For years in college football, the championship football team was determined by polls and the decisions of a few individuals who claimed they knew which team was the best team that year. That all changed this year with the first college playoff game ever. The experts "knew" that Alabama was number one in the nation; that Oregon and Florida were inferior to them, and when Ohio State was determined to be the 4th seed, many other experts challenged that decision as being dead wrong.


Well, Ohio State beat number one Alabama and went on to a playoff with Oregon. Everyone knew that Oregon was the better team, and they were a touchdown favorite going into the big game. Ohio State beat the “best team in football” 42-20. So, what does this tell us? It tells us that performance trumps theory.


If you believe that a playoff game is a fairer way to determine the best team rather than some decision-maker on high that decides who is best and who is not -- then you should be for free market capitalism. It is only on the free market field of play where the best compete and can succeed.


In other nations ones social and economic status is determined by the government, or a dictator, or the King. The average person is barred on many different levels from ever becoming the best they can be. Their best is limited by political, social, or economic barriers. But here in America a kid in a garage can become the richest man in the world, and a young single mother can build a business in her basement that becomes one of the greatest businesses in America.


When you take away individual initiative and decision making and replace it with political decree, you never get the maximum success of the best of people. You never end up with the great success stories that fuel economic growth; you end up with the biases of political opinion and mandates of politicians trying to manipulate reality. When mandates replace competition and freedom, the result is mediocrity.


In free market capitalism you get playoffs every day, every week, and every year as individuals and businesses compete with one another within the marketplace. An individual no matter what his background or social status can reach heights of success unthinkablee to most. For the government to pick winners and losers in an economy is equivalent to elites picking winners and losers in football. It is an affront to individualism.


Political influence in sports and politics, retards individual ability, and as such retards economic growth. This is why so many nations in the world remain smothered and stagnant while America is the fountainhead of innovation and progress in the world. America still has the freest economy in the world. But as its freedom to compete has been reduced, so has the growth of its economy.


Instead of government calling the plays of an economy, why not have a level playing field based on objective rules where all businesses, all employees, and all innovators and artists can compete. The government should only be a referee -- preventing force, fraud, and coercion, and penalizing those that commit such violations. Referees are not there to protect a team from losing, or try to help a team to win, but to protect the players from getting hurt or cheated.


Critics of such a free market system, call it a system of "survivor of the fittest”. But isn't that just what we saw in this first year of playoff's? Ohio State despite the experts' opinions and biases overcame all odds and won. Winning is not a matter of opinion. It’s a matter of performance


In football coaches get fired, players get cut, and losers go home. In capitalism, CEO's get fired, employees get fired, and businesses fail for non-performance. If you can't compete, you can't play. This is the rule in sports as it is in business. But it's not true within government. Rarely does anyone get cut or fired. Failure has no consequences. Failure is tolerated and thus becomes institutionalized. Failure without consequence is the most unjust system of all.


Is there unfairness in the market place? Is there luck? Is there biases and prejudices that affect the outcome of competition? Of course, just as there are in any society and any economy. Like sports, free enterprise is not perfect. But by what right does the government have to step into an economy and decide who gets paid what and how they should do their jobs?


In football, a quarterback makes more than a center. Should the government step in and take money from the quarterback and give it to the center? Should the government have the right to tell a coach what calls he must make during the game? Government does just that when it preempts the boss and attempt to set prices, wages, and working conditions.


Would you remain silent if a referee decided to take points off the scoreboard of the winning team to give to the losing team because it's "fair"? Would you advocate penalizing the best in a game because they are winning and not penalize the worst for an infraction because they are losing? If that is wrong for a referee it’s wrong for a Congressman, a Union, or a President. Yet that is what they do each and every day in the name of "redistribution of wealth".


Free enterprise is a system of competition that rewards ability and success. Today's politicians are exactly the same as the sport elites who advocate picking winners and losers. Both are against unfettered competition even given fair and objective rules. They want to regulate the game and control the outcome. I say, let competition in a free marketplace reign -- and not politicians who think they know best.


I say let the coach be the coach and the boss be the boss, and let the players on the field like the players in the economy compete fairly -- and may the best of the players rise as far and as high as their abilities will take them. Only then will a country end up with the best "team".



Paul Nathan