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Archive for June 3rd, 2010

Having played sports all my life and having been involved in sporting events with my kids, I’m a big believer in practicing and teaching sportsmanship. Simply stated, you ease up on a team once you have a big lead. But sportsmanship, like other virtues, is not something that should be imposed – especially when the goal is to foster a false sense of self esteem. That’s why the new rules from a Canadian soccer league turning big victories into defaults are so absurd. Here’s a blurb from the National Post:

In yet another nod to the protection of fledgling self-esteem, an Ottawa children’s soccer league has introduced a rule that says any team that wins a game by more than five points will lose by default. …Kevin Cappon said…the league’s new rule will coddle sore losers. …Kevin’s father, Bruce Cappon, called the rule ludicrous. “I couldn’t find anywhere in the world, even in a communist country, where that rule is enforced,” he said. …“Everybody wants a close game, nobody wants blowouts, but we don’t want to go by those farcical rules that they come up with,” he said. “Heaven forbid when these kids get into the real world. They won’t be prepared to deal with the competition out there.” Paul Cholmsky, whose four- and six-year-old boys play in the league, said the intended goal of a default-lose rule might backfire in teaching life skills. “If there’s one team that’s consistenly dominant and one team that’s not, well, that’s life,” he said. …Mr. Cale said the league’s 12-person board of directors is not trying to take the fun out of the game, they are simply trying to make it fair. The new rule, suggested by “involved parents,” is a temporary measure that will be replaced by a pre-season skill assessment to make fair teams.

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For the past 15 years, America has been ranked as the world’s most competitive economy according to the Swiss-based IMD World Competitiveness Center. In the 2010 report that was recently released, however, the United States fell to number three, trailing Hong Kong and Singapore. Obama deserves much of the blame, but a nation rarely become less competitive overnight and it is quite likely that the big government policies of the Bush years also are responsible for what I fear will probably be a long-term decline in America’s economic vitality. Here’s a blurb from the Associated Press:

Singapore and Hong Kong are the world’s most competitive economies, an annual survey said Friday, demoting the United States from the top spot for the first time since 1993. The study lists 58 economies according to 328 criteria that measure how the nations create and maintain conditions favorable to businesses – a formula that had favored the U.S. for 16 years. …Switzerland and Australia rounded out the top five. Then came Sweden, Canada, Taiwan, Norway and Malaysia.

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As I noted in this TV interview, that last thing a parasite should want is to kill its host animal. This is why leftists are making a big mistake by over-taxing, over-spending, and over-regulating. Simply stated, if they want to live as moochers, they need to make sure someone is producing. In other words, don’t steal so much that the victims stop generating any wealth. Michael Barone, writing about the corrupt “Chicago Way” for Townhall, makes a similar point:

One prime assumption of the Chicago Way is that there will always be a bounteous private sector that politicians can plunder endlessly. …So it’s natural for a Chicago Way president to assume that higher taxes and a hugely expensive health care regime will not make a perceptible dent in the nation’s private sector economy. There will always be plenty to plunder. Crony capitalism also comes naturally to a Chicago Way president. Use some sweeteners to get the drug companies and the docs to sign onto the health care plan. If the health insurers start bellyaching, whack them a few times in public to make them go along. Design a financial reform that Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase can live with even while you assail “Wall Street fat cats.” The big guys will understand that you have to provide the voters with some political theater while you give them what they want.

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