If my physician told me I had but one more day to live, I would start it off by attending a kid’s swim meet and top it off with an economics lecture. This wouldn’t actually extend my time on earth, but it’d sure feel like it.
Over the past few weeks, I have sat through parts of a three-day swim meet in Indianapolis. Since my tepid athletic career never progressed past college intramurals, my empathy lies with the parents of athletes. I suspect most readers know exactly what I mean. While it is moving to watch a youngish teenager win a medal or beat a record, the real inspiration lies in what their parents have done.
Behind every teenage athlete lies a family that has sacrificed for a decade or longer. Most of the time, these families are not thinking about gold medals or trophies but simply teaching their kids real lessons about life; it is sacrifice and hard work that leads to success. In this lies a valuable economic lesson for our time.