Karl Marx on Minor League Baseball

Big industry constantly requires a reserve army of unemployed workers for times of overproduction. The main purpose of the bourgeois in relation to the worker is, of course, to have the commodity labour as cheaply as possible, which is only possible when the supply of this commodity is as large as possible in relation to the demand for it, i.e., when the overpopulation is the greatest. Overpopulation is therefore in the interest of the bourgeoisie, and it gives the workers good advice which it knows to be impossible to carry out. Since capital only increases when it employs workers, the increase of capital involves an increase of the proletariat, and, as we have seen, according to the nature of the relation of capital and labour, the increase of the proletariat must proceed relatively even faster. The above theory, however, which is also expressed as a law of nature, that population grows faster than the means of subsistence, is the more welcome to the bourgeois as it silences his conscience, makes hard-heartedness into a moral duty and the consequences of society into the consequences of nature, and finally gives him the opportunity to watch the destruction of the proletariat by starvation as calmly as other natural event without bestirring himself, and, on the other hand, to regard the misery of the proletariat as its own fault and to punish it.
–from Wages, December 1847

114TH CONGRESS
2D SESSION

H. R. 5580

To clarify certain requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 with respect to minor league baseball players.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
June 24, 2016
Mr. Guthrie (for himself and Mrs. Bustos) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and the Workforce

A BILL
To clarify certain requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 with respect to minor league baseball players.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the “Save America’s Pastime Act”.

SEC. 2. MINIMUM WAGE AND OVERTIME HOURS EXEMPTIONS.

(a) In General.—Section 13 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 213) is amended—

(1) in subsection (a)—

(A) in paragraph (18), by striking the period and inserting “; or”; and

(B) by adding at the end the following:

“(19) any employee who has entered into a contract to play baseball at the minor league level.”; and

(2) by adding at the end the following:

“(k) Subsection (a)(19) shall not be construed to require the provisions of section 7 to apply to any employee who has entered into a contract to play baseball at the major league level.”.

(b) Applicability.—Section 16 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 216) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(f) In any action or proceeding commenced before, on, or after the date of enactment of the Save America’s Pastime Act, no employer shall be subject to any liability or punishment under this Act on account of any violation of section 6, 7, or 11(c) with respect to any work performed before, on, or after such date of enactment for which the exemption under section 13(a)(19) is applicable.”.
–full text of the Save America’s Pastime Act (H.R. 5580), introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives 6/24/2016

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