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America, Home of the Competitive

Accusing American society of being too competitive is a broad allegation, though competition is no doubt an essential part of our daily lives. It is evident in the law-making authorities of our country, in addition to state and local leaders. It is apparent in everyday business, whether in the stock market or in simple business advertisements. Sporting events contain enormous amounts of competition, but this friendly competition sometimes gets out of hand. Our society would be nothing without certain forms of competition, though sometimes competition turns into rivalry.

Political leaders are always under some pressure from competition. Every four years or so, the President of the United States must try to hold his office from newcomers hungry for his seat in the oval office. Recently, George W. Bush visited Florida to show his support to some of the victims of Hurricane Floyd, probably earning him some brownie points for the next election. In turn President Clinton decided to declare a state of emergency on parts of North Carolina. Though the hurricane hadn?t even hit them yet, it freed up money for them in case they needed it. Competition like this is surely noticeable in other political areas, sometimes creating heated debates like the one between Scott Harshbarger and Paul Cellucci. The debate was filled with insults and offensive comments between the two, and personally turned away any interest I had in politics.

Companies compete every day, in the stock market and out. Rising stock prices, profit gains, and increasing capital growth force companies of similar character to increase their productivity and wealth as well. Computer companies are especially guilty of this competitiveness. Every time a new, faster computer chip is introduced, every company tries to better it. These kinds of revisions are essential for economic growth, and likewise do not have a noticeably negative effect on our society. Every day there seems to be a new 10-10 number that you can dial to save on long distance phone calls. I personally don?t understand it, but there is obviously a market for long distance phone bill savings. This kind of competition is simple and innocent, but is becoming confusing.

Sporting events have become more popular, and respectively more competitive. Little League is probably one of the worst areas for competition- not coming from the players, but from the parents. For example, I was playing in my little league championship game about six years ago, and a controversial call by the umpire almost caused a riot in the stands. This is supposed to be just a game, right? High school rivalries are common across the nation. These rivalries may be tradition, but sometimes can escalate to arguing or fighting, just because of the name printed on the front of your jersey. This uncalled for competitiveness needs to be tamed, or else high school sports will no longer be friendly match-ups. Fans of professional sports are undoubtedly guilty of over-competitiveness. After championship games (in most sports), police in the city of the losing team brace themselves for possible rioting. Rioting is a common, almost expected act of the losing team?s fans. It?s sad to see that people have to resort to violence to exert their anger because of a loss.

Society today is a harbor for competitiveness, seen everyday by everyone. Everywhere you look, politicians are looking for ways to gain votes. Businesses are competing for the right to have the best product. Sports fans are becoming more competitive than ever. Competition, in any manner, cannot be kept from happening. It therefore cannot be regulated. American society is in every way competitive, and that will not change. I would not say that America as a whole is too competitive, but competitive for the wrong reasons.

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