Aaron Rogers Cost Wisconsin 184,000 Jobs

Aaron Rodgers_Many people are demanding that the minimum wage be raised to $15 an hour.  They complain that some people make too much money, and that’s why poor people earn so little.

You see, liberals believe that wealth is a zero-sum game.  If one person gets more, another gets less.  They think that raising the minimum wage would transfer wealth from the owner of a business, or its high-paid employees, to the poor, hard working lower-paid people.  Simple.

My fantasy football team got clobbered this weekend.  It didn’t help that my opponent’s quarterback, Peyton Manning, scored 7 touchdowns and passed for 462 yards . . . but anyway, some of my players’ terrible performances made me wonder how much they earn per hour, compared to their teammates.

My starting tight end, Anthony Fasano, makes $1.2 million per year.  That places him somewhere in the middle of the expense report for the Kansas City Chiefs.  At the top of the Chiefs report is Tamba Hali, a defensive lineman who makes over $12 million per year.

Fasano had a pretty disappointing opening week, catching only two passes for 8 yards in the first game of the season.  He doesn’t block much, so his value is based on his catches.  My simple math (not the way it is taught in our government schools today) works like this:  $1.2 million divided by 16 one-hour games per season is $75,000 per hour.  Now I know, Anthony is working at practice, and in the off-season, and during time-outs too.  But let’s face it, his value to his employer is only the 60 minutes he is on the clock on Sunday.

If Fasano is making $75,000 per hour, no wonder the kids at the car wash only make $7.50!  Just think, if Fasano didn’t play football, they could divvy up his paycheck!

But darn, business is so complicated.  Fasano was paid one-tenth as much as Chiefs lineman Tamba Hali.  Hali didn’t gain any yards – he is a defensive player.  Still, he got a couple of tackles and returned an interception for a touchdown.  He anchored the defense, who shut down the Jacksonville offense, leading to an easy win.  How do we compare Hali’s worth to Fasano’s?   They both worked an hour.

My fantasy team quarterback, Aaron Rogers, is the highest paid player in the NFL, at $22 million per year (not quite up to Madonna’s pay rate, she earned $125 million).  Using the simple (non-Common Core) math, that’s about $1,375,000 per hour.  Just think, if the Packers owners – who are mostly season-ticket holders – let Aaron go tomorrow, they could hire 184,000 guys for each of their eight home games at $15 per hour to sell hot dogs at Lambeau Field!

But wait a minute . . . if Aaron was not playing, who would be there to buy all those hot dogs?  Maybe it doesn’t matter if the Packers win, or if there is a game at all . . .  People will just go to Lambeau and buy hot dogs from the 184,000 hot dog guys anyway, right?  (hmm, we might need a bigger stadium to hold all of those hot dog guys . . . )

It just seems really unfair that Rogers makes $1.4 million per hour, and the hot dog sellers only earn $7.50.  So, I guess let’s just pay Aaron $15 an hour and then we can hire 184,000 hot dog sellers at $15 an hour and that will even help reduce our high rate of unemployment.  That’s fairness, and unemployment problem solved!

I think?

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

It seems to me
I could live my life
A lot better than I think I am
I guess that’s why they call me
They call me the working man

Workin’ Man – Rush

Here’s a different and really cool version of a classic – by one of the hardest working live performing bands in history – RUSH:  Workin’ Man!

3 thoughts on “Aaron Rogers Cost Wisconsin 184,000 Jobs

  1. Tom, people don’t make a living wage because of corporate greed. Yes, take a little money from the CEO with the private jet and 16 houses and “distribute that wealth” to people who work full-time, have no health care, and are on government assistance. Why are conservatives so darned upset when people just want to make ends meet?? Don’t you wish the government could quit paying to subsidize corporate greed with welfare for full-time workers?

    • Tabitha, you made my point, which is an economic one, not a social one. The point is, many Americans believe wealth is a “zero sum game”, like a piece of pie where some get a bigger slice and others smaller, but the pie is always the same size. This is not true. In my example, if Aaron Rogers makes a lot of money because his product (football) is so good that many people pay to see it, then other people get jobs and employment from it. It is the creation of wealth – the pie is bigger. And sometimes cutting out payroll in one place will have disastrous effects on the business, which puts people out of work. My example was to remove Aaron Rogers and give split his paycheck among the hot dog vendors at higher wage rates. Problem is, there would be nobody there to buy the hot dogs and everybody would end up out of work. Extreme example, I know, but I’m trying to make a point.

      Many liberals view conservatives as stingy and mean. Why? Statistics show that Republicans (which I am not, I am a conservative) contribute much more to charities than Democrats do. All of the most charitable and caring people I know and can point to in the news are conservatives. Volunteer groups (not protesters, or “awareness”, I mean working groups that actually do something) are made up of mostly conservative people. And most private business owners, predominantly conservative, who employ and care for their employees, share their wealth to an extent you will never hear about in the press. I have known many owners of very large companies, and you would be astonished at how big their hearts are. I know many small business owners who pay their employees more than they, themselves, earn. And don’t forget that the richest 20% of Americans pay 70% of the taxes. The bottom 50% of wage-earners pay no federal income taxes.

      “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house” was a word to the wise. Why is taking wealth from someone else by force now considered honorable, but taking care of one’s own family wealth is bad? Being stingy is not honorable, either. But better to try to create one’s own wealth rather than try to take wealth from someone else by force. By the way, not good to covet thy neighbor’s wife, either!

      When I sold my business I voluntarily gave a huge bonus to my key employee, in recognition of his contribution to our success. Throughout my business career, I paid much higher wage rates than any competitor. Am I mean and stingy with people? You know me, Tabitha, do you think that description fits me? Well I am no different than other conservatives. We care about people as much or more than the average liberal. We want people to have successful, healthy and enjoyable lives. But we understand economics and the unintended consequences of irrational economic decisions. Too much giving without teaching responsibility results in dependence – examples abound.

      You asked two questions I will try to answer. “Why are conservatives so darned upset when people just want to make ends meet?” I don’t know, Tabitha, I have never met a conservative who was upset when people make ends meet. We are continually trying to make things better for everyone with the economic knowledge we have gained and with our own hard work and charity. We rejoice in the success of others. Can you give me an example of any conservative who gets upset when people want to make ends meet? You see, some political/economic or business strategies that appear to be “kind” actually do more harm than good, and maybe that’s what is confusing you.

      And you asked, “Don’t you wish the government could quit paying to subsidize corporate greed with welfare for full-time workers?” That’s a little bit more complex. First, if you are saying the tax code is an unfair, unenforceable mess that is manipulated by politicians and corporations, you are exactly right! Our tax code needs to be blown up and started over without loopholes built in as favors for corporate supporters of political candidates and favoritism for specific causes. We all hoped that our new administration would follow through on promises to clean this up, but it has only gotten worse. Regarding corporate greed: corporations are owned by people – stockholders. You, at least through your pension fund, are a greedy corporate owner, because you own stock. Are some CEOs overpaid? Hell yes! The board of directors who authorize those ridiculous salaries should be strung up! But in a free market, they feel they are competing with other companies for people. If we don’t like what the boards are doing, we should sell our stock in those companies and even boycott their products. But this is all supply and demand, and in a free market, it is what it is. To deny anybody the right to pay someone else any amount for their value added would be denying our constitution and free market, and encouraging socialism, where the government owns and controls all wealth. That loss of economic freedom, trust me, would not be fun. It would limit your own possibilities.

      The fact of life is that in a free market, some people will earn more than others. Most people would agree that Aaron Rogers should earn more than the hot dog guy. He has worked harder and has a rare skill that other people think is very valuable. That’s an extreme case, but the logic applies at every level – people who can’t sing shouldn’t get paid for singing. The good news is, here in America if I am in a job that doesn’t pay what I think I am worth, I can quit and get a better job, or can make myself more valuable to my employer. Better yet, I can start a business and BE an employer! The company that can’t hire me because they won’t pay enough will just have to make do with somebody who is not as good as me. And their business will suffer as a result. You see it is people who create wealth, and businesses compete for the best people the same way people compete for the best jobs. The best companies get the best people, and vice versa. Poor performing companies, and poor performing people, fail. It’s the natural order of things. You wouldn’t want to have to buy hamburgers that taste awful or clothes that don’t fit or cars that are dangerous.

      Conservatives also believe strongly in taking good care of those who can not take care of themselves through no fault of their own. Another subject.

      Thank God that in America ANYBODY can be successful. I am living proof. I was raised in the govt. projects by a druggie welfare mother, but have done well because my wife and I worked much harder than the average bears and made some good economic decisions. I will never be embarrassed by our success because nobody knows how hard we worked and what we sacrificed to build some wealth and security for our children and grandchildren and on down the line. We always have been and will continue to be generous with others as well, but we believe personal responsibility is a good thing too.

      This is a long note, Tabitha, but you are a good friend, and I don’t want you to misunderstand me, or other conservatives. We are good people! My mission in life is to teach sound economic principles so that everybody can improve the standard of living for their families. Keynesian economic policy is a proven failure, and Adam Smith economic and political theories have been a proven success – for all people, not just the wealthy. And wealth is not a zero-sum game!



      Your e-mailed comment:

      “Yes, thank God for those hard-working NFL players so I can get a job sellng hot dogs at $7.50/hr. All of this must be easy for a wealthy person to say. Truth is, people only want to make a living wage…and can’t because of corporate greed. Yes, redistribute a FRACTION of the wealth of the CEO with a private jet and 16 houses, so that the government doesn’t have to subsidize his company’s wages by paying for EBT cards for his full-time workers. BTW, do you think I work any less hard than you did? Am I not as smart as you? Did I not take proper advantage of the American dream? Must not have, because my pay is so low.”

      Tabitha, I do not recommend that you pursue a career as a hot-dog vendor. You are much too talented for that. There are others who have not worked and studied as hard as you, and don’t have your talents. They may have no choice other than hot dog sales, or they may do it for fun or supplemental income. Nobody does hot dog sales as a career choice. By the way, I would never pay any employee $7.50. I would pay employees much more, have fewer of them, and work them hard. I don’t believe in menial wages, and that’s why I was able to successfully compete for better employees who accomplish more.

      Let’s not compete over who is smarter or works harder, although I always worked minimum 55-70 hours per week, on call always, and 50 weeks per year. So at least time-wise I might have you there. My employers were willing to pay me top wages because I was able to operate very large companies and manage many employees in competitive environments. Again, supply and demand. If I couldn’t do it, I would not have been paid, and frankly I didn’t always have stellar success – I had my ups and downs like any business situation. My wife and I paid for my college, each working several part-time jobs and not getting much sleep. I started out after college as a school teacher and my first contract was for $9500 a year. I thought I had hit the lottery! But in this country there is no limit to what any individual can achieve. I suggest that if you want to be a corporate CEO, there are many opportunities for you – get crackin’, girl!

      I understand your point about excessive salaries and sharing a “fraction” of that wealth. That’s why we have progressive tax codes. The wealthy pay almost all of the taxes in our country. In some states, people who earn over $200,000 a year pay federal, state, city, sales, property, and other taxes that exceed 60%. Is that enough? How much is enough?

      The real problem is corruption, and that is more the fault of our political leaders than the people who have accumulated wealth. Our politicians sell their souls for campaign contributions. And we let them because we keep re-electing the same bozos.

      Good discussion! Love ya, Tab.

  2. Hey, Tom, it’s been awhile. I’ve been busy trying to earn a living. I liked this blog. My belief is that if we weren’t paid for our skills and abilities, we would all earn minimum wage. Aaron Rogers is paid for his skills and abilities. Because not many people can do that, he earns a good salary. So do most pro athletes. The same goes for welders, mechanics (oops I mean technicians), architects, doctors and nurses, truck drivers, etc. People who have skills they get paid for. It’s just that more people have those same skills, so they don’t earn the big salaries that pro athletes do (doctors probably don’t fit in my list either). Most minimum wage workers don’t have many marketable skills; hence they don’t make a lot. Plus most other people could do the same work with little training. That seems to me to be the reason we all earn what we do. If you want to make more money, get the education and/or training you need to develop the skills for a job commensurate of the salary you want. Workers shouldn’t expect employers to pay them more than they are worth to the business. (Of course, this does not refer to the Congressmen and Senators who get very good salaries without doing a lot to earn them. Most workers in the private sector would be replaced if they performed at their jobs as poorly as our political leaders do.)

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