Today’s Daily Wisdom (Government Strikes Out)

Being the sports fan that I am, I appreciate Thomas Sowell combining it with the economy in his column today.  It’s a brilliant piece about how we analyze sports and politics totally differently, and that we might be better off if we looked at income statistics the way we look at sports statistics.  It’s hard to pick one quote out of it, but this was a good one:

Everyone understands that a pinch hitter can also strike out, and is less likely than [Yankees star Robinson] Cano to get a hit or a home run. But the very possibility that the government can fail when it steps in to substitute for a failing market seldom occurs to people.

Read the whole piece.  It’s worth your time.

In politics we divide people by their income groups, whereas in sports we analyze each player individually.  Saying that players who hit .210 are not as likely to score runs, bat runs in or hit homeruns as often as .300 hitters is both irrelevant and obvious.  So is saying that the bottom 40% of wage-earners are not as well-off as the top 10%.  In baseball, a player who hits .300 one year can hit .230 the next, and in our economy, a person who makes $40,000 one year can make $80,000 the next.  What makes those things happen from individual to individual is what is much better analyzed.  We do that in baseball, but we don’t do that in politics.  Perhaps we should.


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