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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: East Bay | San Francisco | U.S. | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism | Health, Housing, and Public Services
The Warriors: When Will the Excesses of Professional Sports End?
How much does any one person need?
Professional sports is one example of America’s obsession with entertainment and other diversions such as drugs, movies, sex, etc. etc. While the ship seems to being going down in flames – out of control – we look for outlets. Unfortunately, so many of these diversions are just part of a big money-making scheme that drains local communities and fills the coffers of wealthy, self-interested people. Professional sports teams are not owned and sponsored by communities – they are owned by the super wealthy – the 1%. We, afraid of seeing ourselves in the mirror are looking for diversions and thereby are only so ready to fill the coffers of the 1%.
How much money goes into professional sports, an industry that doesn’t really produce anything but entertainment? Would our national resources be better focused on jobs for the average person and making sure that everyone has a roof over their head and some decent health care?
The Warriors mania recently swept the bay area. They are a great team and have some great players but I think our hero-worshipping priorities our out of balance. While protests of police abuse or government incursions may bring about protests of no more than a thousand people, if lucky, the warriors celebration parade brought hundreds of thousands to the streets of Oakland. What if these people decided to really stand for something and showed up in mass for something really worth it – like a protest of police killings or illegal US wars? We might have our own Arab spring.
Recently it was announced that star player Stephen Curry has a five-year contract with the Warriors for $200 million. While he is a great player – how much does any one person need? $10 million, $50 million, $100 million. This is all while thousands of people are sleeping on the streets of the Bay Area every night. Let us put the Stephen Curry compensation into perspective. If you break this out by day over 5 years it comes to $109,589 per day. This averages out to $4,566 for every hour in the five-year period. It comes down to $76 per minute. If we split this up into incomes of $75,000 – 533 families could have an annual salary of $75,000 per year for five years. This is an obscenity. Like so much else of the American elite – it is an obscene allocation of wealth while so many others suffer in this nation of mass income equality. There should be some limits in a society and fairness.
Urban governments need to step up to the plate and begin taxing excess salaries so that we can pay for education and health care and housing. I would suggest a 10% city income tax on wages over $1 million per year. It is time that we stop having to take charity from the likes of Mark Zuckerberg (Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital) and Marc Benioff (Benioff Children’s Hospital.) It is time that we taxed these people and limited the excesses so that we can fund our civic needs out of our government resources – not charity. People – wake up – it seems like it’s is only going to get worse and our stupidity and conformity only make it worse.
Not sure what we can expect from the Oakland City Council and some of the most corrupt -Larry Reid, Abel Guillen and Lynette Gibson McElhaney – of a notoriously corrupt city council received thousands of dollars’ worth of free Warrior's tickets that they used for themselves, their contributors and friends. Sounds like some form of payoff.
I think this interview with Tupac sums up where we are at with the state of thing in the US and Bay Area: