Several times in the past few years I have seen people on the internet complaining that players in the NFL make more money than the soldiers and sailors in our military. I’ve also seen the variant complaining that players in the NFL make more money than schoolteachers.
Now before I get into numbers, let me say that I support the military. Their job is very dangerous, and they sacrifice much so that we can live free. Also, the thought of spending seven hours a day alone with thirty children five days a week for nine months makes me shudder. God bless all those of you who do it.
On to the numbers. In the NFL there are 53 players per team. If we multiply that by all 32 teams times the league minimum salary of $405K, we get a total of $686,880,000. When we divide that by the total number of active duty personnel the United States currently fields (1.43 million), we get $480 per year for each soldier or sailor. I think they would pass.
Or, to look at this another way, we could pay each active duty soldier/sailor the same that the poorest football player gets: $405K, and that would total 579 Billion dollars. That’s 20% of our federal budget. And that’s just the league minimum. What if we paid these soldiers the league average salary of $1.9 million? That would amount to $2.7 trillion dollars, which is just short of our annual national income of 2.9 trillion. That doesn’t leave much money for anything else.
If we substitute teachers for soldiers, it gets even worse, because while there are 1.43 million soldiers, there are over seven million teachers in the United States. That would total thirteen trillion dollars, if we wanted to pay these teachers as much as the average football player makes. People, our country only takes 2.9 trillion from us citizens every year, so this is obviously untenable.
So why do football players get paid so much more than soldiers? Because we live in a free market society, and fans are willing to pay admission to the games, they buy licensed products, they watch the games on TV, and they CHOOSE to spend their money on football. Is there anything wrong with this? Absolutely not. Teachers and soldiers are paid by the government. The government only has one source of income: YOU. So the next time you feel it necessary to complain that soldiers or teachers (or anybody really) makes less money than NFL players, stop spending your time and energy on football and send that money to your nearest army or navy base. Ask the base to divide the total among the soldiers. Anything less is hypocritical.
You can either be part of the solution, or you can be part of the (perceived) problem. You make the call.