Monday Morning Musings

Posted on October 15, 2018 under Monday Morning Musings with one comment

In 2 days, it all goes up in smoke


Something is terribly wrong.

Does the world seem off kilter to you?  There are natural disasters and extreme weather events with every turn of the page. Democracy seems to be in peril. Capitalism is facing challenges.  Social media seems to bombard us with bad news stories with a ratio of 100 to 1 good stories. Like Anne Murray once crooned, “Sure could use a little good news today.”

Today’s musings are about capitalism and poverty. They seem like an odd couple. That’s because they are.  I am not anti capitalism. But I am very much anti-poverty.

I am helping to organize a discussion on poverty tomorrow evening, October 16th. from 6:00-8:30 p.m. at People’s Place Library. You are welcome to come and add your voice to the discussion. You might be surprised at the high levels of poverty in a community that appears to have everything.

A news story, actually a sports story, caught my eye the other day that made me think of that old April Wine song, “The Whole World’s Going Crazy.” I’m not going to get into a debate about salaries for professional athletes. Sports are entertainment and entertainment is big business. Historically, athletes got a raw deal from team owners but today any decent pro athlete who can walk and chew gum commands a seven figure income.

A current NBA (National Basketball Association) player is in a snit. I won’t mention his name so that he doesn’t receive hundreds of tweets from Nova Scotia. He is annoyed that his team’s ownership only offered him a 4 year, $110,000,000 contract extension. Yes. One hundred and ten million dollars.

Let’s break this down. On a yearly basis (had he accepted this deal), he would earn $27,500,000. A regular NBA schedule has 82 games so every time he dons a jersey; he is guaranteed to make $335,365. A regulation NBA basketball game is 48 minutes long. Very few players play the entire game but let’s be generous and say that this particular athlete is a super hero and plays every minute of every game. This means that he earns $6,986 each minute. On a per second basis this comes to $116. In the time it takes him to tie one of his sneakers (roughly 7 seconds) he earns more than a single person on income assistance in the province of Nova Scotia for a month.

I am not going to suggest that a professional athlete is not worth this kind of money, such is the nature of capitalism. This is an over exaggerated demonstration of the disparity between the rich and the poor but most would agree that globally, the chasm between the poor and the well to do is ever widening. I think we will continue to see the consequences of this inequity.

The meeting tomorrow evening will NOT be examining NBA contracts. Poverty is an extremely complex topic and we’re not likely to solve it in 2.5 hours. But we can pool our collective wisdom and see if we can tackle some of the root causes.

Ok. Here’s the big reveal. My fourth book is within a few months of publication and I have a title: “Chaos and Wonder: Six Months in India.” All of the pieces are coming together including the cover which is being designed by Jean Pearcey ( I will be donating all of the proceeds from the book to my friends in India, The Daughters of Mary. Many of you know that I spent four months volunteering with the Sisters. They are remarkable women doing incredible things with limited resources to help the plight of the poor.

Have a great weekend.

P.S. Gillis MacKinnon (R.I.P.) used to let us in the Parish Centre after hours to shoot hoops. I’m thinking that I just might give the NBA another shot!

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