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Athlete Should Mind His Own Business

June 01, 1985

There are few things as irritating as reading rich athletes, who have accumulated their wealth being good at some game, commenting on the problems of society. The absurdity of taking these athletes' opinions seriously on any matters other than the sports which they play is underscored once again by your recent article on Arnold Palmer.

Since Adam Smith at the dawn of capitalism in the early 19th Century, economists have understood that artificially high unemployment is one of capitalism's mechanisms for keeping wages low and profits high. To call the victims of this policy lazy, as Palmer does, is dangerous ignorance or disingenuous obfuscation of the true power relationships in this society which creates and insists on haves and have-nots.

All Palmer would have to do to understand the foolishness of his rich man's arrogance is to visit any laid-off steelworker in Pennsylvania, pawns of the steel companies.

Go play golf, Arnold. That you can handle. But don't presume to comment about the struggles of working people from your Republican vantage point of uncommon wealth and privilege. Golf doesn't require deep thinking. Making society more equitable does.

JAMES HORI

Santa Monica

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