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I know a lot of people don't look at the world the way I do. But every once in a while, something jumps out at me that embodies the difference between my morality and the morality of others. Today's New York Times Sports section has a perfect example in this letter to the editor:

To the Sports Editor:

As I watched the final round at the Masters, I was mesmerized by the perseverance with which Tiger Woods recovered his stroke and charged up the leader board only to fall short at the end.

I have also always been impressed by the respect Tiger has shown for the legends of golf — Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. Tiger has earned more money than all three of them combined.

of his wealth comes from corporate sponsorships, including Buick.
Unfortunately, Buick had to sever its relationship with Tiger because
of the downturn of the American auto industry.

As the owner of an
Ohio steel-tubing company that supplies the automotive industry and has
been severely affected by the economic downturn, I’d like to see Tiger
do his part to help our nation get on the road to economic recovery by
aiding Buick by continuing as its spokesman without pay.

Stephen D. Oliphant

East Palestine, Ohio

The writer is the chief executive of Tubetech North America.

Oliphant would like to see someone else volunteer to make a sacrifice? Huh? This guy is a CEO. He understands something about incentives. I'd like to think he understands something about capitalism. But he is unembarrassed to suggest that someone else should make a sacrifice. There's an implication that Tiger ISN'T doing his part, whatever it means to do one's part. Then there's the implication that if Tiger Woods continues working without pay for Buick that there's no other cost, that Woods won't spend more time, perhaps, helping some other product.

Finally, Buick didn't have to sever its relationship with Tiger Woods because of the "downturn in the American auto industry." Buick severed the relationship because Buick is going broke. Buick is going broke because not enough people are willing to pay the price of Buick's cars given what it costs Buick to make them. I'm tempted to suggest that it would be a good thing for Tiger Woods to spend more of his scarce time supporting successful products rather than products that people don't value very much. But my advice is simpler. My suggestion for Tiger Woods is to spend his time however he sees fit.


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