I (Steve) am a football fan.
I love the coaches and the strategies that they need to employ to win a game. Some games are simpler in nature but football, with all of its intricacies, is more like a chess game to me. One difference is that in chess the pieces all have designated roles; but, in football the coach has to take into account the different abilities and talents of each player to come up with a game plan.
One of my favorite coaches of all time was the late John Madden, coach of the Oakland Raiders who were owned by the legendary Al Davis. Davis’s only motto was “Just Win Baby.” So given the mission statement, the Raiders generally won…by any means necessary. Madden did not have many rules to constrain his players as he felt too many rules would force him to be forever fining and reprimanding players for infractions. As a result, his teams also committed the most amounts of penalties. Madden accepted this fact because he felt the benefits far exceeded the negatives and, in the end, his teams successes were his proof.
Bill Belichick, coach of the New England Patriots, is the complete opposite of John Madden. Belichick drives his team with a much heavier hand and is known to regulate and control all aspects of its activities. His teams also have been quite successful but for very different reasons.
The fact is — there is no formula for winning in the NFL. If there were, everybody would copy what Madden did and Belichick is doing.
In technology, Google became valuable by creating a place where you ask questions. If I need to find the best doctor in Austin, where I live, I Google the term and then I am sent to the best web sites for that service. The fact is in that instance, I spend a fraction of my time on the Google site. In essence Google has given me a great deal of information for no cost. Contrast that to a site like The Wall Street Journal which charges you to see their content, or Gawker which makes money by how many people visit their site then charging their advertisers for that demographic data. Here, you see three very successful web sites each making their money in totally different ways.
When I (Carole) contrast this approach with government provided services, logic and past performance get turned on their ear and we get the “one size fits all approach.” If that approach worked, services such as those provided by the VA or Obamacare would be efficient and successful at their mandates; but, they are not. The U.S. Postal Service loses money every year; but, its private sector competitors, Federal Express and UPS, make money providing the same services.
As in football and business, there is no guarantee of success. But there is a formula that can maximize the likelihood of success:
Individual Creativity + Free Markets – Government Intervention = High Probability of Success.
If you want to understand why this is so, read any book by the late Milton Friedman, American Economist and Nobel Laureate. There is perhaps no one better than Friedman who understood the brilliance of capitalism and its link to personal freedom, or has been more adept at explaining it to the common citizen through his many works.
Once you understand the formula, and the principles that govern its component parts, it’s easy to see why government, especially big centralized government, will never achieve success at providing services.
Government stifles creativity, punishes originality of thought, is negligent at best and criminal at worst in managing its financial responsibility, and is forever inhibiting success through ever-expanding regulatory policies.
So when we (Carole & Steve) hear Hillary Clinton promising more taxes and new departments of immigration, or Bernie Sanders promising more taxes and more government control of services…our heads want to explode at the thought of less successes such as Google, Gawker and The Wall Street Journal and more U.S. Post Office like-lines just to get through an average day.
Even John Madden and Bill Belichick got it. Maybe we should run a Coach for President. We’re already running a casino operator.
Steve & Carole