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09-27-2012, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Chapin Landvogt View Post
If I'm a player, I nonetheless know it's not getting better anywhere else on the planet, even after the paycut. Principle or not, one has to wonder if 'getting a wee bit shafted' still isn't the best route to go?
Well, it certainly won't get any better, and it will get a lot worse if the players never exercise any leverage at all.

Whereas I do understand all of this thoroughly, I truly think there's too much hypocrisy involved in playing in another league for a small percentage of what you'd earn in the NHL, much less for free, risking serious injury in the process, because you and your union feel you should be getting, for example, 50% of the pie instead of 45% of the pie.
I still don't understand this argument. Yeah, it would make sense to charge hypocrisy if the players were striking. But they're not - they're locked out. Playing in the NHL is not an option. You and other seem to be under mistaken belief that not accepting whatever arrangement the owners offer is tantamount to a strike. It's not. Labor negotiations are not unlike law - the side that is looking to fundamentally alter the status quo has to do the work to justify the change. That's sort of common sense. You and others are speaking almost as if the union is already busted, and the ordinary norms of negotiation are already completely discarded. I can assure you that is exactly the notion Fehr is concerned to combat.

If the argument is that the players disbanding and going off to odd places to play weakens the integrity of the union, especially those on the bottom end of the salary scale, this involves union DISCIPLINE, and that is a very valid critique. Indeed, you can bet that the sort of thing players are doing (div. 2 leagues, etc.) drives Fehr completely bonkers. It's hard to imagine this critique coming from people who think the players should cede to whatever the owners offer them. Instead, I would expect this critique from someone who argues in support of the players. But I seriously doubt that critics of the players would be somehow less loud if they stayed disciplined at home. They might take the players more seriously, and so the critiques would likely be harsher. They'd probably just call them a bunch of greedy, lazy, moochers.

I've seen a lot of this sort of populist anti-union anger in the last few years. It's as if cops, teachers, and (now) hockey players - not investment bankers and the governments who guarantee their solvency - who are responsible for the state of the economy.

People are completely dead to the way that monopolies manipulate labor *and* government to serve their ends, maximize their profits, and limit their risks. Obviously there are too few banks, and they've been involved in far too many things (insurance, investment banking), and that's a (unsolved) problem. But sports franchises, who also have their risks limited by the public, are a very small example of the same. They get additional revenue streams, access to prime real estate, tax concessions, and more for the privilege of maybe providing hockey entertainment if it financially suits them.

The fact that very few people on this board share this anger, I think, probably indicates that there are a lot of people on this board who work in banking, investment, insurance, etc. (Of course, it is Long Island.)



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