Legal monopolies

Matthew Yglesias on the absurdity of professional sports team owners treating profits as a fundamental right:

Owning a pro sports franchise is pretty awesome and it's something that high net worth sports fans ought to be doing as a costly hobby. The relevant financial fact is that it's a costly hobby you can exit from by selling your team to the next guy. But the web of municipal subsidies, labor market cartels, and barriers to market access that have been spun around the conceit that it should be a lucrative hobby flies in the face of all kinds of common sense. After all, you look at the people with great season ticket packages to any of these teams. Who are those guys? Not savvy investors. They're rich fans dropping a lot of money on indulging their hobby. And the owner is the richest and most indulgent fan of all. Except somehow he expects to get paid for it? It's nuts.

If you're a fan of a sports team and the owners turn out their pants pockets and shed a few tears to justify trading away some of your favorite players, don't fall for it. The fact that teams make moves to avoid a tax that is named the "luxury tax" is hilarious.

If I were immensely wealthy I'd buy the Chicago Cubs. Not because I'm a Cubs fan and would love to get them a World Series but because owning a professional sports team is one of the few legal monopolies the U.S. holds sacred. What a great racket.