McLane: Please regulate me!

Oh, Drayton. You must think we’re all a bunch of idiots.

Astros owner Drayton McLane is one of the wealthiest men in the country and is accustomed to hearing about multimillion-dollar deals being made in any of his numerous business ventures.

But even McLane finds himself astonished at the kinds of cash the New York Yankees have been throwing around this winter. So much so that McLane said he would be in favor of Major League Baseball adopting a salary cap.

“We would love to have a salary cap, but the (players’) union has been very resistant to that,” McLane said this past week.

I just love how sports team owners, who are otherwise some of the most vocal advocates of an unregulated free market economy you’ll ever encounter, quail and cower at the idea of a free market for their employees’ salaries. It’s as if they don’t trust themselves to spend their money wisely without the firm hand of regulatory restraint. Or maybe it’s just that they think the fans are gullible enough to believe that if the owners can finally get that cap on player salaries they’ve always wanted, it will somehow translate to lower costs for themselves, and not millions more in profit for the owners. Either way, it’s all pathetic. I mean, even Richard Justice can see this for what it is. Do us all a favor and give it a rest, dude.

UPDATE: The reason for the wide spectrum of MLB payrolls isn’t that the Yankees spend too much. It’s that too many teams spend too little. Odd how seldom that comes up in the conversation, though again, even Richard Justice realized it. Thanks to Dan Drezner, who notes that if American corporations were acting like the Yankees we’d be well on our way out of the current economic downturn, and LGM for the pointer.

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One Response to McLane: Please regulate me!

  1. Tom K says:

    Charles, McLane’s call for increased regulation is really not all that surprising. It’s common for businesses, once established, to embrace regulation to increase the costs of entry of new competition. See blog post here

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