NBA Players Touting “Group Economics” Should Rethink Their Collectivist Slogan

In the current NBA playoffs, the Miami Heat’s Andre Iguodala wears a jersey reading “Group Economics,” on the back, where his name would normally be. That fashion choice might leave some viewers puzzled, but the basketball series reveals some clues. 

Some players’ jerseys, and the court itself, are emblazoned with “Black Lives Matter,” a militant Marxist organization whose leaders were trained by professional Marxists. “Group Economics,” another NBA-players-approved social justice message, is a clumsy euphemism for a command economy, a key feature of socialism. In a command economy a political elite makes the strategic economic decisions.

As F. A. Hayek noted in The Road to Serfdom, economic knowledge is widely dispersed, which is why socialism doesn’t work well for the people. In Socialism Sucks, Robert Lawson and Benjamin Powell make the same point, with many examples right up to current times. “Socialism Sucks” would fit nicely on Andre Iguodala’s jersey, but the league would frown on it. 

Years ago, the NBA struck a deal with China to broadcast NBA games in the Communist nation, a Marxist-Leninist dictatorship where “group economics” was part of the repressions that claimed millions of lives. The Chinese Communist Party does not believe that all lives matter, and does not allow free speech. Last October, when Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morley tweeted “Fight For Freedom. Stand With Hong Kong,” which was considered “inflammatory,” China promptly shut down the NBA games and the blackout continued as the league resumed its season this summer. 

After the British pulled out of Hong Kong in 1997, the former colony was supposed remain self-governing for 50 years. Free-market economics has prevailed in Hong Kong as in few other places, producing an economic powerhouse. The impatient Chinese are cracking down, eager to impose those “group economics” and clamp down on dissent and democracy. NBA fans might wait a while for “Stand With Hong Kong ” to appear on any player’s jersey.

K. Lloyd Billingsley is a Policy Fellow at the Independent Institute and a columnist at The Daily Caller.
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