20 Baseball and Political
POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY is the branch of philosophy concerned with how to run a State. What is the role of government? What is justice? How can we create a more just society?
Discussions about justice, freedom, and power inevitably turn to questions of money. Political philosophers like Adam Smith and Karl Marx have written thousands of pages on the best ways to distribute wealth. Smith argued that an individual must be free to join the economic market without governmental restraints. Marx believed that only a more egalitarian distribution of money would prevent the inevitable injustices between the rich and the poor.
Without money, we become disempowered and without power, we lose our freedom and self-worth. On the other hand, too much money can also serve to limit freedoms. Think of the destructive lives and deaths of pop music stars: Elvis Presley, Kurt Cobain, Tupac Shakur. Problems inevitably follow from having too much and too little money.
In 2001, Alex Rodriguez (A-Rod) signed a ten-year contract with the Texas Rangers totaling $252 million. While many Americans struggle to pay their rent, and nearly half the world's population lives on less than two dollars a day, American sports heroes live large. Is this just? In the ensuing debate, Albert Duncan argues that A-Rod has earned his millions honestly and justly. Joel Shuman claims baseball is larger than any one individual and people like the fans need to be considered as well. The