Stories, Music and Film

Can Professional Golf Go Galt?

If you don’t pay attention, professional golfer Phil Mickelson announced over the weekend that he is considering leaving California as now, with the passage of Prop 30, his combined federal and state income taxes has risen to around 62%.

A couple of days later Mickelson apologized…APOLOGIZED…for what is no more than complaining about high taxes. Someone, possibly a sponsor, possibly the State of California, got to him, threatening a media retaliation on his high profile name, multiple tax audits and an endless stream of harassing letters, etc, should he continue.

From the personal point of view, Mickelson made a serious, and naive mistake; first, to believe he enjoys that sort of personal freedom anymore, but also that he neglected to plan and execute in the dark, a la the mythical John Galt and his extrication strategy. California for the longest time has been considering whether to seize assets of rich citizens who just up-and-leave, so practically speaking, the money needs to out of the state before the house goes up for sale (and a private sale at that).

Only California loses if Mickelson quietly goes away. But his future marketability may disappear if he should make a big deal of it publicly.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the professional athletes of California decided to Go Galt together? And then went public about it later?

Yes, I know, professional golf is a warm weather sport, so the media would quickly hang up the racist banner, since they’re almost all white. But if you don’t know, Tiger Woods already did what Mickelson threatened, 16 years ago, when he changed residence from California to Florida, precisely because of the high taxes. And last I checked, Tiger is 100 times more African-American that Obama, and hasn’t a drop of Caucasian blood in him.

You can imagine, this is tough for one high profile star to do, because he would be easy to single out by the media, as we’ve seen Tim Tebow and Mantei Te’o singled out. Of course, Tebow doesn’t care because he’s playing for a higher cause than fame, and Te’o probably won’t care, simply because his story doesn’t seem to have legs.  Even Tiger seems to have regained much of his old following (everyone wants to see him do well) even if not his old winning ways, and for some reason, the media can’t touch him. He doesn’t seem to need them.

If California PGA members did pull out, maybe they could be onto something that is catching. Maybe their counterparts in pro football, baseball and basketball would consider the same thing?

Unlike golfers, most of those pros get no lucrative advertising contracts, and haven’t nearly the professional life span of golfers…better golfers can play 30-35 years in the million-plus/year range. In fact, a large percentage of MLB, NFL and NBA players are penniless within 10 years of leaving the sport, which shows they were never schooled about money management in the first place.

And most aren’t terribly educated about the high taxes that are eating them alive today. So maybe, if they can be schooled in this simple art, they can be our foot into the door of the Low-Information voters everywhere.

Just a thought.

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