Tom Knighton

Recent Posts From Tom Knighton

Market Ignorance: Almond’s football salary faux pas should confuse fans

Once upon a time, people lamented how political discourse had devolved from great oratory to the desire to create juicy sound bites. Today, it has devolved even further, into the “artform” known as the meme.

There I was, minding my own business on Facebook, and there it was scattered between the quizzes to determine what type of goldfish you are and funny pictures of cats. This one meme that had so many glaring problems that I just couldn’t let it go.

Almond Meme

The quote comes from a book called “Against Football: One Reluctant Fan’s Manifesto” by Steve Almond. Almond’s background is in journalism. Clearly, it’s not in economics, based on what we see here.

First, let’s take a look at his comments regarding the market.

“The ‘market’-meaning us, the fans-has determined Allen’s value is roughly $18.5 million per year.

Uh…no.

Almond doesn’t even begin to understand what the market is. Fans do not hire players. Teams do. The market in this case is not the fans, but the teams. These are teams that also operate under a salary cap, so they take a look at each player’s talents and abilities and that salary cap and decide what it’s worth to them.

The fans either applaud the decision, scream about it, or ignore it. None of that really has much bearing on the decisions the team makes. As a football fan myself, I understand where I am “the market”. That’s on things like merchandise, ticket prices, and vending inside the stadium. At that point, my decisions to buy or not buy (along with everyone else’s) does impact the team.

Now, it’s possible that if too many people decided to boycott the team because they were paying Jared Allen so much money, then that could motivate change on that front, but that’s a whole different game.

Radical environmentalists want us to live in dirt mounds and reject capitalism

Al Gore

Statists are gonna state. It’s just how they do it. They see the power of government as a force for good…so long as the right people are calling the shots. The thing is, it’s really not enough for a lot of statists to just tell us what we have to do. They’re not content telling people they can’t accept a wage below the federally mandated minimum. They’re not content trying to tell people what they can do in the privacy of their own bedrooms either.

No, there’s also this overriding desire by these very same people to tell us what we’re supposed to actually like.

From a site called Eco-business.com, an article called “Life in a ‘degrowth’ economy, and why you might actually enjoy it” says the following:

When one first hears calls for degrowth, it is easy to think that this new economic vision must be about hardship and deprivation; that it means going back to the stone age, resigning ourselves to a stagnant culture, or being anti-progress. Not so.

Degrowth would liberate us from the burden of pursuing material excess. We simply don’t need so much stuff – certainly not if it comes at the cost of planetary health, social justice, and personal well-being. Consumerism is a gross failure of imagination, a debilitating addiction that degrades nature and doesn’t even satisfy the universal human craving for meaning.

Degrowth, by contrast, would involve embracing what has been termed the “simpler way” – producing and consuming less.

Wow. I’m really glad I have statist jerks to tell me what gives my life meaning. I won’t get into the economics of that article right now, but instead I want to focus on this “meaning” thing for a moment.

Government schools are where free speech goes to die

University of Oregon

The first time I ever heard the term “freedom of speech” was in a public school classroom. I’d be willing to bet that was true for a lot of us. Classes on the Constitution invariably spent a fair amount of time discussing the Bill of Rights. While the Second Amendment didn’t get as much attention, the First definitely did.

It seems ironic that I find two stories regarding schools and their inability to understand what free speech is on the same day, considering where I first learned the term.

To start with, let’s go to college. The University of Oregon, to be specific.

On June 9, 2014, the female student in question was visiting with friends in UO’s Carson Hall dormitory. According to the student, looking out of the dormitory window, she spotted a male and female student walking together (she did not know either of them) and shouted “I hit it first” at them in jest. The female of the couple responded with two profanities and the couple reported the student’s comment to the Resident Assistant of the dorm. The Resident Assistant located the student and insisted that she apologize to the couple for her remark. The student readily obliged.

American Failings

I don’t write much over here these days.  It’s not from a lack of caring about our great nation, but trying to provide for my family. It’s just how the world works, and you’re not going to hear me complain about that.

Unfortunately, in this nation, that seems to be the exception, rather than the rule.

Every day, someone somewhere in this country writes something about how people are being exploited. Workers, they say, are being exploited by greedy employers who only want to make money. They write that workers should be paid more.

They never mention how it’s fine for employees to expect more money but not fine for an employer to want money at all.

So many people spend time talking about the “little guy.” Everyone wants to root for the “little guy.” I get it. We love to see people succeed. Hell, half our entertainment involves the underdog winning against the more powerful foe. Why else do we love things like Star Wars?

However, when the “little guy” succeeds, he becomes the “Man.” We love stories about Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Bill Gates when they rise from the dregs of society, then turn on them when they work to keep the wealth they earned.

If we have a failing as a society, it’s that we spend so much effort on the “little guy,” when it should be just about the “guy.”

We should respect the individual and his efforts to achieve, but we should also respect his efforts to keep what he lawfully earned. We need to stop assuming that every employee who makes minimum wage actually should be earning a hell of a lot more.

You’re unskilled? Get some skills and get a better job.

You’ve got a degree in English Lit and you’re working as a waitress? Quit complaining about the system when you took a crap degree in the first place, knowing there weren’t jobs out there in your major.

#IAmUnitedLiberty: Tom Knighton’s passion for fiction ignites his passion for liberty

Tom Knighton

Note: This is one in a series of profiles of UL contributors and how they became involved in the “liberty movement.” Share your story on Twitter using the hashtag #IAmUnitedLiberty.

Every story must have a beginning. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when my path began. After all, when you’re raised by a liberal mother who at one time supported Barry Goldwater and a Reagan-era Republican, it’s safe to say that libertarianism was bound to be the result.  Unfortunately, that’s not quite what happened.

You see, somehow along the way, I leaned far, far to the left. While I didn’t like some aspects of socialism, it seemed like a far better alternative to what we currently had.  The idea of everyone being able to work, everyone’s needs being met regardless? It had an allure to it that I fully embraced.

As I grew older, however, I realized that such a system was unworkable. So what should I do?

I guess my path toward being a libertarian began, ironically enough, with the left-leaning television show The West Wing.  The token Republican character, Ainsley Hayes, said, “This White House that loves the Bill of Rights, all of them - except the second one.”

Frankly, that line struck me like a ton of bricks.  You see, I always loved the Bill of Rights, but I actually thought maybe we should look into gun control. (I’m sure anyone who has followed my work here at United Liberty might be a bit shocked by that, but it’s true.)  This lead me to question the consistency of my beliefs.

Let the free market work: Waning industries that beg the government for protection from competition deserve to fail

James Patterson novels

James Patterson sounds like a prime example of capitalism. He’s one of the wealthiest authors alive, frequently finding himself on the Forbes list of wealthiest authors.  He makes serious bank each year, in part because he puts out more books than anyone with any kind of sense could put out.

His secret is his “co-authors.” Patterson outlines the story while other writers, who are lesser known, do the physical writing. He makes millions without actually having to craft a word. He’s upfront about the process, so it can hardly be called fraud. Instead, it’s just a matter of marketing.

Unfortunately, Patterson seems to be a big fan of state intervention in business. At least, it’s easy to see where one can get that impression after Patterson’s comments at Book Expo America last week.

You see, Patterson’s publisher, Hatchette, is in an ongoing dispute with online retailer super-giant Amazon:

Michelle Obama lectures Americans on education in inner cities, sends her kids to private school

Michelle Obama

First Lady Michelle Obama made some comments about race recently. These comments coincided with the 60th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision that effectively ended school segregation. The decision is, today, almost universally applauded as the right move. It’s a rare moment of real bipartisanship.

Mrs. Obama, however, did as most people do when talking and didn’t realize there was a point when she should have stopped talking:

“[O]ur laws may no longer separate us based on our skin color, but nothing in the Constitution says we have to eat together in the lunchroom, or live together in the same neighborhoods,” she said. “There’s no court case against believing in stereotypes or thinking that certain kinds of hateful jokes or comments are funny.”

To address these limitations in the law, Obama asked students to take steps to “drag my generation and your grandparents’ generation along with you” in the fight against racism.

“Maybe that starts simply in your own family, when grandpa tells that off-colored joke at Thanksgiving, or you’ve got an aunt [that] talks about ‘those people,’” she said. “Well, you can politely inform them that they’re talking about your friends.

“Or maybe it’s when you go off to college and you decide to join a sorority or fraternity, and you ask the question, how can we get more diversity in our next pledge class?” she added. “Or maybe it’s years from now, when you’re on the job and you’re the one who asks, do we really have all the voices and viewpoints we need at this table?

Stanford law professor doesn’t understand the law

The left and their fixation on guns never ceases to amaze me.  In particular, it’s amazing the mental gymnastics some go through just to make sure they don’t have to acknowledge that they’re wrong on guns no matter what.

Take, for example, Stanford University’s John J. Donohue.  Stanford has a reputation of a top flight school, which means it should have top flight faculty.  Well, Donohue makes me question that belief.

From The Daily Caller:

“I support the right to self-defense,” said Donohue during the debate, according to The Stanford Review. “But that doesn’t mean that you have a right to high-capacity magazines.”

Donohue explained that the Second Amendment must be interpreted in historical context. The founding fathers had no idea how powerful–and destructive–today’s weapons would become, he said.

He also criticized the argument that the right to bear arms was necessary for American citizens to guard against tyranny.

“It’s fanciful to think that guns in the hands of citizens acts as a realistic check,” said Donohue. “They’re not really trained to do so. And it’s fanciful to think that the military would ever turn on U.S. citizens.”

First, let’s look at his assertion that we have no right for so-called “high-capacity magazines”.  The last four words of the Second Amendment say, “shall not be infringed”.  That’s a pretty clear case that we actually do have the right to have as many bullets as we can handle.

Congressional candidate wants Obama hung

Here at United Liberty, we’re not known for being fans of President Obama, and for good reason.  After all, thus far his entire legacy is that of complete and total failure.  His foreign policy is a complete joke.  In short, there hasn’t been a single redeeming thing about his presidency that I can recall as I write this.  Nothing.

Well, apparently, GOP Florida house candidate Joshua Black has even stronger feelings than I do.

“I’m past impeachment,” Joshua Black wrote on Twitter. “It’s time to arrest and hang him high.”

Really?  You have GOT to be kidding me.

Barack Obama is a horrid president, but what exactly has he done worthy of execution?  Oh yeah, nothing.

Black argues that Obama should be executed after a drone strike allegedly killed an American citizen overseas.  As someone who’s not a fan of our use of drones to target and kill people via hellfire missiles, I’m sympathetic to the idea that the President shouldn’t be able to kill people via remote control.

However, where Black lost me is when he believes in executing the President for treason because of the act.

Luckily, Black got slapped by a fellow Republican pretty quickly, also on Twitter.

“You aren’t seriously calling for the killing of Obama are you?” [Chris] Latvala replied. “I know you are crazy but good heavens. U R an embarrassment.”

Latvala added: “I make it my business when so called GOP candidates become an embarrassment to my beloved party.”

Honestly, this has to be one of the most insanely stupid things I’ve ever seen a politician do, and that’s really saying something.  Of course, Black tops it off when he defends his comments via other social media accounts.

Obama’s minimum wage hike could kill 1 million jobs

No matter how many times President Obama says we’re in a recovery, we just don’t have a lot to make us really feel like we’re rebounding from the world economy since the Great Depression.  Recent unemployment numbers were less than expected, with a staggering number of Americans who just pulled themselves out of the job market entirely.  It just doesn’t feel like an economy on the rebound, does it.

In a down economy, combating poverty always seems to become a priority.  President Obama’s answer seems to be not just extending unemployment benefits — a measure that Republicans don’t actually oppose, they just want to identify cuts to pay for the extension — but also raising the minimum wage.

Of course, that’s not a problem if you don’t mind killing around 1 million jobs in the process:

The Obama administration’s proposal to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour could result in as many 1,084,000 jobs eliminated from the work force, according to a new study conducted by the Employment Policies Institute (EPI)

Recent Comments from Tom Knighton

Tom Knighton

tknighton's picture
Assistant Editor

Tom Knighton has been a blogger here at United Liberty since 2010. In 2011, he made history when he became the first blogger anywhere known to have purchased a newspaper when he purchased The Alba... Click here to read full bio


The views and opinions expressed by individual authors are not necessarily those of other authors, advertisers, developers or editors at United Liberty.