Sunday, September 2, 2012

Xavier Henry relishes KU return

Ex-Jayhawk/current Hornet beats Isaac out of New Orleans

New Orleans Hornets shooting guard Xavier Henry (4) dunks the ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in New Orleans, Friday, March 2, 2012. The Hornets won 97-92.

New Orleans Hornets shooting guard Xavier Henry (4) dunks the ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in New Orleans, Friday, March 2, 2012. The Hornets won 97-92.



Associated Press

New Orleans Hornets shooting guard Xavier Henry (4) dunks the ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in New Orleans, Friday, March 2, 2012. The Hornets won 97-92.

New Orleans Hornets guard Xavier Henry — who had been working out in the Big Easy after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery on July 27 — hopped in his car and headed north last Monday, just a few hours ahead of Hurricane Isaac.

“I was down there with some of my teammates getting ready for the season early because we’re so young,” said Henry, a 21-year-old, third-year pro out of Kansas University.

“We’re trying to get acclimated with each other. They told us Hurricane Isaac was coming and didn’t know how bad it would be, so they let us evacuate. I went home (to Oklahoma City) and got some treatment then came here,” Henry added before the KU-South Dakota State football game Saturday outside Memorial Stadium.

Henry played at KU as a freshman in 2009-10 before entering the NBA Draft, where he was selected 12th overall by Memphis. He spent the weekend in his former college town, headed back to OKC on Sunday and was to drive back to rain-soaked New Orleans sometime this week.

“It’s great to be out here because the atmosphere at Kansas is something I’ve never been around ever in my life. It was the best time I’ve ever had in my life,” Henry said of his year as a Jayhawk, in which he averaged 13.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per game.

The sweet-shooting lefty, who helped KU to a 33-3 record, has battled a series of injuries his first two years in the pros.

“Injuries happen to everybody. It’s how you deal with them,” said Henry, who played in just 38 games for the Grizzlies his rookie season. Memphis cut ties with the 6-foot-6, 220-pounder, trading him to New Orleans last January for a future second-round pick.

“I learned by being mature, by having to grow up, that the only way I can get past it (injury) is playing through it and doing the best I can. I’ve done my part getting the surgery I needed. I just need to rehabilitate to the best of my ability and go out there and have fun,” added Henry, who averaged 5.3 points off 39.5 percent shooting while logging 16.9 minutes a game in 45 games for the Hornets a year ago.

He upped his scoring average to 12.2 ppg in Las Vegas summer league action in July.

“We (he and the Hornets) hope so,” Henry said, asked if this would be his breakout season. “I’m going to come in and bring energy, scoring, defense. I play an all-around game. That’s what they’ve been looking for me to do. With my knee healthy now, hopefully I can play this whole season healthy and have a great season,” added Henry, who has one year left on his contract with an option for the following season.

Henry on Saturday provided an update on his brother, former KU guard C.J. Henry, who transferred to Southern Nazarene University in Oklahoma City after also playing one season at KU.

“He’s getting back into baseball again. He’s having fun with that, working out a lot back home (OKC),” Xavier said of C.J., a former first-round draft pick of the New York Yankees. “He’s waiting for this offseason to get back in (and sign with an MLB team). He’s doing his best right now to get in baseball shape, get everything in focus. I don’t know how much hard work it takes for baseball, but he’s definitely putting it in.”

C.J. is 26 years old, five years older than Xavier.

“I’d be a senior this year. Me, Elijah and T-Rob (Thomas Robinson, Sacramento Kings) came in together,” said Henry, who enjoyed visiting with former teammates Elijah Johnson and Travis Releford on Saturday at a basketball team autograph signing session for fans on KU’s football practice field. “It’s nice to come back. Everybody still enjoys me and appreciates what I’ve done, and I appreciate everything they’ve done for me as well. I love this place.”

He also is fond of New Orleans and is relieved Hurricane Isaac did not devastate the city.

“In New Orleans, I was hearing the power got cut, but the floods weren’t bad,” Henry said. “Near the border line, I heard the water was over rooftops with broken levees and stuff. It wasn’t bad in New Orleans, but I feel really bad for those affected.”


Phil Leister 9 years, 11 months ago

Oh C.J. It's hard to judge the kid, but I never took a liking to him. I feel like he could have been a decent player if he stuck it out. He didn't make it once as a baseball player, hopefully the second time's the charm.

Jeff Coffman 9 years, 11 months ago

I believe CJ received a $4 MM contract ($2MM/yr for 2 years), he also received all education expenses paid (that is why he wasn't on scholarship at KU).

I'd say he actually made it as a baseball player. He just didn't make it to be a longterm baseball starter in the Major Leagues.

Steve Reigle 9 years, 11 months ago

I think the hardest part for C.J. was trying to live up to his Dad's hype about him. If I recall, Carl touted C.J. as better than anyone else on the Kansas team and definitely the best point guard. If his Dad had stayed out of it the kid might have had a chance to develop his own game according to his talents.

Ron Franklin 9 years, 11 months ago

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Matt Kenton 9 years, 11 months ago

I sense some regret for only staying one year. I also sensed some regret when he was crying at his press conference to turn pro.

KJ Quartermaine 9 years, 11 months ago

Nice job staying one step ahead of the hurricane Xav-eey--ay

AsadZ 9 years, 11 months ago

X has been a great ambassador of KU basketball program. I wish him all the best in NBA.

REHawk 9 years, 11 months ago

Sportsmoney interrupted this kid's development as a complete basketball player in the BIll Self System. Can't fault him for grabbing the big bucks while he was healthy and could rake in the millions with a guaranteed contract. X did help the Jayhawks to a magnificent 33-3 season, and another league title. However, the whole thing sucks. One and done business a real blight on college hoops. X's tears at departure time appeared to be very sincere. I'm happy to see him return to Lawrence while some of his former teammates are still in the program.

Steve Gantz 9 years, 11 months ago

Every major team plays these what if games these days. So here we go. What if KU broke the mold and kept its' players for four years? Xavier, Selby and TRob mentoring the youngsters this year. Last year with the Morris twins alongside TRob. I know, we can't go there but it's still kind of interesting to speculate.

Ron Franklin 9 years, 11 months ago

I love speculating like that--because I end up getting us to the NC and winning it!

Jeff Coffman 9 years, 11 months ago

I'm a Jayhawk through and through, but if we get to keep our players, so do the other teams. KU-X.Henry, (CJ), TRob, JW, EJ, UK-2009 - John Wall, Demarcus Cousins, Eric Bledsoe, Daniel Orton UNC-2009 - John Henson, Dexter Strickland, Leslie MacDonald, David/Travis Wear Duke-2009 - Mason Plumlee, Ryan kelly, Andre Dawkins, Seth Curry Win or Lose, those would be some great games.

Steve Gantz 9 years, 11 months ago

And that's what's hurt college basketball unfortunately. Magic/Larry never would have happened in 2012.

KEITHMILES05 9 years, 11 months ago

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Joe Shaw 9 years, 11 months ago

Love Xavier, he was such a nice guy when he met my little son, however, it would have benefited him to stay at KU till he was a senior. With Xavier on the team last year, I am sure he would have been worth the 10 points we needed to beat Kentucky in the national championship. He would have left KU a national champion and much more polished NBA ready player after receiving the proper coaching. Also would have had a degree to fall back on.

Just sayin', generally speaking, most kids would benefit from staying in school the four years and then making the jump to the NBA.

Ron Franklin 9 years, 11 months ago

They can't stay. It's bad logic and risk management to stay in school when it's almost a certainty that they'll earn more by the time they are 21 than what most of society will make in a life time.

As a KU fan, I'd love to keep the best talent around for as long as possible. But I also recognize that is not a reality for the kids involved.

Jeeveshawk 9 years, 11 months ago

He didn't need the money immediately. His dad is fairly wealthy being a former NBA player.

Jeff Coffman 9 years, 11 months ago

I'm not sure what you dad is wealthy, so I can live off of him. Or my dad is wealthy so I don't have to build my own wealth. My dad is wealthy and so because of his wealth I can wait to be a NBA player.

Maybe, just maybe X wants to do things on his own and just maybe (like many of us) he would like to prove to his dad how great he can be. Don't you think knowing his dad played in the league and made good with his life and his children's lives, that maybe X wanted to the same thing for the generations to come.

I guess we could live in the world where we just mooch off our parents as long as we can. Here is an example of a guy making $4MM as a lottery pick in the NBA, and you expect more because his dad is wealthy.

Jeeveshawk 9 years, 11 months ago

What I mean is that some people, like Thomas Robinson, needed to go pro as soon as they were good enough because their poor family's need them. That wasn't the case with Xavier.

Jeff Coffman 9 years, 11 months ago

I know that a lot of "kids" would benefit with more coaching and a college degree. However, how can a "kid" that is guaranteed $4MM benefit from staying in school.

Even with a college degree, most people will not earn in their lifetime $4MM.

I know that if I could have earned by BS in 1 year, I would have done it in a heartbeat...these guys earn their NBA degree in 1 year.

Most kids that get drafted in the lottery (Top 14) in the NBA should not stay in school.

Actually, I'd be interested in naming one person, that went in the lottery that should have stayed.

Joe Shaw 9 years, 11 months ago

When you are as talented as Xavier, you are going pro after your freshmen year or your senior year, doesn't matter which. All I am saying is that he would have been better off in the long run, enjoyed the last three years more, played in the NBA longer and been better prepared, and been a college graduate with a national championship.

Personally, I would rather win a national championship and have a college degree than sitting the bench and bouncing around from one bad NBA team to another. He was going to be rich at some point anyway.

Ron Franklin 9 years, 11 months ago

When I see a young millionaire athlete, I always wonder:

How much better off would we be if we paid our educators that way?

Jack Wilson 9 years, 11 months ago

I know you're just dreaming about a utopian society ....

Of course, no educator is worth NBA money in a capitalistic society. And that's good.

The basic issue is supply and demand.. Many, many people could be teachers (elementary, middle school, high school). Look at doctors, lawyers, accountants, engineers, etc. The teacher's unions should really not want salaries to go too high. The higher the salaries, the more they would have to compete for jobs with folks that are generally their intellectual superiors in other professions. How many folks in other professions would have gone into teaching if the starting salary was $60,000 instead of $30,000 or whatever? And I hate to say this .. but a number of folks go into teaching because it's a relatively easy profession. Good hours, lots of time off, flexibility. It is the perfect job for a parent (usually a mom) that also wants time for a family -- and while some teachers will say their job is stressful, I would challenge them to compare that stress to a doctor, lawyer, etc. Honestly, it is best for our society that teaching salaries stay in the same relative ballpark as they are now. That allows many parents to work, earn a decent living, and be parents (mainly moms). But back to the point .. the NBA player makes more (obviously) because his talent is more rare. And that is a big reason why, conversely, teachers don't make that much money.

But even with the more exclusive teachers .. say, the top quantum physics professor at Stanford that makes well into the six figures .. that's about the same as a partner at a medium sized law firm. Why? Because the market isn't there to pay that professor more. The lawyer may make more because he produces more revenue. Same with the NBA player.

Jngohaawwkshawks 9 years, 11 months ago

You make some good point and stated the facts very well. But the point of BlownJay's statement was, to me, taken to be that if the educator's salary was that high, it would indeed increase competition like you say, and this I think is a good thing. Yes, perhaps many present day teachers may be squeezed out, such is life. But the educational system would be enhanced, our society would be better educated, knowledge in and of itself would be more in demand due the increased rewards. Is not knowledge the point of society in the first place. It helps satisfy our innate curiosity.

Ron Franklin 9 years, 11 months ago

HEM-Points well taken, but I was thinking more along the lines of what jngo said above.

I disagree that elite athletes are as rare as elite and great thinkers. Solar eclipses are rare too, but I don't pay millions for it.

I would pay a million for a week with Aristotle before I would pay a million for a week with ANY athlete or entertainer.

Probably all comes down to personal preference though.

and I am a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. :)

Tuskin 9 years, 11 months ago

Teachers and doctors both have professions with stress, challenges, and benefits.

Getting back to the original post... HEM missed an important piece of factual information. NBA salaries are not a simple equation of supply and demand. Free market forces are not at work in the NBA. Rather, the NBA is a government-sanctioned monopoly, as are the NFL, NHL, and most other professional sports associations in America. These associations have gained government approval to prevent more teams from developing their own professional teams. Therefore, since only a few athletes go pro, they can demand top dollar. And, since the teams have a large audience (and advertising revenue), they can pay top dollar.

Imagine if our education system were similar. Say the government established a policy allowing only 45,000 students from across the country would be allowed to enter school in a given year. With 30 kids per classroom, there'd be only 1500 teachers. Accounting for retirement, perhaps about 50 teachers would need to be added each year, rather similar to the NBA draft. Those teachers would be highly paid, since there would be such a demand for them, and they would be subject to intense scrutiny and criticism, like the NBA athletes.

The question is not one of supply and demand. Rather, it is why the American government believes it is in the nation's best interest to have sports association monopolies preventing more teams from forming to increase competition. England, for example, has 7000 professional soccer teams. What function do our monopolies serve?

bluehorse22 9 years, 11 months ago

To highelitemajor...your comments about teaching are some of the most ridiculous and ignorant comments I have ever read on this board...and that includes all the idiot MU fans comments. Absolutely disgusting! It's no wonder teachers get no respect with the likes of you uttering this crap! If teaching was easy then why do half of all new teachers leave the profession in the first three years? If teaching is so easy why are you not a teacher yourself? It is sickening to hear someone say that the work I do, and many others do, as a very hardworking teacher does not deserve equal pay compared to other professions. I know a lot of doctors who have a very easy life with plenty of vacation time and time with family. I certainly doubt that lawyers have more stress than educators yet many get paid much more and can even write off a phone call as a business expense. And must be joking! I challenge you to spend a week, or even a day, in front of a classroom of children trying to teach them the academic concepts they must know for state testing as well as how to be a good citizen/good person since most parents don't do that part anymore at home. Oh, on top of that try dealing with the parents too. Then get back to me or any other teacher and tell them their job is easy and they don't deserve to be paid more.!

DrJayDoc 9 years, 11 months ago

If being a physician was so easy, everyone would get into medical school and doctors would only make $40,000/year. You think parents are bad, try dealing with patients, many of whom are also parents.

Bottom line, being a teacher requires a four year degree after high school; being a physician of any kind takes a minimum of 11 years (and up to 20 years) after high school, with a rigor of training and responsibility that most in K-12 education can't begin to fathom.

So, are these professions really worth the same economically to society? I didn't spend ages 18-30 to finally have achieved competency to practice independently to have folks minimize my accomplishments, training, or income potential to that of a 22 year old high school gym teacher.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 11 months ago

On the OAD stuff, I can't stand it. I would just prefer that by April 15 preceding the draft, you either declare for the draft, or not. The late signing period follows. If you don't declare for the draft, you aren't eligible for 3 years like baseball (I'd take 2 years, too). If you declare, you're done. Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Dwight Howard .. those guys should go. And we can't legislate against stupidity for those that declare and shouldn't.

It seems so easy. But don't blame the NCAA. It's the NBA. The NBA doesn't permit the kids to declare. They obviously believe that the straight out of high school stuff is not in their best interests. They'd rather see the kid in college a year to see what they have against better competition. The NCAA is at the mercy of the NBA.

I did like JayDogger's catch of the most important quote .. “It’s great to be out here because the atmosphere at Kansas is something I’ve never been around ever in my life. It was the best time I’ve ever had in my life.”

Tough. But X made a good business decision. When you get three years of guaranteed money like that, you almost have to take it. The only way is if you're a sure top 15 pick, because otherwise you could slip out of round 1. If there's doubt, you should stay one extra year it seems. But it all depends on if the player makes it in the NBA, and there's the rub.

Universally, we all thought Selby made a bad decision. But did he? He seems to have made it now, so things may look a bit different.

I mentioned the other day .. don't you think if Selby would have stayed another season, he would have likely made more money in his first 2 seasons in the league, than in three leaving early a year early? That may be true. If he was the #16 pick in the 2012 draft, he would make about the same in one season, as his two year deal (about $1.3+ million), but would have two more seasons guaranteed for a total of appx. $4.35 million.

But I looked at Selby's contract further. He'll make about $2 million in his first three seasons, assuming the club picks up his very reasonable 3rd year option. If he turned pro after his junior season (2012-13), he'd need to be the 8th overall pick to make that same money in his first season vs. the first three he will play. But if he was, say, the 10th pick in the 2013 NBA draft, he'd have a three year guaranteed contract worth a cool $5.9 million. Will be interesting to see if he makes that combined in his first 5 seasons. Nothing says he would have been in the top 10 after 2013, either.

The "guaranteed" part is the big deal, and that's getting into the first round. How many guys wash out as a 40-something pick like Selby? He took a bigger risk turning pro, than staying, really. A tough, tough decision for these kids.

But rarely does a kid's stock go way down. Play three seasons. That seems to be the best bet.

Jeffery Barrett 9 years, 11 months ago

Funny, I think you are wrong. You obviously didn't see the press conference.

Ron Franklin 9 years, 11 months ago

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Ken Sedgwick 9 years, 11 months ago

Uninformed name calling is for the weak. And, I hate commies too.

Ron Franklin 9 years, 11 months ago

FYI. If I wasn't informed, I would keep my mouth shut. LJW doesn't like me bringing to light facts about our alumnus, I guess.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Part 1

BlownJay and HEM,

First, we don't live in a capitalist, free market system anymore; that went out some time ago.

We live in a managerial economy, as per Peter Drucker's definition, and have for several decades. It is an economy driven by producer oligopolies, the control over which is shared 50-50 by: a) the central bank centric banking system that typically finances 50% of the operating budgets of most producer oligopoly corporations; b) by holding companies that either own the other controlling interest in the equities of the producer corporation, or control the boards of the pension funds that do own the producer oligopoly corporations.

In the interstices of these producer corporations arranged in producer oligopoly regimes, that is to say in the secondary and tertiary portions of the economy, there are remnants of marginalized market-driven capitalism, but any time these innovate significant productivity-enhancing technologies, that sector of the economy is then financed heavily, then collapsed during the next central bank triggered credit contraction into producer oligopoly regimes, and acquired at discount values. This is the American economy as it actually operates for the last three decades. But the secondary and tertiary sectors of the economy rarely see extraordinary innovations, because the competition keeps them so lean that they cannot invest much in technological innovation from within their field because of slim profits and slim retained earnings.

I point out the above not to be pedantic, but to put your discussion in a realistic context.

Second, what is valued (an estimate) and priced (a consideration of currency, or property, actually given in exchange at a moment in time) and the amount it is valued and priced at, in any form of economy, short of a metaphysical one operating without formal, or informal institutions, depends substantially on the formal (written laws, regulations and agreements) and informal (unwritten agreements) institutions shaping trade in a particular economy.

Third, what can vary the tendency of value and price from one equilibrium range to another equilibrium range within such a context is changing technology that alters and or redistributes productivity and cascading net benefits within an economy.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Part 2

Note: inflation does not count in this assertion, as inflation (or deflation) is simply the ratio of money supply (in all its varied definitions)to goods and services produced in a given period of time. Money supply increasing faster than goods and services equals inflation. Money supply increases, or decreases, lagging behind goods and services production, equals deflation. Stagflation is just unemployment above 5% structural unemployment, with real wages lagging behind a money supply exceeding production of goods and services. Prices are rising at the same time that more and more can afford less and less. For what its worth, we have lived, since 2007, in an intentionally stagflated economy. It is what I call the Great Stagflation, rather than a depression, or recession. The economic statistics make what I am saying indisputable, regardless of what talking points the mass media repeats ad nauseum.

Fourth, what can vary the tendency of value and price with in an established equilibrium range is short term supply and demand variations and mid term expectations about both. In the long term, as Lord Keynes said so memorably, we are all dead, even after monetarism, even after trickle down, even after voodoo economics, even after central bank centrism, even after the Plunge Protection Team, even after Helicopter Ben and the "print currency" button, even after the untraceable bailouts, even after floating the stock market up in the jaws of rising unemployment, even after a series of interrupted recoveries, even after the car companies finally decided it was time to start bringing new product to market, etc.

My point here is that supply and demand are very far down the list of what drives value and price. They are situational drivers, not structural. This is why you will see cars and houses sitting on real estate owned lists at banks without the price continually being slashed to move them. This is why you will not see new cars collecting dust on a lot ever being discounted more than the pre-planned 30% even when the car company is bankrupted and awaiting a bail out. Supply and demand are not fundamentally every what triggers changes in equilibrium range of value expectation and price reality in the short term, and often not in the mid term. They are very far down the pecking order in determining what happens in an economy, especially in a managerial economy foundationed on producer oligopolies that have essentially transitioned from the role of producer firms competing in a market place into the role of infrastructure providers distributing an oligopolized good/service.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Part 3

So: as BlownJay wonders would we be better off if we paid our educators the way we pay our athletes, and as HEM asserts that is a dream world notion, because educators cannot generate the value to a firm and economy that a basketball player can, I see both as slightly missing the mark.

BlownJay, it is true that you ask a metaphysical question that is hard (and perhaps irrelevant to answer) in the real word of economics of government and business, because such could never happen without a massive reinstituting of our economic game space.

At the same time, BlownJay, there is no reason in the world that a society could not, if it were to choose collectively to do so, do exactly what you say and make it work just fine. What persons are paid in any society is rooted in a value choice of what the society finds most valuable and so is most willing to enable with education, indoctrination, institutions, legal enforcement and asymmetric subsidy.

We know this is so, because of many realities.

IQ, mental flexibility,and even hard to measure work ethic are not highest in the top .5% where 90% of the wealth now resides, so the only way to explain its long term concentration is in long term asymmetries created by our institutions, regarding things like (but not limited to) inheritance, taxation, membership in organizations that enable preferred access to high benefit employment and high benefit investment (e.g., insider knowlege of grand scams like derivatives trading, especially when the plug will be pulled, that go unpunished, and bailed out,etc.) and so on.

But there are many other less egregious realities to note. For instance, our written institutions about basketball, particularly the one and done rule, make it so that a player can receive relatively modest compensation for playing at college one year, and then an order of magnitude greater compensation a year later, often not because of skill development, but rather because the institution arbitrarily and for reasons largely unrelated to the abilities and degree of development of, say, Xavier Henry force him from one institutionally determined earning status to another. Hence, price paid is not directly determined by what Xavier can generate for a college program, or for a pro team, but rather more by the institutions that collectively shape the benefits of college programs, pro teams, and what Xavier may be allowed to be paid at either level.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Part 4

here are few realms of economic activity farther removed from traditional capitalism and instituted competitive markets than university basketball and professional basketball teams. The former is a state/federal entity operating a basketball team through the shell of a closely held, private not-for-profit corporation. The latter, the pro league, is by most economic definitions a professional basketball cartel and at the very least it would be a producer oligopoly. Value and price in such circumstances are vastly more determined by collusion among producers and their written and unwritten institutions than by increasingly archaic notions of supply and demand within competitive markets. It is just a fact. Not something that would even be debated among knowlegeable analysts and economists.

Next, to HEM's points.

First, any time persons assert that some level of compensation is "best" for one part of our labor force this proves my point that value and price are largely products of moral-ethical values about what would be best, as expressed through institutions, rather than market derived through supply and demand. Slavery was long argued to be best for cotton growing, and so for textile industries and so for consumers needing clothing, because it held down labor costs, and filled a need for labor in harsh conditions that "labor markets" might not supply at feasible supply with feasible pricing. Likewise, factory owners opposing unionized labor often have felt that non-union, peonage, indentured servants, and slave labor are beneficial to keeping labor costs down, which keeps finished product prices lower, which enables both cheaper prices for consumers and more retained earnings for reinvestment in technology to improve productivity. Institutions can and have been written that asymmetrically skew human activity to certain ways of doing things with various kinds of asymmetric cost shifting (usually onto the less fortunate), and benefit shifting (usually on to the more fortunate). Doing so is a primary function of institutions.

But of course what historic and present economies, and especially those central bank centrically financed economies, teaches by evidence and recurring example, is that any value system can be favored. We have been through an era called the New Deal when new institutions established a set of trade offs on cost shifting and benefit shifting, where in publicly owned untilities and infrastructures could flourish, wealth would tend to distribute much more broadly, access to education and jobs would be broadened, and employment would orchestrated much higher, as policy. During this period the middle class was being broadened as a bulwark against the spread of Communism and Fascism.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Part 5

Now, the last 30 years especially, since the demise of the USSR as a countervailing political competitor with huge natural resources, we have seen the upper class systematically orchestrate the strangling Leviathan tactic to both cannabalize wealth from the middle class, and recover a great deal of influence and autonomy in government that the upper class had enjoyed prior to the New Deal. They do this, because there is no longer a competitor that could spirit away the allegiance of the middle class. So: ironically, perhaps the best thing that ever happened to the middle class in terms of prosperity were the competitive alternatives of fascism and communism that drove the American upper class to tolerate the New Deal, however briefly, so as to stave off the on rush of these two competing ideologies. But I digress.

And, besides, there is a keener insight to realize.

When the lower classes found themselves on the short end of the stick, they turned to institutional change to alter value and pricing and risk dynamics in their favor.

And when the upper classes found themselves with less control over the political and economic systems than they liked after the New Deal, they, too, turned to institutional change to alter value, pricing and risk dynamics to favor them.

So: we can reasonably infer from this that institutions are the key to redistributing benefits up, down and sideways, and to emphasizing and de-emphasizing what will be valued and priced more, and what will be valued and priced less.

It does not matter which side of this you may come down on. The key thing here is that the record is clear. Institutions decisively shape how an economy values and prices things and in who's favor. This is not a liberal, or conservative agenda, I am pushing here. This is basic political and international relations institution building knowledge. Each move to "de-regulate" something is not de-regulation. It is "re-regulation." The rules are being altered to favor a new group, essentially whatever group is funding and spearheading the change.

So: I think it not really accurate to make arguments that educators ought to be paid less (or more) relative to basketball players, or so that doing so enables a certain array of possible benefits down stream, say, as those advocating slavery, and anti-unionist agendas once did, unless one also notes that the institutions themselves are largely arbitrary and that it might actually make a whole lot more sense to alter the institution, i.e., re-regulate in a way that produces a more effective distribution of goods, services, wealth, and cost, rather than asking certain citizens to bear and unusually large share of the cost of maintaining a existing institution that has largely triggered the problem in the first place.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Part 6

Now, in no way, am I suggesting that HEM is on the side of slavery, and anti-unionism. I know for a fact that he is not racist and detests slavery as much as any of us here. I frankly don't know his views on unions. But these are both besides my point here. I used these examples only because they provide striking clarity and contrast regarding my point.

Institutions often ought to be changed (and often have to be changed), when an economy is not producing the desired distribution of goods, services, wealth, income, cost and risk.

So: I would not disagree with HEM that there are significant benefits to keeping teachers pay very low, just as, say, there are significant benefits to keeping grain prices low by maintaining huge surpluses of government purchased grain in grain elevators, so that the random droughts and producer oligopolies, either at the corporate farming level, or at the level of, say, grain distribution cartels, and bread producer oligopolies, use mother nature's excesses, or there own cornering of markets, as means of price gouging.

But by the same token, it may well be that certain institutions in the society need to be altered in order to skew pay levels of educators higher simply to attract more and better minds to the education profession so that in turn we get greater productivity from our educational system, and achieve this end by using the same institutional change to avoid cost shifting this increased cost onto the very persons that HEM says benefit from keeping teacher salaries at the current institutionally constrained level. Frankly, there aren't enough basketball players in the economy presently, given current institutionalization, to make it matter much how much these fellows are paid. Truly, the economy could easily quintuple the salaries of all NBA players and the national economy would probably not feel it at all. But teachers? Oh, my, there are lots of them, and they teach probably 50-100 million kids a year. Heck, something like 10 million new kids enter the labor force each spring.

It is the sheer numbers of teachers and students that makes many, especially the top .5% now holding 90 percent of wealth, constantly hope the American people don't decide their children need to be better educated. The money would, naturally, come largely from them, at least until the institutions are re-regulated again to redistribute the wealth back downward, so that middle class persons would then vote for improving the education of their children and the future's children.

Rock Chalk!

Ken Sedgwick 9 years, 11 months ago

I just read all six parts. Now I feel I deserve an honorary economics degree.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

The Phoenix Online Basketball Institute awards you, maverickhawk, an honorary Doctorate of Economics. :-)

Jack Wilson 9 years, 11 months ago

JB: That was epic .. I read it twice. Quite an appropriate effort on Labor Day. I may be going out on a limb here, but that might have been your best mega-post ever.

I do want to hit on some of your points, and will try to do so when I get adequate time.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

I will look forward to it. I know you are bright enough and interested enough to comment substantively and insightfully. That's what makes this forum worth contributing to; what one hears back.

brooksmd 9 years, 11 months ago

Sorry jb, all I got out of your lecture was a great nap about half-way through part 4 that actually got its start in the latter portion of part 3. I tried but I guess economics is just not my forte.

Phil Leister 9 years, 11 months ago

I understand LJW has to filter some of these comments, and free speech doesn't exist under a private company's jurisdiction, but it's gotten a bit out of hand. Someone above offered their viewpoint of C.J. Henry, and called him a name (nothing obscene, racial, or anything you can't say on TV). LJW sees it fit to remove the comment. I don't get it.

Will this be removed as well, because I'm saying something critical of LJW?

Ron Franklin 9 years, 11 months ago

I did use harsh words, but they were accurate descriptions. I never taken personal jabs at any KU student athlete, but CJ, he's an exception. He treats other people incredibly poorly.

HawkKlaw 9 years, 11 months ago

Judging from all of your posts that got removed on the other article, I would say you're the last person that should be commenting on whether a statement is obscene or racial.

RJ King 9 years, 11 months ago

Professor Bate - based on the recent innovative scientific experiment conducted by Professor Ralster, I thank you for not using the Italic font in your econ thesis, so as to risk its removal - resulting in the redistribution, restructuring and reregulation of this site. It was worth the read.

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