Moneyball is a good movie – it is fun to see an underdog economist start a revolution somewhere. (Though I’d be more inspired if I could see more clearly how the world is better because of this revolution. Are fans happier now? Players? Who?)
That's future money most people never see.
You have no inherent right to money that you have not earned.
Is everyone else a slave? They don't even have the option to work in the MLB, they're stuck with the option "Forfeit that future money."
I would define “exploitive work” as actions with negative Pareto efficiency. The person who is exploited is the person who is made worse off.
I think a distinction between meaningful and meaningless work can be made, and indeed probably should be made--I was trying to draw a draw attention to exploitative work as opposed to other kinds.
The baseball players are not compelled to labor on the threat of violence. They can not be bought or sold. They are not slaves.
This idiotic meme needs to die because it cheapens the true horror of slavery.
If “serf” were from a distant culture, it would be translated as “slave.”
No, serfs were not chattel property that could be bought and sold. And they did have recognized if constrained rights.
I would define “meaningful work” as actions with positive Pareto efficiency.
Well, I don't think I ever claimed employment is better than death. Temporarily maybe. God knows I'm not going to do it for decades.
(NOTE: I normally use Anonymous, but I want to distinguish myself from the poster using the same name in this argument)
Andre seems to make a distinction between 'meaningful' and 'non-meaningful' work. There is an argument that we are almost all wage slaves (possibly even the CEOS themselves, given that they work for companies doing meaningless work, but presumably excluding those that do meaningful work), but there is also the argument that most people in history have never been free, including those in tribes, because they had to work for a living and because the option of moving tribes was constrained by psycological taboos.
Also: I should have said "Wake up, We are all slaves."
Well put, but note also that many cultures, when faced with the option to willingly opt in to the wage-slavery system or die to defend their way of life, have chosen the latter.
Interesting points, Greg. But i think you may have been reading your own assumptions and beliefs into my statement. I never suggested a return to a forager way of life (though even this would present a misapprehension of the facts, since thousands of people worldwide still preserve this way of life, so it wouldn't be a "return" in any sense) nor did I imply that people living in traditional communities don't have to work to obtain the things they need to survive. Of course they have to work, but they don't have to perform arbitrary repetitive tasks to produce garbage that doesn't benefit anyone for a fictional authority to fill an account with numbers with imaginary meaning just to get a hunk of pork and a few pounds of potatoes. I would have no problem with working in a production-based market to earn money to buy the things I need if we lived in a utopian capitalist(or socialist) fantasy world where our work is met with proportionate pay and we, as competent, educated members of our culture had a real say in the market arrangement.Unfortunately that's not the world we live in. Normal everyday people in every "modern" nation are compelled to work long hours in debilitating jobs in order to increase the market-share of nearly invisible economic giants whose only goal is to grow material wealth at the expense of all other types of wealth, regardless of harm done to people, society, or the places we live.I don't like that there is no such thing as clean fresh water left on earth.Even if escaping to some remote corner of the planet to live-off-the-land in some noble savage paradigm were feasible, it wouldn't be something that appealed to me. It would necessitate abandoning all of my other brothers here in civilization who aren't even aware that there are other ways to make a living.
What I'm saying is that being unable to choose one's employer/owner is neither necessary (Atlanta prostitutes) nor sufficient (baseball players) for slavery. Nothing to do with choosing one's work.
It seems that, despite the costs, the Atlanta prostitutes can and do change owners (else why the concept of a Choosey Susie, seriously?). This does not seem to change the fact that their existence seems in line with our concept of slavery.
Whatever happens to women to get them to enter prostitution, in many cases they aren't physically imprisoned or under threat of violence at all times if they wish to leave. Nonetheless, it's hard to see it as a perfectly free choice to stay. To the extent that I "want it to be true" that one can be a slave despite having some measure of choice, it is because I think it's an accurate description of the world - we're enslaved by our biological needs and our brain adaptations, not (exclusively) by other people (who may only be exploiting our biological needs/brain adaptations).
They receive additional beatings and seizers for changing pimps, indicating that the abuse is specifically for switching rather than a normal part of the job, so it does show up as a cost of switching, a cost normally sufficient to deem it "not at will change of boss".
Furthermore, if any prostitute trying to quit entirely is indeed hunted down and beaten more severely, that would further refute your characterization of that group of workers as a counterexample to "no choice implies slavery".
Is there any particular reason you want it to be true that one can be a slave while still having free choice of work?
There is one thing worse than being a slave to a professional baseball team. Being released. I bought a Chevy from a car salesman who was a rather young former major leaguer. When you think of how much these guys put into their careers from such an early age; It may or may not be unjust but it can be sad.
I think he specifically described himself as a "well-paid slave." Very in line with Hanson's observations about status and slavery.
5-6 years is a best case scenario in a lot of ways. The service time only starts when the player is added to the major league roster. Time in the minors does NOT count, and it can take 7 years for a player to develop into a major leaguer in some cases (mostly when drafted out of high school). Almost all players spend at least one season in the minors. There are a few rules to keep players from toiling away in a system that won't promote them, but most players stick with the team they're drafted by.