Bill Maher, Socialism, Capitalism, and The NFL

See Bill Maher speak. See Bill Maher make people angry. See Bill Maher Make Sense.

On this week’s Real Time on HBO, the comedian/commentator went on a rant about how well socialism works. Unsurprisingly, not everyone liked it.

But if you use the link to the video and watch Bill Maher’s “The NFL is a socialist group and it works” diatribe and judge it as a commentary on the ways inventive people implement business change rather than a call for full-out socialist revolution, it . . . makes sense.

Bill Maher Bill Maher Video: Socialism, Capitalism, and The NFL (NSFW)

Let’s look at the main points of Mr. Maher’s commentary:

  • The NFL is wildly successful
  • NFL football is by far the most popular sport in the USA, and is enjoyed by many “Socialism is un-American” types
  • The NFL derives a huge portion of its revenues from one source, and then splits that revenue evenly among all of its teams even though those teams aren’t otherwise “equal”
  • As a result of this socialistic act of revenue sharing, teams that would otherwise be weak can compete, and the NFL produces a better product

I’m sold.

No, I’m not advocating for pure socialism (whatever that is!).  And the NFL is far from a pure socialist environment; the 32 teams are all ultimately responsible for their own bottom lines and the teams playing in impossibly small markets—like Green Bay, Wisconson—net far less money than teams in New York, Chicago, Dallas, and other big cities.

But some sharing of wealth works, for everybody.

That’s the theory behind coopetition. It’s often where business change comes from. And yes, it’s me advocating for Universal Health Care.

Don’t turn off your thoughts just because something sounds scary. Business Change works, and sometimes socialism is exactly the business change you need.