The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It


We have all dealt with people who are happy as a clam one day and the next act like Ivan the Terrible. It’s hard to know how to approach a person when you don’t know if today is one of their “nice” days or if you’re walking into a massive frontal attack.

As the owner of a business, it was clear to me that the most important thing I could do for my employees was to be consistent. That’s how I tried to conduct myself – and I think I was generally pretty successful at achieving that goal.

This occurred to me this morning as I heard that this year’s three hour extravaganza that we call the Super Bowl now had its participants set. Those of you who will participate in watching the game (estimated to be about 115 million of us) or one third of the country, will be treated to a battle between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants. But you probably already knew that.

As I am continuing my two-year-long boycott of watching football I had to rely on television and the internet to gather that information. As I watched television and listened to the discussion about whether either of these teams should be in the Super Bowl (based on the fact that neither had an exceptional record in terms of their statistics), a fifteen second commercial was aired. I had seen it before and will, no doubt, see it again.

The speaker in the ad was the Rev. Mr. Al Sharpton. He went on to descry the state of affairs in America today. (On that point I agree with this distinguished cleric, although I am sure that the causes and solutions we would propose are radically different).

He spoke of “them” up there and “the rest of us down here” and how totally unfair that was. It was the usual patent medicine that we hear come out of many in this country, OWS and the White House being first and foremost in the fray. It is the basis of the politics of division.

Remembering my lesson on “being consistent,” I wondered why we didn’t apply the same philosophy that Mr. Sharpton and OWS espouse to the subject of sports – specifically to the Super Bowl. I mean – isn’t it unfair that San Francisco and Baltimore are not being allowed to play – just because they lost the playoffs? It doesn’t seem right to me.

Why anyone in OWS or with Mr. Sharpton’s mind-set would watch any NFL game is a matter of some confusion to me. After all, even the least well-compensated player is probably a member of the one percent of Americans at the top (or at least they’re knocking at the door).

So it seems that to be consistent in their philosophy they should boycott these events – thus depriving these fat-cat players and the teams’ owners of revenue to add to their already too large stash of cash. Doing so would reduce the number of Super Bowl viewers from the estimate of 115 million to about 3 million. That would make a statement for sure – hitting them right where it hurts – in the pocketbook.

But there is one thing further that we could do in the interest of consistency. In addition to the Super Bowl we should have a “Loser’s Bowl,” and allow Baltimore and San Francisco to slug it out. And at the end of play, irrespective of the score, we’ll call the game a tie so everyone can go home happy.


Comments on: "ON CONSISTENCY" (4)

  1. I don’t watch football but this post makes a lot of sense. A large number of people complain about not having a lot of money yet we Americans spend so much money on superbowl parties, fight parties and being upset about not having basketball (which I also don’t watch). Seems kind of silly to me. Athletes are some of the richest people in the country yet we continue to patronize all the sports. Silly.

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comments. I have scheduled myself during the Super Bowl to work at a local homeless shelter, helping cook and serve food. I think it’s a far better use of my time.

  2. I often wondered why is it that a sports shoe that costs $5.00 to make retails for $200.00 plus….plenty of vultures between producer and consumer.

  3. My dad used a rule of thumb of 8x when he purchased something in the Orient. If he paid $5.00 to the manufacturer or craftsman, by the time he paid shipping and tariffs it cost him $10.00. He wholesaled it for $20.00 to cover his overhead and make a profit and the retailer marked it up to $40.00. I guess the economics of the times have changed.

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