20a Does A-Rod Deserve
So Much Money?
The high salaries of professional athletes continue to be a controversial issue. The seemingly outrageous annual amounts paid to baseball players such as Texas's Alex Rodriguez ($22 million), Toronto's Carlos Delgado ($18.7 million) and Boston's Manny Ramirez ($17.2 million), have further fueled the controversy. Compared to decades ago, players ' salaries have increased dramatically. For example, Babe Ruth, perhaps baseball's greatest player, received a salary of $70,000 in 1927. This amount, when corrected for the effects of inflation, would be worth just over $714,000 today. Yet the average annual salary paid to baseball players in 2003 is $2.5 million.
Even after inflation, baseball players make much more now than ever before, but the fact is, players like A-Rod are not overpaid. They are not paid according to the mental and physical effort used in performing an activity, nor are they paid according to the amount of resources they employed developing those skills. They are paid according to the influence they have on others, their economic impact, and for the uniqueness of their talent. Therefore, the high salary received by professional athletes is a just and natural outcome of a capitalist society. They have earned it.
Our economic system is a market system, governed by the interaction of supply and demand. Wages, production, and prices are all intertwined and determined in this dynamic process; goods and services are usually allocated to those who