Thursday, July 7, 2011

The NBA, NFL Lockout and Government Shutdowns

The NBA owners have joined the NFL by locking out the players. This one is actually considered worse than the NFL lockout, as NBA owners are trying to destroy the players' union and cut their pay. The owners refuse to share the money between the teams as well, as some teams are losing money, while others are raking it in. This gives some teams like the Mavericks and Heat huge competitive advantages over teams like the Clippers and Bucks. Since owners like Mark Cuban are unwilling to share with other owners or players, they are shutting the league down, which would not only hurt the players and jilt fans, but will hurt stadium workers and other small workers we usually don't think about when we think of sports. The NFL lockout may be close to being resolved, but it is still going on and now because of the possibilities of training camp cancellations, many cities may lose money. When cities lose money, they are forced to either raise taxes or cut services. This is all because millionaires and billionaires can't agree on how to split up $9 billion dollars of NFL revenue.
The Minnesota State Government has entered a shut down, largely over a refusal to raise taxes. Things like battered women shelters and food shelters are now being at least temporarily closed. 2/3rds of State employees are now basically out of a job. Protesters in the capital have been chanting “Tax the Rich”, something the government is refusing to do. The GOP in the state is actually using the government shutdown to fundraise.
At the Federal level, the debt ceiling debate threatens to destroy America's credit rating and devastate the American economy. Again, this is mainly because of a refusal to raise taxes on the very wealthy, especially on the part of Republicans. The United States Congress is made up of 245 millionaires. Millionaire Senator Jeff Sessions called the idea that millionaires need to share the budget pain “pathetic”. When rich people make decisions, it tends to benefit rich people, and when they disagree, they always seem to hurt us.

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