Between the 1980s and 2020, American companies have off-shored virtually all manufacturing to Asia - namely China - in an effort to save money. Capitalists knew it would evaporate a crucial American institution, while simultaneously feeding a country whose values are diametrically opposed to ours, but they didn't care. Elites are beholden to profit, and they feel no allegiance to a country, or its silly little citizens.
Believe it or not, that explains the last month of negotiations between MLB players and owners. Owners have low-balled players, with virtually the same offer packaged differently, for weeks, in hopes of stalling for this moment. Now, they've stalled long enough, and they're offering players a 60 game season with full prorated salaries, as long as the players waive their right to file a grievance. Tricky. In the meantime, they've left their fans feeling totally disenfranchised, and fed up. I doubt they care.
MLB owners realize what American capitalists realized in the late 20th century: "This shit is getting expensive, I'm taking my ball and going somewhere else."
That is, after all, the rule of entrepreneurialism. Follow the market strictly, and never get emotionally attached to a business. As Jeff Passan once said, "That is the trick, that is the magic, that is how they get rich!"
MLB owners know their sport is dying, and instead of trying to save it, they're trying to pick whatever meat is left from the carcass. The NBA, conversely, is more than happy to lose money in the short-term.
Adam Silver recently said the NBA returning is not as "financially beneficial as people think." NBA reporter Brian Windorst put it more bluntly.
"This entire endeavor is all expense," Brian Windhorst said of the NBA's scheduled Orlando return on The Hoop Collective podcast. "This whole thing is one giant money-loser. These are all game that were already contracted to play, and you're not getting any new revenue for them."
But, the NBA doesn't care, because NBA owners feel their business has a long, optimistic shelf life. They should. The NBA is now America's 2nd-favorite sport to watch, and the league has tapped into the world's fastest-growing middle class population in China. With a league office in Bejing, and newly appointed Chief China Officer Michael Ma - the first Chinese national to become an NBA boss - the NBA is well on its way to appeasing the authoritarian regime after Daryl Morey slipped up and supported democracy in October.
The NFL, for its part, has already raised its debt limit by $150 million for each club in anticipation for lost revenues. Short-term losses are a blip on the radar for America's king of the jungle.
For MLB owners, though, short-term losses look scarier. Only nine percent of Americans say baseball is their favorite sport to watch. Attendance numbers have been slipping for 12 years. The sport is devoid of stars. Plus, as America's attention spans have dwindled from 12 seconds to 8 seconds since the year 2000, baseball's average length-of-game has skyrocketed to a record 3 hours and 10 minutes in 2019.
The cruel reality is that as much as we love sports, billionaires love money more, and eventually they'll always convert from venture capitalists to vulture capitalists. Like any good capitalist, they'll extract whatever they can before selling.
I imagine owners and players will strike a deal soon, but not before revealing exactly what the Ken Kendrick's of the world are really about.