Major League Baseball (MLB) is Infected by Ideology

Major League Baseball (MLB) is Infected by Ideology.

This has probably been happening for a long time but has gone largely unnoticed except perhaps by baseball scholars. Now even the casual observer can see that big business baseball has joined mega-business social media giants by injecting itself into the prevailing ideology when they moved the 2021 All-Star Game out of Atlanta in response to the Georgia legislature exercising its Constitutional rights. Georgia passed a controversial voting law that is widely claimed to restrict voter access.

Atlanta area employers including Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola signaled their disappointment about the new law but were condemned by Democrat activists as being too weak in their “disappointment.”

What the New Law Says

On the surface the law appears to limit voter fraud.  You be the judge about whether the law is unfair or not. You can download the entire text HERE (PDF).    Here it is on Document Cloud – https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/20527915-sb-202-as-passed

The real question is whether BASEBALL, especially big-money corporate baseball, should be showing its middle finger to 50% of its fans.  Here again you be the judge.

Here Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp discusses the new law.

What Can You Do?

If you are disappointed that the game was moved, there are a few things you can do. None of them will make any difference unless everybody joins in, as in a majority.

1. Read the text of the law.  If you do not understand it all, as most people do not unless they re not trained lawyers, read an unbiased critique of the law.  Good luck trying to find that.  Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB)  seems to do a pretty good job: https://www.gpb.org/news/2021/03/27/what-does-georgias-new-voting-law-sb-202-do.

2. If you agree that the 2021 All-Star game should not have been moved out of Atlanta, let your voice be heard. Call or email:

  • By Phone
    Customer Support toll-free number: 866-800-1275
    International callers: 972-836-1111
  • By Email
    customerservice@website.mlb.com
  • By Mail
    MLB Advanced Media, L.P.
    1271 Avenue of the Americas
    New York, NY 10020

Why Do We Care?

In the grand scheme of our Federal Republic, it is important to remember that a pure democracy is the worst kind of government.  You can argue that a dictatorship is worse than a democracy but a pure democracy will result in the dictatorship of the majority.

Remember, .

The founders knew this so the Constitution  was contrived to avoid this as much as possible.  The Constitution was designed to share power so no single entity, including a majority of citizens, can abuse the rights of a minority.

Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution grants the Congress seventeen “enumerated” powers, plus unspecified “implied” powers.  The “Commerce Clause” of Article I, Section 8 gives Congress the power to regulate  commerce among the states. Otherwise all powers not granted to Congress are reserved for the states or the people.

To further safeguard all citizens’ rights, they devised the electoral college and equal state representation in the Senate. Whether those can stand up to an emerging uninformed ideology remains to be seen.

Corporations are People Too

The Supreme Court affirmed that Corporations have certain free speech rights that ordinarily would be attributed to people. Whether that is good or bad is a discussion for another day.

The point here is this: Corporations can do whatever they want within the confines of the law. They answer only to their shareholders/stakeholders. Most try to give the customer what he/she/it wants.

Baseball fans are customers. It’s their buying power that makes the teams. players, and owners rich.

If a majority of baseball fans, or Coca Cola, Delta, or Home Depot fans, do not like the actions of the corporation, they can vote by not doing business with those corporations.

Voting with your feet makes little difference unless everybody does the same, and that’s unlikely. Being politely vocal and telling management why you disagree with their often hasty political statements will have more impact, especially if you can use social media to amplify your voice. But it’s unlikely enough people will actually follow through. Owners know that.

Ideological Divide

There is evidence that certain beliefs, ideologies, are going mainstream, including in the boardrooms of major corporations and faculty of some universities. When this happens, the ideological voice of corporate leaders is vastly amplified by the money they control.

When the Koch brothers, known as a conservative voice, put their money where their mouth was, the ideological left condemned the supreme court decision, Citizens United v. FEC that preserved their first amendment rights.

The same rights must be preserved for the Left, or any other voice that does not  call for violence.

The great danger of the current ideological divide resides in a gradual erosion of the safeguards the founders put in place. If an uninformed voting public can be influenced to vote away the safeguards, the United States of America will join previous civilizations that drifted from freedom and prosperity to tyranny and deprivation.

What is Moral Hazard?

Moral Hazard is predominantly an insurance industry term to describe the actions of an insured party who acts differently than he would if there were no insurance to mitigate the effects of his actions. An example could be a homeowner who smokes in bed, lights candles in the house, and lights off flambé in a dining room close to flammable drapes, all because he knows that the insurance will pay if the house burns down.

Moral hazard is where one entity takes more risk because another entity will pay for mistakes. A common explanation for why this happens is called “informational asymmetry.” It occurs when the parties in a contract have unequal information and one assumes risk without fully understanding the extent of the risk.

The government is a master at creating moral hazards. Taxpayers bear the brunt.

Consider these examples:

  • Obamacare required insurance companies to provide benefits that they knew were not sustainable, but they provided coverage anyway knowing that the government would bail them out. Taxpayers take the hit.
  • Because Obamacare allowed people to sign up after they became ill, the scheme became too expensive to maintain and it failed.
  • Banks took huge risks claiming that they were too big to fail. Frightened politicians bailed them out to “save the economy.” Taxpayers took the hit.
  • Politicians in Illinois vote for generous defined benefit pensions for public employees. Public sector unions encourage their members to vote for the politicians. The unions claim that their members paid their fair share into the pensions, yet since 1998 the percentage actually paid by government workers has increase 75% and that of taxpayers by 427%.  Taxpayers are responsible for paying off current unfunded liabilities plus all future increases as well.
  • Heavy handed regulation encourages people to engage in lawlessness and behavior to circumvent the regulation when the cost of compliance is onerous.
  • Asset Forfeiture Programs in the states and by federal authorities encourage police to prosecute people, not solely because of the nature of a crime, but because of the value of property that potentially can be seized. Civil forfeiture is a proceeding brought against the property rather a person convicted of a crime and has been used to enrich police departments and municipalities, undermining the legitimacy of law enforcement.  Whether the laws that permit such seizures are an example of moral hazard or simply encourage government corruption is open to debate.

An interesting column about civil forfeiture laws by George Will can be found HERE.

Some federal rules have changed since this was written and somewhat reduce the federal government’s complicity under what is called federal agency adoption of property seized by state or local law enforcement. We hope the states take a lead in eliminating ill-conceived civil forfeiture laws.

An article written by Benson, Rasmussen, and Sollars in April 1995 points out:

The Comprehensive Crime Act of 1984 is shown to have altered the incentives of police agencies by allowing them to keep the proceeds of assets forfeited as a result of drug enforcement activities. Empirical evidence is presented which shows that police agencies can increase their discretionary budgets through the asset forfeiture process.

The United States is experiencing a crisis in police-citizen relations. We believe it is urgent that trust in law enforcement and the rule of law be restored. Civil Forfeiture laws, although not well understood by the general public, represent a clear moral hazard or at worse facilitate police corruption.  How can anyone trust the police in a simple traffic stop if the officer starts asking about how much cash the occupants of the car are carrying?  The answer is very chilling to the average citizen and even more chilling to minorities.

The Institute for Justice provides a state-by-state report on asset forfeiture called Policing for Profit. Access their web site HERE and watch the video:

Reform of forfeiture laws is a cause that seniors can take a lead in promoting at the local, state, and federal level. Contact your representatives and ask how they feel about the topic.