I saw this on the internet this morning and feel obligated to respond. It’s an attack on the market. I’m a sworn defender of the market. I’m a market Jedi. This Sith creation must be destroyed.
The most obvious error of this photo is the omission of the fact that people have full control over their career paths. The firelady voluntarily filled out the job application. She voluntarily showed up to the job interview. She voluntarily agreed to take the job. She voluntarily agreed to accept the offered wage. She voluntarily chooses to continue going to work. She voluntarily chooses not to go look for better job offers (if this is what she even desires). She has no one in the world to blame but herself if she’s unsatisfied with her career.
There are no barriers to entry preventing her from going into more appealing careers. There is no reason she couldn’t try her hand at any career she wants – including acting, singing, kicking a ball as a professional athlete, or any other “overpaid” industry.
I don’t know who the guy on the right is, but he probably worked extremely hard to get where he is. He isn’t just a guy who kicks a ball; he’s a guy who kicks a ball who is so extremely good at it that people are literally willing to pay money to watch him do it against other competitors.
He probably played sports all throughout grade school to develop his skills - not getting paid for any of this hard work.
Now that he’s a top professional he’s probably had to make training a full-time job in order to maintain this status.
Yeah, he kicks a ball. He kicks a ball forty hours a week and it’s probably all the guy thinks about. He probably has to hire expensive trainers to push him beyond what his own willpower is capable of. That’s intense. You can count me out of living that kind of life.
The implications of this picture are:
1) That the market is immoral. It rewards the undeserving more than the deserving.
This view leads to
2) The market must be replaced by a system that will reward people more correctly.
It is essential to point out this system can only involve some kind of oligarchy of central planners and bureaucrats that will use force to accomplish this goal – this force being carried out by armed government enforcers and the threat of being locked up in prison.
The implications of the picture add up to the conclusion that armed enforcers should take a bunch of the rich athlete’s money and give it to the firelady, throw him in jail if he resists this, and kill him if he resists being jailed.
It demotivates me to realize that the more success I garner as a result of my hard work, the more I’ll have to share my success with people who did not work for it, and if I don’t go along with this program then some IRS agent will arrest me and if I resist arrest he’ll likely murder me in front of the whole world and get away with it – he may even get a medal.
The reason the athlete makes so much money is because there are so few people in the world willing to invest all their time, for years and years, into becoming a world-class athlete. He’s rare. Very few possess the skills he’s developed.
The firelady is not rare. There is no shortage of people capable of being a fire fighter. Any able-bodied adult with average intelligence can become a fire fighter.
The demand for the athlete’s services is great. Sports are extremely popular all around the world. There are entire television networks dedicated to bringing sports entertainment to people 24/7. Stadiums exist in all the big cities so tens of thousands of people can gather to view the sports in-person.
The demand for the fire fighter isn’t very big. People are surprised and shocked when a fire destroys a building. This is good. This means fires aren’t very common over all. Sure, they happen, but they aren’t an epidemic. We have the producers of private fire sprinkler systems, private fire extinguishers, and private fire alarms to thank for that.
Maybe one day there will be a technology that will forever end the problem of unwanted fires and we can completely stop having to pay for fire fighters.
The athlete receives his income through voluntary exchanges. People voluntarily choose to spend money on tickets to the game.
The firelady is likely paid out of coercive taxation. The government forces other people to pay her against their will. The government doesn’t give them the choice to buy or not buy this service. The government also outlaws private competition. Consumers are denied the option to voluntarily shop around for different service providers.