Date: January 12th, 2018 6:24 PM
"The question that would be interesting to ask Agassi is where he sees education in the big picture. His father didn’t need it, nor realistically did Agassi himself. Both had and have knowledge and skills that seemingly cannot be taught. Hard work and passion arguably trump education by a mile when it comes to achieving one’s goals. Does Agassi agree, and if so, how does this inform the educational process at his school?
Moving to more economically-focused concepts, antitrust is rooted in the theory that some businesses can become so powerful that they vanquish all the competition. In the process they jack up prices, and generally control a market that is soon bereft of competition. Antitrust lawyers at the Department of Justice and other federal bureaucracies make it their business to weaken the businesses that they see as too strong to avoid the scenario about which they theorize.
On its own, the very concept is wildly arrogant. As business history makes very clear, antitrust officials invariably “discover” monopolies just as they’re about to not be. The histories of Standard Oil and Microsoft vivify the previous assertion very well. Furthermore, the ludicrous reasoning behind antitrust is that the present predicts the future, not to mention that lawyers free of commercial experience can predict the future of industries about which they have little realistic knowledge.
So with it hopefully established that antitrust is supported by intensely weak reasoning, those who still believe it serves a purpose would be wise to read Open. They should because in doing so, they’ll be met with regular commentary from Agassi about his #1 nemesis on the tennis court: Pete Sampras. The players came up together, starred during a similar timeframe, and invariably played against each other in numerous Grand Slam finals. As Agassi half-jokingly laments throughout about his opponent in tournament finals, “in the end I always lose, because there is always Pete. As always, Pete.”
Interesting about Sampras is that Agassi didn’t initially take him seriously. Despite Agassi’s immense talent and knowledge about tennis, he didn’t see it in Sampras. After crushing him 6-2, 6-1 at a 1989 tournament in Rome, Agassi concluded that he had “a long and painful slog ahead. I feel bad for the guy. He seems like a good soul. But I don’t expect to see him again on the tour, ever.” Agassi added that “He’ll be lucky to qualify [my emphasis] into tournaments.”
Sampras of course went on to become the most dominant tennis player of his generation, and easily one of the greatest of all time. His accomplishments include 14 Grand Slam or Major championships. Sampras’s evolution raises a basic question: if a tennis savant like Agassi couldn’t detect his future dominance, why should we presume that antitrust drones with very little business experience are capable of seeing into the future of commerce? Assuming they could, does anyone seriously believe they’d be working as DOJ salarymen?"