When competition goes too far
To the editor:
Americans compete with each other for jobs, admission to college, parking spots, scholarships, prizes, awards and a good place in the grocery store checkout line. On the highway, Americans risk their necks and nervous systems to pass each other at higher and higher speeds on the road to nowhere.
On Mondays, we check the paper to see which movie grossed the most money that weekend - or which athlete or CEO is the most highly paid. Americans check the Internet or cable TV to find out which special-interest group has the greatest cultural or political influence, or who has the inside track. When we go out to buy toothpaste, we find that there are too many brands from which to choose - each one claiming to be vastly better than all the others.
We might compete with the person next door over who has the nicer yard, whose child goes to the better school, who is the better member of society or who has the better job and better benefits. In economics, supply is kept low to keep demand and competition high. At Christmastime, there is always a shortage of the most popular toy. Religions and political parties compete with each other over who has the greater claim on truth, patriotism and God's ear.