What should you say about the Ray Rice video?

September 10, 2014
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Why Roger Goodell should be nervous that there’s no electoral campaign to oust him
by Jim Babka, Co-Creator, Zero Aggression Project
Everyone is talking about the video showing Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knocking-out his wife in a casino elevator. There are many open calls for the NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, to lose his job, because the NFL never asked the casino for a copy of the video during their “investigation.”
Is there a libertarian “teaching moment” available in this story? Is there something special you could say to your friends about it? We think there is…
The Zero Aggression Project Analysis
As you watch this story develop, observe both who and how many persons end up falling as a result. Ray Rice is the first to be punished. But he won’t be the last NFL-employed person to lose his job in this matter.
You can trust this prediction because of a force called social power. The NFL, and all businesses, must show concern for prevailing social values. Reputation matters. Therefore, consumers have this social influence. On the other hand…
Observe Congress. It has a lowly 10% approval rating, but a greater than 90% re-election rate. Voters seem, well, powerless.
And why is that? Well, in elections…

  • The winner is always the lesser of two evils. Two candidates are imposed upon us through laws favoring the two main political parties and by the mainstream media’s horse-race mentality. And much of the winning side is mostly relieved that the (really) bad guy didn’t win.
  • The losers go home thinking, “Well, at least I got my say.” In other words, elections are release valves. You blow off enough steam at the polls and then settle for the disappointing result.

The public has greater influence on the NFL than citizens do over Congress. In fact, it doesn’t require an election for you to get the NFL Commissioner removed! I bet he’d prefer that there was a single opponent that he could attack, in a mud-slinging political race, instead of this voluntary market process.
The Zero Aggression Project Takeaway
Social power exists before politics. It even influences politics. But that same social power doesn’t need elections to work for you. You’re more likely to get a response, bent to your liking, from a voluntarily-run organization, than you are from The Coercive State. This scenario illustrates the heuristic rule that, “You have more more power as a consumer, than you do as a voter.” 
A heuristic — pronounced hyu-RIS-tic — is a powerful “rule of thumb” that helps you analyze events quickly and correctly. Followers of the Zero Aggression Project constantly use heuristic thinking to reach the correct analysis quicker than others do. We don’t have to re-think every issue from scratch.
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The more people who see this message, the more influence you have.
Brought to you by…
Jim Babka & Perry Willis
Co-creators, the Zero Aggression Project


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