although we are all connected, and related (believe it or not) we have bought into the myth for so long. We fight and kill each other in the name of religion, nationality, and race. All concepts that are complete illusions and man made. For instance: In the early 20th century all new immigrants were routinely discriminated against for being Italian,Irish, or Chinese. You see, it is in our nature to embrace that which is like us, therefore in order to kill or destroy another human, we must create a "them." Therefore we need a reason that they are not like "us," therefore we use language, "race," religion, nationality to create animosity. This is what John Lennon spoke to in the song "Imagine." If people realized that by putting another man down, that they are actually putting themselves down, the world would be a different place. When you "Love your neighbor as yourself," you are actually loving yourself.

Marriage: Church vs. State

"Gay" marriage is a relatively new phenomena of our times. Unfortunately; do to the hyper-sensitivity in today`s environment, I must preface this piece by saying that I hold nothing against "gays" or homo sexuals. Ridculous is the idea of "coming out," as CNN host Don Lemon did several months ago before the release of his new book (what a suprise). Sex has always been a private matter; and it should stay that way. Imagine if a news person announced that he was hetero sexual on air ? "How well would that information be received? I would like to think that most people don`t care, and as a matter of fact feel infringed upon as they are now placed in a situation to think about you in a way that has nothing to do with your job. There is a such thing as "TMI" or too much information. If you are doing the news, I don`t want to hear about you being gay,straight, or transgender. It is personal. Anyway; as you can see, that is another proverbial "can of worms." Perhaps I will adress it more in another post, but I want to talk about so-called "gay" marriage. Here is the problem that I have not heard be fully spoken about. Marriage has its roots in religious institutions; and therefore it was the religious authorities, first the ancient Hebrews and then later Christians who defined "marriage" as adopted in western society. As the United States became a primarily Christian nation; this institution was adopted by the States. They could not have possibly seen what was to come in the future, for marriage was simply defined along classic religious interpretation, as that between a man and woman. Now although the State adopted marriage from religious institutions; we have seperation of said Church and State. Therefore the state can decide to do what it wants with its` interpretation of marriage. However, it is wrong to try to force any change on the religious institutions themselves concerning the interpretation of their doctrines. If a church refuses to marry such couples due to their religious beliefs, they should be fully allowed to do so. This is a "slippery slope" because many cry discrimination. However, the "right of association" must be understood. What is the purpose of having any organization if it is just like the secular society? For instance; a girl sues an all boys school for discrimination because she can`t enter. Now we know that we have all boys schools and all girls schools;because we have what is called freedom of association. We have the right to have private clubs with exclusive memberships etc. So I think that religious institutions retain the right not to marry those, whom they feel don`t fit the "qualifications." There is serious problem however; it is that the States issue the licenses to those officiating ceremonies. These "licenses" effectively take the power away from the religious institutions to define marriage and decide who can be married. It is up to the States. Therefore, religious institutions have effectively been stripped of what was once exclusively theirs. I think the future brings more confusion; as we see transgender issues being presented in the media, attempting to blur the definition of man and woman. Polygamy will also be a bigger issue in the future. Although I am not religious; I can see that the instution of marriage has been torn from its roots. Without the foundation and definition in place; anything goes, and the way things are,anything will go.
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