Civil Discourse Now

Where the far left and far right overlap for fun and enlightenment

NCAA conducts tutorial in (not a) free market economy

Indianapolis! With the NCAA women’s (congrats to IU!) and men’s basketball tournaments at play, we can see how capitalism plays out: like a single-elimination tournament with no re-set for the next season. Businesses do not like competition.

Republicans do not define “socialism,” but Oxford Languages does: “a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.”

“Means of production,” a phrase that smacks of Marxism, hits adrenal glands of this iteration of the GOP like moonshine whiskey at a KKK rally. Whatever minimal faculty of reason existed in the brain stems of those assembled disappears.

“Blucher!” is not German for “glue,” though horses whinny at mention of Cloris Leachman’s character’s name in “Young Frankenstein.” Despite GOP branding efforts, any government controls on the economy do not constitute evil, i.e., “socialism.”

We all should be scared of unfettered capitalism, a/k/a laissez-faire. By the 1890s in the USA, more and more money was in fewer and fewer hands. Children were forced to work in factories. Workers who protested were murdered. The air and water became loaded with filth.

A business “wins” if it makes profits and shuts down competitors and damn well wants to keep the trophy to itself and forever. Businesses do not always play “clean.” Predatory pricing means big businesses prices goods so low as to gut competitors. This results in monopoly.

Of course those same businesses welcome “partnership” with government. That’s not socialism in GOP eyes. It’s not even “partnership” because, much as Tony Soprano did things, the public pays the bills and the corporate shareholders reap the profits.

There’s only so much “stuff,” i.e., wealth, to go around. History has taught that rules, i.e., laws, for how that stuff is made and distributed is better in the hands of the majority of voters than in the hands of the few. Teddy Roosevelt, a Republican, believed that.

So we can watch the basketball tournaments in which teams from institutions of higher learning compete under the auspices of the NCAA, a not-for-profit corporation that has resisted athletes being paid their worth in markets that earn the NCAA billions.

It’s only “socialism” when the billionaire class is unable to rake more money into its pockets. So enjoy the games. Whatever teams are deemed champions will worry about defending their positions next year. Amazon doesn’t have such worries.

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