Applying the Seattle Seahawks’ Game Plan for America: ‘Caring for the Whole Person’

After winning Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday, February 2nd, ESPN’s Steve Young asked Pete Carroll, the Seattle Seahawks coach, the magic behind his football team this year knowing the answer.  Coach Carroll’s response: ‘We try to take care of the whole person’.  Coach Carroll developed this new NFL teaching philosophy right from Jesuit educational playbook called Cura Personalis’ or ‘Care for the entire person’, which according to Wikipedia’s definition, ‘suggests individualized attention to the needs of the other, distinct respect for his or her unique circumstances and concerns, and an appropriate appreciation for his or her particular gifts and insights‘ (Wikipedia definition).  All Jesuit schools and other non-denominational schools are embracing this Cura Personalis mission and learning culture.  During the 2013 off-season, Coach Carroll’s coaching staff met with each Seahawks player to identify and develop an individualized plan for each player’s physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, and/or social needs so each player felt empowered and supported by team leadership to reach their fullest potential as a man and team mate.  This ‘personalized care for the whole person’ built a strong player-coach trust and cooperative commitment on the team that the general public is soon discovering was essential to Seattle’s grit and success at the highest level of professional competition.  Seattle’s team was stronger in all aspects of the game because they were a tighter, more committed, cooperative, and holistically supported group.  The Seahawks had more to give when it really counted because they had been given so much support from Seahawk ownership to coaching staff through the year.  In summary, the Seahawks ‘Caring for the Whole Person’ strategy proves that cooperation out of enlightened self-interest is a superior competitive strategy and social organizing model than pure survival of the fittest in an environment like the NFL, which requires individual sacrifice for the team to win. The ESPN football analyst team reveled in this new coaching approach noting other professional teams would be studying Carroll’s approach.  Pete Carroll: Coercion vs Empowerment

How can America and our policy makers apply this powerful ‘caring for the whole person’ credo to empower Americans to be more unified, ‘grittier’, cooperative, and committed to making America great for all Americans?  What can government do to inspire and motivate those Americans who most need help to reach their fullest contribution potential?  To start: all public policy must empower people with free choice and ownership in their labor, our two core natural rights.  Just as you think about physical, emotional, spiritual, and social well-being for an individual, let’s apply that same logic to policy approach to right to work, home, education, health care, relationships, retirement, and rejuvenation.

1. Retirement: Is taxing an average worker’s $52,000 income $52,000 by 15.3% ($8,000) to pay for an unfunded, demographically and structurally unstable national retirement and health care program caring for the individual’s well-being?  No.  Is reducing an average worker’s income by another 25% ($13,000) to pay for employer-sponsored family health insurance a way to empower the worker to save, invest, and make intelligent decisions best for his/her family?  No.  In sum total, is denying a worker 43% of their income ($21,000) going to allow the worker to save, invest, and enjoy a retirement WITHOUT dependence on a distant federal government?  No.  Just look at the failure of the NFL’s own player-funded league retirement program to take care of all retirees including compensation for physically or mentally-disabled.  The solution requires we educate and empower the individual to save and invest the fruits of their own labor in a personally-owned and directed, government administered retirement account.   Proposed Solution: Retirement.

2. Work: Are work stoppages like the NFL strike caused by disagreement on fair sharing of wealth created by all stakeholders going to enable any of them to realize their full potential and cooperate with like-minded team mates to outcompete the competition and win?  No.  Labor work stoppages ultimately resolve when the parties decide they need to cooperate to succeed out of logical enlightened self-interest.  Otherwise, capital would simply move jobs and wealth creation to a new location or country to generate maximum return.  The solution requires that government reward capital to cooperate vs compete with labor so labor can own more of the fruits of their labor, generate long-term wealth, and be free of government in retirement.  With broad wealth creation among all workers, we reduce income inequality, strengthen freedom without dependence on government, and solve the fiscal crisis generating more taxable wealth among more citizens. Proposed Solution: Work

3. Home. Does a government’s eminent domain power to seize a person’s home for another private person’s benefit because it will generate more taxable revenue for the local government build trust and confidence in government among a free people, or reward people to improve their property and taxable value when a threatening government is nearby? No way.  Does providing free housing in dilapidated, crime-ridden public housing projects to millions of able human beings  who remain idle really care for the whole person?  No.  The solution is to empower working, crime-free residents buy their own home and protect all private property with strict eminent domain laws at local, state, and federal levels.  The solution means empowering capable felons jailed under ‘third strike and you’re out’ mandatory sentencing guidelines with vocational training skills so they can become contributors once again on Team USA, Inc.  Proposed Solution: HomeProposed Solution: Rejuvenation

4. Education: Does discriminating against young children in access to education based on their zip code care for the whole person and enable children to reach their full potential?  Tragically no.  The solution means ending the public school education monopoly, giving every child a means-tested school voucher, separating tenure from hiring/firing flexibility, and attracting and rewarding more higher quality educators.  Proposed Solution: Education

5. Health care: Does hiding price and quality information from consumers, re-directing 25% of average employee income to pay expensive employer-sponsored insurance premiums, restricting insurance competition by state lines, restricting free trade by restricting medication drug importation, mandating benefits at costs to people who don’t need them, and dis-incentivizing healthy lifestyles among an increasingly obese population with community insurance rating (healthy pay for the sick) empower people to make smarter health care decisions, save cash resources for later in life, and lead healthier lifestyles?  Absolutely not. The solution must empower individuals to become better educated consumers, and save and invest their own income for long-term care needs.  The solution must provide free market competition for all qualified insurers across all state lines in a completely transparent market with price and quality information. Proposed Solution: Health care

6. Relationships: Do laws banning same-sex civil unions or the right to a person’s physical property, or does restricting states’ enumerated rights so they can write laws not addressed in the Constitution show care for the person’s natural rights?  No. The solution empowers people to freely associate with others and control their own personal property within laws defined and approved by their elected legislatures at whatever level of government.  Proposed Solution: Relationships

7. Right to work: Finally, does the threat of deportation for over 7 million productive illegal workers who are paying sales taxes, property taxes, and Social Security/Medicare taxes (often under false numbers) show a compassion for the individual and thank you for productive contribution to our society?  Of course not.  The solution starts with the ‘Dream Card’ earned citizenship program in which productive, crime-free workers can pay official income and retirement taxes and enjoy all public services on a 3-5 year path to citizenship.  Other idle illegal people can be returned home in a compassionate way.  Proposed Solution: Immigration

America can learn a lot from Seattle’s ‘Caring for the whole person’ strategy.  Identifying individual needs; empowering the individual with coaching resources, information, and peer support; providing a personalized game plan for renewal and growth; and minimizing control of each individual’s magical potential is the recipe for competitive success.  An Ownership Society based on a sacred belief and policy framework that empowers exercise of free choice and ownership in labor represents an evolutionary stable socio-economic strategy that will beat today’s top-down, command-control progressivism strategy in a dynamic free market system.  Therefore, an OS has the best prospect to reduce income inequality by creating more long-term asset owners on Team USA; strengthen personal freedom by liberating the individual with more choice; and solve our fiscal crisis by reducing the size of government entitlements and adding millions of new wealth creators (eg tax payers).

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