Chris Rabalais

By Chris Rabalais

Labor Day 2018 – A New Way Forward

Labor Day 2018 – A New Way Forward 150 150 Chris Rabalais

Hollywood, California – September 3, 2018

What is the meaning of Labor Day? I must admit that I had to look it up. Having been an entrepreneur for more than 30 years, the days all blur together… Sunday, Tuesday, Thanksgiving, birthdays, appointments, etc. I am sure many of you know exactly what I mean.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor (https://www.dol.gov/general/laborday/history), it means:

“Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”

This speaks to me. Having lived and built businesses inside and outside the U.S., I can personally testify to the unique work ethic here. The vast majority of American workers put their heart and soul into their work every day. We like to work. We like to build things. We like to dream… and dream big.

The events of the last decade or so have certainly changed things. In my lifetime, I have not seen such a seismic shift in the economic and cultural landscape. There is no doubt that the 2008+ financial crisis shocked the system and most of us. Clawing our way back has been and continues to be a challenge for many and especially for our middle class. The gains made in recent years have, once again, only been felt by the top earners in our society. Sadly, I expect that to continue to be the case. There are no policy prescriptions on the table that are even close to large enough to solve the enormous wealth disparity, growing deficit and the (soon-to-be) unsustainable national debt. Moreover, going backwards is never going forward…

The other issue is “spirit”. Now, I am not speaking about anything spiritual here. What I mean by this is that uniquely American drive and zeal for the future. It is so brilliant and strong that it draws the best of the best from all over the world. You need look no further than Elon Musk of SpaceX and Tesla. While most people will not be directly touched by SpaceX or purchase a Tesla, the mere existence of this kind of over-the-top thinking is good for all of us. I applaud Elon and everyone like him. We need you. We need your inspiration. Don’t give up.

Back to the problem at hand, rebuilding the middle class… how can that be done? What are the mechanisms and tools? What “big idea” is big enough? What is the platform?

The answer: SPORTS

Why sports? Sports fans make up the single largest demographic on Earth. There are more total sports fans than men or women (separated by gender). Sports touches every corner of the world from the least developed countries to the most advanced economies. It is pervasive and it permeates the soul.

Now, there is a move afoot to expand sports-based industry due to the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision vacating PASPA (https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/17pdf/16-476_dbfi.pdf). In our view, this is a step backward and in the wrong direction. It will not only NOT create any meaningful new economic activity but actually create more negative consequences than positive ones.

The solution is: SPORTS MARKETS

… and we can prove it.  Stay tuned.

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