America is Becoming Like the Home Run Derby

July 27, 2009

This past week Americans got to once again enjoy the spectacle of Major League Baseball's All-Star Game as well as all the festivities and side events that go along with it. One of those events is, of course, the Home Run Derby where sluggers flex their enhanced and unenhanced muscles in a duel to see who can put the most balls over the fence. The problem that I have always had with the Home Run Derby is that it really is not all that indicative of a player's skill at hitting home runs. This in reality requires a keen knowledge of the opponent on the mound pitching to him, what pitches he likes to throw in given situations, where that pitch might be, luck, and then, on top of everything else, actually putting lumber to leather to crank a particular pitch into the stratosphere. The Home Run Derby eliminates many of these factors and dumbs down the art of hitting home runs to the point where I cannot even watch it.

The hitters get to pick those throwing balls to them. They get to tell them where the want the pitches to be thrown. And, worst of all, they are allowed to just sit there and watch pitch after pitch after pitch go by even if they are all right down the plate without fear of striking out while waiting for what they think is the best pitch for them to drive. To me, that just is not as exciting or as impressive as a player in a real game situation who turns on an impossible to hit ball that is low and on the inside corner with such skill that the ball soars out of the park.

I bring all this up this week because I fear that America is becoming a lot like the Home Run Derby these days. People are clamoring for things to be made easier for them in their lives just like Major League Baseball allows its so-called best hitters to make it easier for them to hit home runs in what could loosely be deemed a contest.

I certainly think some things should be made easier for people in this country, but not the same things that many wanting their lives to be made easier do. I, for example, think that making people's lives easier by paring back government to make it easier for citizens to start businesses. I think people's lives should be made easier by allowing them to earn money without having to spend hours and lots of their hard earned money worrying about complying with a complex and archaic tax code. I think people's lives should be made easier by letting them negotiate contracts without having to worry about government invalidating those deals based on whim. And I think that people's lives should be made easier by letting them buy the health insurance they not only want but that they can also afford without having to worry about government mandates as to what coverage they must carry and that increase the costs of the coverage they do want. These are just some of the legitimate things that I think should be done.

But many people are clamoring for things to be made easier for them at the expense of others and government is all too willing to oblige. They want to force people into contracts that one side of the negotiation does not agree with. They want to coerce companies into accepting labor unions and invalidating the concept of private property and private business ownership. They want to be given health insurance that they cannot afford but believe they are entitled to. They want to hold back their competition through use of government force and regulations designed to punish others doing things better than they are. They want banks to be forced, or at least highly encouraged, to loan them money they cannot reasonably be expected to pay back. They want to coerce other Americans to pay for their mortgage, their food and their retirement. The list goes on and on. And our politicians are eager and all too able to put the ball exactly where these Americans want it put. What is worse is that these people asking for their lives to be made easier are just content to sit there and watch balls thrown for strike after strike go by until they get the one that they determine is best for them to hit.

However, all those balls being thrown have a cost associated with them. Each one that is thrown and wasted adds to the burden of those paying for the balls. But as long as the government controls the printing presses and as long as they have enough people whispering in their ears that deficits do not matter, even though the laws of economics tell you clearly that eventually the interest alone will be unpayable, they will keep coming up with more fat, juicy pitches to throw to Americans who are all too unwilling to swing on anything that is not perfectly to their liking.

No settling for anything less than the "perfect pitch" in America these days, that is for sure.

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Copyright ©2009 J.J. Jackson

J.J. Jackson is a libertarian conservative author from Pittsburgh, PA who has been writing and promoting individual liberty since 1993 and is President of Land of the Free Studios, Inc. He is the Pittsburgh Conservative Examiner for  He is also the owner of The Right Things - Conservative T-shirts & Gifts. His weekly commentary along with exclusives not available anywhere else can be found at Liberty Reborn.