Huron Plainman | Work for peanuts
“Hundred dollar car ticket,
two hundred rents.
I get a check on Friday,
but everything is already spent.
“Work to Live” – Huey Lewis & The News
If you’ve read these articles in the past two years and still haven’t figured out that I’m a baseball nut, well, I don’t know how else to!
What some may not know is that I covered baseball full time for a while, although South Dakota laws for remote workers prevented my company from promote beyond a freelance position. I probably would have stayed writing about baseball if there hadn’t been one pesky thing about freelancing – no insurance.
We’ll come back to that in a moment.
From Sunday to Tuesday this week was the Major League Baseball (MLB) draft. One of the big differences between the MLB draft and the draft of other professional sports like football and basketball is that players selected during those three days likely won’t see a playing field in the leagues. majors for at least two years, if not more. .
Many have discussed the growing money around professional sports, and this year’s draft would be an example of that. High school outfielder Druw Jones, whose father, Andruw Jones, earned more than $128 million in salary during his career, was selected second overall in the draft this week. He was rewarded by the Arizona Diamondbacks with a signing bonus of just under $8.2 million, a record for a high school player.
However, people see this and don’t realize that the vast majority of MLB draft players receive a sub-six-figure bonus and then start playing in the minor leagues. There, they are paid according to what their MLB team deems fair.
After lobbying Congress, MLB was able to keep wages below minimum wage for its players thanks to an antitrust exemption that was created for the game back when horse and buggy was the primary means of transport in the country. However, a significant breach was put in place this week.
MLB recently reached a $185 million settlement for one of multiple class action lawsuits currently being filed against the league over the treatment of minor league players. This particular lawsuit was about minor leaguers’ pay, showing pay stubs showing that players were paid, on average, $3,000 to $7,500 for the entire five-month season for a 50-70 hour week, and that they had to work, without pay, for a 45-day spring training.
While not explicitly stated in this particular lawsuit, other lawsuits currently pending against MLB allege that teams require players to attend expensive off-season workouts, limiting where they can work during the offseason (when many players who don’t receive multi-million dollar signing bonuses to start their careers actually make money) and charging players for team gear out of that meager salary they receive.
There are many who will say, “Yeah, but they get paid to play a game every day!”
Sure, but when they can’t even afford bread and peanut butter for sandwiches, but tickets to watch them play, even in the minor leagues, could feed them for a week, some thing is wrong.
Funny thing is, MLB settled this lawsuit, and they’ll probably settle the others as well, not only to avoid losing their antitrust exemption, but also because at this point the employees are in a bargaining position unique.
Unemployment in this state is below 2.5% at the last report. A healthy unemployment rate for regular job rotation is about 4.3-4.5% statewide, plus about 5-6% for Sioux Falls and Rapid City (the major areas cities like Minneapolis or Chicago generally want an unemployment rate of 6-7% to ensure an available job). pool of candidates for job offers).
This means that many jobs remain vacant because companies do not have candidates for positions. This forces companies to reorganize offers to employees, such as a higher base salary, additional bonuses or increased benefits.
The problem is that at the same time, medical insurance is one of the key elements of these employee benefit plans, such as the United States has implemented health care. Medical insurance for many people across the country is increasing this fall.
Due to previous eye surgeries, getting private health insurance has always been out of reach for me, cost wise. However, with current increases in medical insurance costs, my employee share of medical insurance would allow me to have multiple minor league players at the salaries mentioned above. I will join the ever-increasing number of Americans who spend more than half of their gross income on employee health insurance contributions – and that’s not even mentioning the additional costs of seeking medical care that isn’t covered by this insurance!
All of this limits the ability for many to freely explore career options, even in a work environment where employers are jostling for positions. Insurance costs are such that many employees are no longer working to pay rent or a car, as Huey mentioned, they are working to pay for medical insurance.
What if you are leaving for a new job because of these best options mentioned above?
You may have to wait 90 days for your new employee medical insurance to kick in, during which time you’ll likely have to pay for COBRA coverage, which is sort of even AFTER Dear!
We work to pay for one of the most influential industries on the planet, medical insurance. Want to know why health insurance is so expensive? Scour the publicly available records of any medical insurance company to find their budget spent on lobbyists at the state and federal levels.
Peanuts sound great, but with all these lobbyists driving up the cost of medical insurance, I don’t think I can afford them anymore.
I guess “working for rice and beans” should be the new slogan.