Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Why Not Let The 'Steph Currys' and 'LeBron James' of American Business Do Their Thing?

Or the brute power and finesse
of LeBron James?
Do you prefer the sweet jump shot
of Steph Curry?
Sometimes you can boil down complex political philosophy to its bare essentials by comparing it to something we can all understand: rooting for our favorite college or professional athletic teams.

We can fight all we want about liberal versus conservative philosophy; HB2 vs. not HB2; more government spending versus less government spending.

The one thing we can all agree on is that if you love the Tar Heels, the Packers, the Yankees or the Blue Devils, it doesn't matter if you believe in Karl Marx or the Marx Brothers when it comes to wanting YOUR team to win at all costs.

Period. Championships matter to every fan or else we would just be handing out 'Participation Trophies' at the Super Bowl every year.

What is so interesting about watching the fervor of any die-hard fan is that when it comes to winning, we ALL want OUR team to win every single time our favorite team takes the court or field or pitch. Regardless of whether we are liberal or conservative or neither.

You never hear die-hard fans in any sport say they 'feel sorry' for competitors that do not win very often. In an ideal world, the Tar Heels, Packers, Yankees or Blue Devils would recruit the very best players every year (they do); they would pay their coach outrageous sums of money to stay with their team (they do) and their university or sports franchise would spend the equivalent of a small nation's GDP to build the most modern and up-to-date facilities to keep their athletes and fans completely happy all the time (it never ends).

And they would win all the time; every year, every decade. We would be ok with that simply because we are fans and we all love winners, yes?

We got to wondering: What if pure 100% progressive or socialist thought and principle taken to its extreme prevailed in the world of sports, what would it look like?

#1. Every athlete would be paid the same regardless of their output or contribution to the team. Steph Curry and LeBron James would be paid the same as the guy down the bench who barely played in any game during the year.

#2. Stars such as Steph Curry and LeBron James would be told by their coach:
'You have GOT to stop shooting so many times! You have to pass the ball more and let the others handle the ball just as much as you do each game. We are keeping stats, you know, and every player has to handle the ball the exact same amount of time as you do every game! Or else!'
#3. Every team would be allowed to 'win' (sic) the championship one time before winning again depending on the number of teams in their league and sport. The Warriors would not be allowed to win the NBA title again this year simply because 'they won it last year'. They would have to wait another 29 years to win another title after every other team, no matter how terrible they were, like this year's Philadelphia 76ers, had their turn to hoist the trophy. The Cleveland Cavaliers would win this year's NBA title simply because they had never won it before.

That is what total and complete 'fairness' would look like in the world of sports, right?

Doesn't that just seem totally ridiculous on the face of it? It might be more 'fair' but the competitive aspect of American sports would be completely removed from each sport.  Most people would simply stop watching. If your team is terrible and hasn't recruited well or has a terrible coach and plays in a terrible facility, you will find better things to do with your time and energy pretty darned quickly, won't you?

Cheering on phenoms such as Steph Curry or LeBron James as they strive for perfection on the drive to the championship is about as American as it gets, doesn't it?

American athletics, professional and collegiate, are perhaps the most visible democratic and merit-based example of American freedom and hard work ethic we all can see in America today. You have innate talent; you work hard, you try and fail and try again and ultimately, you may have the chance to succeed beyond your wildest dreams.

American athletes such as Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and LeBron James are now as wealthy as any of the robber barons of the railroad trust world of the early 20th century. And yet, hardly anyone begrudges their success and tremendous accumulation of personal wealth. No one ever complains about top professional athletes making 'more than their fair share!' or equating them to some corporate executive as the 'mean, old bad guys!' in America today.

Why is that, you may ask?

'Because they are helping MY team win championships, that's why! And I don't care what it costs the owner or the city that floated the bonds to build the stadium or the state to build infrastructure to get to and from the stadium. I want my team to win championships! Case closed!'

Translating this example to the American economy then, why would anyone want to put government shackles on the 'Michael Jordans' and 'Steph Currys' and 'LeBron James' of our business world?

Don't we want, and don't we need, American entrepreneurs, business people and venture investors to invest in new ideas so they can make a huge profit and thereby in the process, hire hundreds of thousands of people along the way?

Why not elect people who understand the business world completely and will work to unleash the private sector 'Steph Currys' and 'LeBron James' so they can do what they do best?

What these talented people do 'best' is create a lot of businesses, hire a lot of people and make a lot of money for everyone along the way, even though they will get the lion's share of that new-found wealth JUST LIKE Steph Curry will on his next contract with the Warriors and LeBron James already has with the Cavaliers and Miami Heat and, most importantly, Nike.

Don't Steph Curry and LeBron James take the rest of their teammates and coaches and fans along with them to the NBA Finals where one set of fan base is going to win the championship along with their favorite team? Don't successful business people take their employees and shareholders along the way with them in a very similar manner to higher levels of wealth and income?

Ralph Ketner, founder of Food Lion headquartered in Salisbury, NC passed away this weekend. Some people think he may have helped create more multi-millionaires in North Carolina over the past 59 years of Food Lion's existence than any other company simply due to his leadership, vision and generous use of stock options for employees all the way down to the janitor who cleaned up the floor of the very first Food Lion store who became a millionaire later.

Wasn't Ralph Ketner one of the 'Steph Currys' or 'LeBron James' of the business world who led his team to overall victory, success and championships?

That is what we have been missing in America not only for the duration of the Obama Presidency but really for much of the Bush 43 Presidency as well: a full and fair and honest appreciation for the immensely important role leaders in business have in making America what it was previously.

We feel truly sorry for the millions of young people who have entered the workforce and age of maturity since 2000. Mainly because none of you have had to the chance to experience what a real economic expansion in America actually looks and feels like. The desultory 1.76% annual GDP growth rate under President Obama since 2009 was only slightly surpassed by the roughly 2.5% annual growth rate under the Bush 43 years from 2001-2009

Once young people get over flirting with the fantasy that the government is there to give you what you want and see that the policies put forth by President Obama and Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton just have not worked to produce the economic growth you all deserve, you may see such an explosive expansion occur in your lifetime sooner rather than later.

You will think the rapidly expanding American economy looks like one of Steph Curry's beautiful, high-arching long range 3-point shots that seem to just nestle into the net like an egg where it belongs. Beautiful to behold.

Aside from the beauty of it, you will financially benefit from it far more than you ever will under the progressive socialist policies that have been floated out there now for the past 7.5 years and counting.

'Winning championships' is great. Being able to support yourself and your family by working for yourself or a great company in a great American expanding economy instead of trusting government to do it for you is even better.

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