Socialism in the USA — and they love it!

I’m sure most of you know about the lottery used to allocate newly qualifying players to the NFL football teams. But it unusual to see this described as ‘Socialism’ in the New Statesman, a major UK political magazine.

You can read the full article here (no paywall): The socialist principles at the heart of American Football.

2 Responses

  1. Hey there,

    Interesting article. I’d like to clarify however that the NFL does not use any kind of lottery system for allocating new players to teams – or for anything else that I know of. It uses a draft, in which the worst team gets first pick, the second worst team the second pick, and so on in each of the 7 rounds. With that pick the team can select any eligible player that they want (players are not allocated to them per say). They can also trade picks with other teams and involve veteran players in those trades. So there is no systematic random element to the process.

    The NBA (basketball) draft, on the other hand, does involve a lottery wherein the worst teams get more balls in the lottery machine than better teams. This increases their odds of having a higher pick but does not allow a team to throw the season and be sure that doing so will net them the first pick and the best up-and-coming player. At least that is the idea. But to be clear, in this system the lottery is used to allocate picks, not players. Like in the NFL, NBA teams can also trade picks.



  2. True, not literally a ‘lottery’ which would be an application of a random process. But it does have the benign characteristics associated with randomness. It is independent of human rationality.

    I consider similar rules such as strict seniority for promotion are as good as a lottery by sanitizing the decision from human judgement (which has be shown repeatedly to be consistently biased and unreliable)


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