My friend Seth Berkowitz, from Blink, sent me this editorial. I think it has marketing implications far deeper that just immigration and professional baseball.
For years, everybody knew that illegal immigrants were coming across our borders in massive numbers and nobody did anything about it. Why? Because it benefitted more people than it hurt. The immigrants got to live and work in America, and American business got cheap labor.
For years, everybody knew that LOTS of ballplayers were using steroids and little was done about it. Why? It helped players compete and it helped ball clubs sell tickets.
Now that we have 12,000,000 undocumented residents, and now that a congressional report has shown the pervasiveness of steroids in baseball, the very same guardians of decency who turned a blind eye toward both problems are demanding that the perps be punished.
But can you blame a person for sneaking across a border in search of a chance to make a decent living? And can you blame an aging ballplayer for taking an illegal substance that allows him to make big bucks for an extra year or two?
Perhaps if we spent less time trying to punish those who took advantage of lax regulations in the past and focused instead on how to handle these situations moving forward, we’d actually make some progress. And if somebody has to pay a price, let it be those who turned a blind eye to these problems and let them become the status quo.