The apparent escalation of baseball salaries is referred to as ridiculous, because of claims such as "just think how many teachers could be salaried by that amount of money" etc.
But, are salaries really escalating, or are they in line with normal inflation? For example, consider this data:
Question 1: If the situation was linear, what would you expect the minimal salary to be in the year 2010?
- In 1947, the "established" minimum baseball salary of a major league player was $5000
- In 1965, this minimum was $6000
Question 2: If the situation was quadratic, what would you expect the minimal salary to be in the year 2010?
Question 3: Look up the rates of inflation for selected years 1940-2010...and determine an "average" rate of yearly salary inflation/adjustment. Given this, what should be the expected minimal salary in the year 2010?
Now, using a baseball internet website, determine the acutal minimal salary for the year 2010....Has there been an escalation?
Note: You might want to repeat this exercise using highest baseball salary for the three years involved or an average baseball salary, both of which probably are available on various web sites with enough digging.