Posted: May 15, 2016 9:21 am
by TMB
Shrunk wrote:Actually, no, you didn't. Read what you wrote above. You asked about the role of "merit" in determining the pay given to models and beauty pageant contestants. Personally, I don't see how "merit" is based on much other than the willingness of people to pay money to those models and beauty pageant contestants.

I am showing here that in each event, including both sports and beauty contetes there is something classified as merit. For sports it is the ability to execute the specifics of that sport relative to othrs. For modelling and beauty contests it is appearance, ability to project appearances etc. In both cases this is the value that the economics is based upon.
Shrunk wrote:I have not denied that merit plays a role in how athletes are compensated within the same sport.

However it appears as if you are trying to say that womens tennis and mens tennis, is the same as comparing baseball and football, and this is not the case.
Shrunk wrote: However, that does not negate my position that pay is based on economics, rather than merit.

Economics and merit are not mutually exclusive as you seem to indicate. Pay and merit (or some other good or service) attract some reward all within the framework of an economic system. Note that many sports have only been professional for a few decades. Rod Laver played part of his tennis as an amateur and some as professional. Kerry Packer initiated professional cricket etc. It still operated through economic principles but instead of money the rewards were status, groupies, recognition etc. But in most cases athletes and sportpeople had to work to survive as their sport was amateur. This is still the case for many womens sports where elite level players cannot survive on the existing pay rates unless they hold other jobs.
Shrunk wrote: It just happens that, in that particular instance, merit is easily translated into an economic benefit to those who hold the purse strings and decide how much the athletes are paid.

This is the wrong way around. Sporting bodies operate the economics but the major driver and income comes from spectators and sponsors as they want to watch performances of the highest merit. The usual argy bargy that results as performers and the sporting bodies argue about how the money is shared between officials, performers, etc. The amount paid by spectators and sponsors also sets the cap on overall payouts. In the case of many womens team sports like rugby, there just is not enough money coming in to offer much to the players, at least when compared to the money that the mens rugby generates. The reverse applies in the modelling industry, where womens fashion, cosmetics all placed in the context of womens bodies is a massive economic engine and the top female models get paid far more than the top menl. By contrast there is much less interest in male models, much less money to pay out etc. Sex work shows the same pattern, it is market based economics with supply and demand for a product or service. The relevant question is why audiences anything watch at all – so what is it they value? I say that it must be merit because the competitive nature of sporting events is done so that we can compare people abilities in whatever discipline, tennis, surfing, running etc and its no accident the better they are the more people are prepared to pay to watch and sponsor them.
Shrunk wrote: Even within the same sport we see how "merit" is often disconnected from financial compensation. Why are football quarterbacks paid so much more than offensive linemen? Or, in baseball, why is a power hitter typically paid so much more than a light-hitting second baseman who plays strong defense? Is there more "merit" in hitting a home run than turning the double play? Or is it that spectators are more eager to pay money to see home runs than solid defense?

Once again market forces operate here mostly, along with the usual manipulations by the sporting bodies and lobbying by the players. Its not much different in a business where management tries to minimise what they pay staff without losing them to competitive companies. The basic model that operates just needs to ensure they do not play the players more than the income they generate otherwise the business or industry will collapse. The higher paid roles in a sport like gridiron, arguably the most complex of the major sports, generates greater competition for the position, and once again the best man or woman has the best chance to get this position (set aside anomalies caused by drugs, favouritism, injury etc). And these higher paid positions are seen as generating more audiences, sponsors etc. However once again you are looking for a similarity within the specifics of a sport, or between different types of sport, wherease we are talking about a single sport where men and women play almost exactly the same game, yet we split it on the basis of gender in order that women can be recognised as elite. If there were no segregation there would be no elite women. The same is done to protect older, younger and disabled players/athletes, but they get paid more in line with their lower performance.
Shrunk wrote:What we are arguing over, since you seem to need reminding, is your claim that relative pay between athletes who do not compete against each other is, or should be, based on "merit." You have yet to offer even the semblance of an argument to support this. In fact, in the post where I outlined my argument against your position, you agreed (often "violently") with pretty well every point I offered in refutation of your position.

So the basis of your argument is that since men and women in a sport, eg. Tennis are not competing against each other, just as a soccer player does not compete against a baseball player, then we are not obliged to assess their relative merit of how well a man plays tennis compared to a women? If this is the case then what is the basis that women should get paid the same as the men? If the sports of mens surfing is as different from mens surfing, then there is no reason they should get paid the same. Let the market forces decide. However this is not what is happening, women are arguing, as happened in tennis that because the sport is the same, womens events should be equal in reward. If there is some basis to say that women surfers should be paid the same as the men or women tennis players same as the men then on the same basis merit (since this underlies the economics) should also be compared. The difference between you comparing soccer/baseball where athletes do not compete is done under very different terms to men/women tennis players.

In the case of soccer/baseball the reason the players do not compete against each other is because the sports are different. A soccer player is unable to compete against the baseballer (unless they choose either one of the sports to play) is because the sports are different, the rules are different, and the merits of players are quite different. However when comparing men and womens tennis, it’s the same game and they can play each other, just to the same standards of skills. The reason why men and women are split within a sport is the same reason why older, younger and disabled athletes are split, because although playing the exact same sport, the merit is so different between these groups that the one group would be totally eliminated from competition.

In case you do not understand this. Serena can play womens tennis against Novak playing mens tennis, without any change to the rules, except Serena would be uncompetitive based upon how tennis highlights merit/skills/call it what you will. If on the other hand we try mixing the sports and got Usain Bolt to run against Novak Djokovic while he played tennis we lose the basis to compare merit. Usains 9.xx sec 100m sprint has no direct metric as Novak hits a winning serve. Your position to try and mix different sports does not work when comparing a split based upon gender, because it is the exact same way we measure merit/skill/call it what you will both for women and for men. If you were correct, in that case we could dismiss womens claims for equal pay to men in the same sport, with your response that theye events in where they do not compete.

You appeared to think it was enough to show that mixing baseball and gridiron still means they played each other in the same sport in which case it just becomes a measure of merit in one sport. With women versus men its always the same sport. Women surf the same waves as the men, play tennis with the same balls and same courts according to the same rules as the men. They just don’t do it as well as the men, so why should they get the same reward?

Once again you have backed away from the merit argument. Unless you show why audiences pay money to do anything your economic argument is half baked as you have lost half of the equation.
Shrunk wrote: So I'm not sure why you feel I need to provide any further argument after you have already capitulated so completely. The one point on which you claimed disagreement was actually one I never made, but was simply the result of your failure to comprehend what I wrote.

I think not. The same issue still stands, the agreements I noted earlier were not things I have had issues with and they don’t affect the fundamental issue I have with women seeking equal pay for unequal performance.
Shrunk wrote:I have made no comment whatsoever on why people watch sports.

You are copping out. You have a choice, either give your own opinion on why people watch sport, or counter mine that it happens because they are paying for merit in the sport, and being attracted to watching modelling and beauty contests on the basis of peoples appearances . If you tell me you have no opinion I will not believe you.
Shrunk wrote: Again, I remind you, our discussion is over why there are differences, often quite large ones, between the amount paid to athletes who do not complete against each other.

Yes, but the reasons why women do not compete with women in surfing is a completely different reason to why we do not get a team playing baseball against another team playing football (at the same time). It is the same reason older, younger and disabled athletes do not compete against each other. And noting that different sports pay differently without causing political issues, even if your argument was applied, then there is no basis to pay women the same as the men. (unless there is a basis to compare them on merit and how this relates to how the spectacle is valued by spectators)
Shrunk wrote: You say this is because of "merit", but when we discuss some examples of these differences (e.g. hockey vs baseball), you say this is not because of merit. OK, then. So what further response is needed from me after you have admitted you are wrong?

In fact men and women often compete against each other many sports like tennis, but almost never at a professional or elite level where there are status symbols at stake. The only reason this is done is so that women can be represented at an elite level. The same rules apply to men as womens tennis, sprinting, surfing, pole vault etc etc. If there was a gender blind tennis event, or 100m sprint, or weightlifting, women would disappear from the elite level. There is no single womens record holder that would even qualify for the mens events in the Olympic games. Serena would not qualify for the last 64 at Wimbledon. When men and women do compete in sport and when comparing club, state, national, international men are better than women. Chris Everts brother was a college level player who could beat Chris in her prime.

Once again comparing hockey and baseball there are differences factored into the game itself, yet within the game the process of competition selects lower and higher merit, and always top merit gets rewarded more than lower merit.