Wings, EVs and Crooks

Rules are rules, and free buffalo wings are on the forbidden list: Adam Winegarden, coach of the Tuscaloosa County High School football team thought it would be a nice idea to give some of his players gift cards to a local Buffalo Wild Wings after they won the season’s opener, a 24-21 squeaker. Alas, he had not studied the rule book of the Alabama High School Athletic Association reports the NY Post. The gift of wings changed the kids’ status from amateur to professional, defined as anyone “accepting remuneration for playing on athletic teams …”. Their team’s victories were forfeited and the players banned from future participation. It is not known whether the players elected a 6-wing order at $19.99 or naked tenders at $8.99. Or whether they will be declared ineligible by the NCAA if they go on to college athletics, not easy to do without a performance record in high school.

The Supreme Court has told the NCAA it must allow student athletes to accept modest remuneration related to their educations. Where would these high schoolers be without wings? Perhaps unable to study. Any of the over-one million high school students playing 11-player football who greedily accepted gift cards for buffalo wings might have their amateur status restored when they move on to college and into the jurisdiction of the NCAA.

Irwin Stelzer- This Week in Economics, and Next is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.



Kids in Paris are also targets of those who know what’s good for them: Reuters reports that in 2025 the City of Paris will ban pony rides for children in public parks because animal rights group Paris Animaux Zoopolis (PAZ) says the ponies are suffering. It chortled, “this victory in Paris represents an important step towards making society as a whole understand that animals are not toys [ed. note: it is not clear where this leaves toy poodles] and arriving at a world where animals are no longer exploited for leisure…”. Amandine Sansivens, a PAZ activist adds, Ponies are not toys. Children learn nothing about them from these walks, no emotional link is created.”

Stephane Michaud, director of AnimaPony that operates pony rides responds that his ponies work only 150 days per year. In anticipation of the new rules he has closed operations in about half of the parks in which kids might catch a ride. This leaves many French children free to create emotional links with other than ponies.

Who are the criminals? Many retailers, among them Home Depot and CVS, have instructed employees not to confront shoplifters, and some will fire those who do. Retail clerking has become so risky and frustrating that the quit rate for retail workers is now more than 70 per cent, according to McKinsey. The portion of shoplifters serving time appears to be less.

And Kia and Hyundai have just paid out $200 million to the 9 million innocent car owners who had their vehicles stolen by the bad guys. The car companies were accused of not having adequately equipped some of their vehicles with theft-preventing devices. There is no report of fines on the thieves. The carmakers now provide Atlanta cops with steering wheel locks for free distribution to owners of some of their cars.

Some people never learn: Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm is already famous for having made loans both while governor of Michigan and when serving in the Obama administration to companies that went bankrupt. That was no impediment to Biden’s selection of her to push the EV program.

She recently led a four-day tour of electric vehicles that ran into so many charging problems despite meticulous advance planning that a staffer pulled his gasoline car into a charging station near Augusta, Georgia to reserve it for use of the secretary’s cavalcade. A couple who were next in line, with a baby in their car on a sweltering day, called the cops because such ICEing (named after Internal Combustion Engine gasoline-slurping vehicles) is illegal in many states.

An NPR auto reporter brought along by the secretary to publicize the trip had what she calls this major takeaway: “EVs that aren’t Teslas have a road trip problem.” The President, of course, bars Elon Musk, whose shops are non-union, from White House conferences on EVs while the unionized automakers whose strike he supports are scrambling to enable their vehicles to use Tesla charging stations rather than await the distant day when the $100 million government program targeted at upgrading over 6,000 existing government chargers classified as “temporarily unavailable” takes effect.