How IndyCar Is Like Bernie: A Study In Socialism


IndyCar and The Bern share several similarities, surprisingly. They’re extremely popular amongst a certain smallish segment of the population, about a century old and hoping to upset a younger favorite who enjoys better press.

It’s astonishing just how many things IndyCar and Senator Sanders share in common. So much so that perhaps the series should consider renaming them “Bern outs.” You’re probably asking yourself, how can a Socialist from Vermont be anything like a “greedy corporation,” as he’s fond of disparaging? Primarily, both have a demonstrated admiration for socialism. Translated as a central authority (e.g. the federal government or the Board of Directors) exercising vast control over people’s money and freedoms, racing rulers and politicians already do this in spades. Regardless whether it’s government or racing, we the fans pay for it all. “Fairness,” huh?


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IndyCar’s “Leaders Circle” approach to prize money is, at its base, pure redistributionist socialism. Referred to as “profit sharing,” similar models exist in major league baseball and football as well. Sports’ version of the Marxist principle that we must redistribute wealth, it’s another example of how Bernie’s way has crept into all aspects of modern life, often going unnoticed. Under these strict rules, successful teams are forced to subsidize unsuccessful teams – or the “less fortunate” – to the tune of millions of dollars every year. As every IndyCar fan knows, encouraging more teams like Dale Coyne’s is precisely NOT what’s needed.


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Problem is, there’s no real choice. Owners, sponsors and teams are required (i.e. forced) to share the wealth, or else. In common practice and to most Americans, freedom is all about choices. Under socialism, there just aren’t any. Also like The Bern, IndyCar racing is ancient, dating back before the New Deal and even Wilsonian Progressivism. (We kid – in reality Bernie’s only seventy four. Heck, that’s the new eighty five – oh, wait.) IndyCar’s supreme leaders should respect this historic legacy, ditch the redistribution nonsense and return to the days of paying real, honest purses. What’s needed is a restoration of things to the way they were before the “Great Leveling,” brutally foisted upon the populace back in 2002 during Chairman George‘s “Great Leap Sideways.”


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Another problem with this socialistic approach is that it lessens the importance of winning races, allowing subpar teams to ride others’ coattails. Akin to Sanders’ ninety percent tax rate plan, the Leaders Circle removes one’s primary motivation – money. Why bother working – or racing – if only for a pittance? This is true at every race except the Indy 500, where a more capitalistic style remains and the deserving winner gets to enjoy his millions of dollars in spoils. Unless you’re Paul Tracy, that is. In the real world, the multi-million dollar purse makes for a massive incentive. At least until tax day, right Mr. Castro-Neves?


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As far as governance goes, it can be argued that IndyCar is run by a sort of old Soviet era politburo with a strong man out front. Think of Mark Miles as Nikita Khrushchev and you’ve got the general secretary idea. Put another way, the Hulman-George family that runs IndyCar isn’t all that dissimilar to the Kim family of North Korea when it comes to iron-fisted, secretive and hereditary rule. Fortunately, Indianapolis Motor Speedway isn’t launching ICBMs into orbit or spreading nukes around, not yet anyway. All of which by the way candidate Bernie – who actually honeymooned in the Soviet Union – would feel perfectly at home with.


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Both Senator Sanders and IndyCar tend to be somewhat crotchety and even downright demanding at times – particularly when considering it’s we who pay their salaries. Ever run into a yellow shirt at the Speedway? With their smug authoritarianism? They encapsulate Bernie’s and other socialists’ strong arm approach to conformity perfectly, reminding one of a Vietnamese re-education camp overseer. Come to think of it, those with the whistles at IMS really ought to be wearing red shirts.


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Like a bad Brooklyn accent in the Oval Office, a socialistic IndyCar series is simply unbecoming. Essentially, it screws the paying fans, punishes success and rewards losers. As the late Prime Minister Thatcher so astutely pointed out, “the problem with socialism is, eventually you run out of other people’s money to spend.” That, plus the fact that it’s either failed or failing everywhere it’s been tried. Radical, indeed.


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Remember, the Speedway’s now officially in the business of spending taxpayer dollars. Big fan of the new government run healthcare system? Or the V.A.? How about the IRS? Trillions upon trillions in debt? If so, then you’ll LOVE feeling the Bern – both literally and figuratively. Socialism may be OK for Sweden and Britain, but IRR happens to think IndyCar – and the country – can do better.


1 thought on “How IndyCar Is Like Bernie: A Study In Socialism

  1. Pingback: St. Pete Preview: Russian Revolutions | Indy Race Reviewer: Fast And Funniness

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