It's a really long story but I have 4 endzone tickets for tommorrow's NFC championship game. Buy them so that the Reddess, Shark, Jr. and I can afford gas to get up to Lambeau to use the other three tickets that we own. (For my liberal readers, no need to worry. We'll be on the other side of the stadium, although Chris voted for Kerry.)
But this is a political blog so we need to make ideological hay of even the holy things in life and Paul Soglin dutily attempts to do this suggesting something or other on his blog about what the Green Bay Packers mean for capitalism or conservatism or something.
This seems to be the point. After noting that the Packers are non-profit*, he writes:
But if you asked Mark Belling, Charlie Sykes, and the rest of the free market New York Giant fans, they would tell you that, at best, the structure is stupid, at worst it is un-American.
I can just see them explaining to a twelve year old why this non-profit structure is wrong, it contradicts the American free enterprise system. Watch him look at you with incredulous eyes.
Watch that straw man burn.
I cannot recall any tenet of conservatism that says that non-profits are bad. Indeed, much of mainstream conservatism is informed by the principle of subsidiarity and the idea that, in most cases, freely chosen associations are to be preferred to those that are compelled by the state.
We do understand that the profits are a great incentive and there are many necessary walks of life in which they may be a necessary incentive. Many children dream of winning the Super Bowl. Few dream of offering precision seals and o-rings at a reasonable price. Still, we need then and, generally speaking, it takes a payday to get folks excited about something like that.
The point made in the comments about the NFL being sort of socialist in that it imposes a salary cap and shares much of its revenue also misses the mark. Although the NFL has 32 competing teams, it is really one single product that won't be very attractive if those teams aren't competitive.
* But his point about the Packer's low average salary is misleading. That's a product of their youth. If they want to keep this team together, that's going to change dramatically. Football players are stubbornly responsive to financial incentives.