First and foremost I root for my beloved 49ers. I also root for the beleaguered Raiders (rookie QB Carr is coming into his own, as he showed us last Sunday in an ever-so-close loss to the first place Chargers), but after my loyalty to the home teams, I root for America’s Owned Team. No, I’m NOT talking about Jimmy Jones’ Cowboys, whose marketing manager tried to convince folks they were “America’s Team”, I’m talking about the Green Bay Packers! The only team owned
by its fans, mostly the residents of Green Bay Wisconsin. The Packers are basically a co-op. You see back in 1923 The Green Bay Packers
was bought by the town itself.
But the wealthy “One Percenters” that owned the rest of the league’s teams thought that sounded like some sort of socialist dream and quickly made new rules outlawing any other communities from owning their own teams. From then on, only private individuals, you know, other rich guys (and gals) could own an NFL franchise.
The real irony about the NFL is not that these Uber-Capitalist didn’t want “communities” to have a vote in how their for-profit league is run. The real irony is that amongst themselves they practice the ultimate form of socialism
in that most team profits such as from TV broadcasting are put into a collective pot and divvied up
equally among all of the team owners! This is done in part so those in smaller media markets earn the same amount of profit as those in larger media markets. Now that’s socialism! This stands in stark contrast to most major league sports like MLB where teams like the New York Yankees make many times what a team like the Milwaukee Brewers make or are worth.
Now of our locally owned companies with 25 or more employees few have suggested that they should all be employee owned co-ops, though when Pacific Lumber was in receivership having been bankrupted by Texas financier Charles Hurwitz — pretty much as predicted 25 years earlier by Redwood Activists and then again by David Harris
in the well written book, The Last Stand
— there was talk of PL becoming employee owned
, which would have been fantastic for local timber workers!
We did have a thriving co-op in our local Creamery
until an unscrupulous
CEO embezzled the profits from our local dairymen. And of course we do have The Co-op grocery store that seems to do quite well and pays its workers considerably better then for, example Eureka Natural Foods (one of the funders of the No on Measure R campaign).
The thing about the owners of our local successful businesses like Eureka Natural Foods is that a good
one of the funders of the No on Measure R campaign
many of them are rather progressive individuals with whom I’m often in agreement when it comes to other election issues or candidates, but who adamantly disagree with me on this particular ballot measure. While these business owners may not be billionaires like the owners of the NFL franchises, most of them are doing quite well. By example most all of them own more then just one piece of property. Many own a number of single family homes they then rent out as income property, as well as commercial properties and extensive stock portfolios. Now no one is suggesting that they should pay all their employees enough to one day be able to buy a home of their own (though that is a nice thought), …but don’t you think it’s reasonable that they pay all of them enough to be able to just pay the RENT on one of the rental homes many of their bosses own? It sure seems fair to me.
So vote yes on Measure R and let’s take a step in the right direction.
If you watched the recent PBS documentary on the Roosevelts you know that both Republican TR and Democrat FDR agreed that “We all do well, when we all do well”.
Vote Yes on Measure R, and we’ll all do better, when we’re all doing better!
Richard Salzman represents applied artists from around the world who work as illustrators in the communicating arts. Recent clients include, University of Toronto, Meredith Publishing and Blue Moon Beer. You can view their work at http://www.salzint.com