Sang-moon Bae is a professional golfer. He turned professional in 2004 and has 15 wins to his credit since then. He is a rising star in professional golf and he is appearing more frequently on the PGA Tour in Amerika, where he has earned two wins during his short career. He was the leading money winner on the Japan Golf Tour in 2011. Most recently he played well, almost leading the International Team to a victory of the Amerikan Team in the President's Cup last week. Sang-moon is also a citizen of the geo-political zone known as South Korea.
Professional golfers are one of the most sterling examples of the free market in action. To succeed in the highly competitive world of professional golf you must be very, very good. There is no place for excuses either as each player competes by himself against all other players who are also competing by themselves. It is mano a mano as each player tries to shoot the lowest score and outplay the other competitors. If a player does not make the cut he goes home with no money. If a player makes the cut he gets to play on the weekend where his earnings are determined entirely by his final score. Players who do not score well enough to make enough money will not be permitted to play again the next year. A hungry pack of other players is always waiting in the wings to take away the tour card of a player who is not good enough to compete against the highest level of competition. There is no pity for a loser. There is no mercy for a loser. Losers eventually end up finding another way to make a living.
Golfers, like all other professional athletes, are paid by their fans. That does not mean that the people attending the tournaments write checks and give them to the players after a match. Like most sports there is a middleman who coordinates the payment from the fans to the players. In golf that middleman is the Professional Golf Association, or PGA. Fans pay money to attend golf tournaments. Profit seeking businesses pay for sponsorships to get advertising at golf tournaments that they hope will expand their revenues. Television stations pay fees to broadcast professional golf tournaments to fans at home. All of this money is put into a pot and used to pay the golfers who play well. The PGA is about as pure of an example of free market capitalism as we can find in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika these days.
Sang-moon Bae has earned almost $6.5 million during his professional career, including $2 million in 2015. That tells me that he is doing an outstanding job entertaining golf fans. He is being highly compensated because golf fans like what he does. In the free market all participants are paid according to how well they satisfy the customers. To date nobody has ever offered to pay me money to play golf. A couple of people have offered to pay me money to stop playing golf but I ignored those jokers. Apparently, and to my shock and surprise, I do not play golf well enough to entertain golf fans. Their loss, I suppose, but I can't make a living playing golf because golf fans do not want to watch me play. That is not the case with Sang-moon Bae. He can earn millions of dollars playing golf. Good for him.
Why do I bring up all this seemingly unimportant information today? I am telling you about the PGA and Sang-moon Bae because effective today Sang-moon Bae is a slave of the government of South Korea. Yes, you guessed it, South Korea practices conscription and Sang-moon Bae, a man who entertains thousands, perhaps millions of golf fans, is going to disappear for two years as he is forced against his will to serve the government of the geo-political zone in which he has his citizenship.
Yesterday was Columbus Day. I read some articles about the holiday in which the authors said that the Indians living in this country prior to Columbus were enslaved by the white men who conquered them. It seems to me that the White Man-Indian War that took place in this country years ago had plenty of slaughter on both sides. I don't recall either of the two warring factions enslaving their opponents so I dismissed those claims as spurious.
People who hate profit-seeking businesses often speak of employees of those companies as being "wage slaves." They define wage slaves as people who work for a company at a wage lower than they would like to be paid. I work for a lot of companies as a janitor and I would like to be paid $200/hour for my services. Nobody will pay me that wage and I work for about $50/hour instead. I guess that makes me a wage slave. Funny though, I don't feel like a slave. Nobody forced me to sign my cleaning contracts. Indeed, I am happy to have them. So I dismiss the idea of wage slavery as spurious as well.
People who love to mind the business of others like to tell me that children who work for Amerikan companies in shops that are located overseas are "slaves" working in "sweatshops." These do-gooders do everything they can to interfere between the employer and the employees who want to work. Calling the employees slaves is a good way to win a propaganda war but it really does not tell me much about the real world. When I look at the employees who are working in these shops I don't see any of them being forced to do so against their wills. Indeed, they are happy for the work and the opportunity to support their families. Once again I see no evidence of slavery in the things people tell me are infested with it.
I found out that Sang-moon Bae was going to be enslaved to his government for two years while watching the President's Cup last weekend. The announcers were lavish in their praise for Bae, describing him as an "inspiration" for all people everywhere simply because he did not criminally flee his country in order to avoid his enslavement. If I were Mr. Bae I would have fled the country and continued my professional career. I do not want to be a slave and I would do anything I could to prevent that state of affairs from being imposed on me. But I am a believer in freedom, something that is very rare these days. Everyone else believes that enslavement to the state and compulsory service to a military machine is a noble and glorious thing for a person to do. Everyone else believes that government is a god and forced service to that god is a good thing to do. I am forced to conclude that most people worship civil government and the State because they believe that conscription and enslavement to the civil government is a good thing whereas voluntary contracts between people seeking income and profit-seeking businesses seeking profits are allegedly of the devil. What a strange world we live in these days where evil is good and good is evil.