It’s not only the economy, stupid

It’s common knowledge that what this presidential election will come down to is “the economy”. Nothing else really matters when you’re suffering the effects of poverty, unemployment, lack of health care.

That’s the common knowledge, especially among those on the right. But here’s the truth: “the economy” isn’t the same thing to everyone. Climbing out of the current depression is necessary but not sufficient for a free and safe society. Perhaps vouchers for Medicare will save the government money. More likely they will shift money around and leave seniors in fear of there health in a way not known in most of our lifetimes.

Maybe school vouchers will help move a few kids out of a bad school. Maybe taking the money out of that school and leaving the poorest behind weakens us all and condemns another generation to poverty.

Maybe marriage equality is a back burner issue, something to worry about after we fix the deficit. Or maybe depriving millions of a basic right and of economic and personal security renders the recovery irrelevant to many.

Food, shelter, jobs are a basic need, and should be a basic right. We need a strong economy.  But even with our economy at it’s strongest, there is no economic security for many. There are freedoms denied, large swathes of people left behind.  It’s not just the economy, and to say so is a distraction, it reveals an myopic, privileged view of an American where, if we just get the money right all will be well.

7 Comments

  1. Spot on!

  2. You make some great points, and for the most part I agree with you, but calling people who don’t agree with you “stupid” isn’t likely to foster intelligent debate.

  3. Old Geezer

     /  October 6, 2012

    Well said.

  4. Perhaps your too young to remember the “it’s the economy, stupid” meme.

    Also, arguments about tone are bullshit.

  5. brandishwar

     /  October 7, 2012

    You’re right that there will always be people left behind. With as ingenious as humans can be, we still cannot escape the realities of the world. Natural selection applies to economics just as much as it applies to biology and the struggle to survive. There will always be those better off than others. And it seems unfair, but reality often is, and there is little we can do to change that without endangering everything we have built as a society. Our innate, yet voluntary compassion, however, is what allows even the poorest in society to still be better off today than they otherwise would have been in decades and centuries passed.

    The “economy” isn’t different to everyone, because the economy is everyone. The perception of the economy is what is different. But one thing we can do is re-evaluate where we are putting resources and whether those resources are being best used where they are being placed. For example:

    Maybe school vouchers will help move a few kids out of a bad school. Maybe taking the money out of that school and leaving the poorest behind weakens us all and condemns another generation to poverty.

    It has been determined time and time again that despite putting record amounts of money into schools, results are still stagnant. Perhaps part of the problem is that we are forcing kids under pain of reprisal to not just get an education, because kids are perfectly capable of learning on their own, but to get a specific kind of education with some, but little room for elective flexibility.

    “School choice” is one of the best opportunities children and teenagers today have for getting quality educations they are not finding in public schools, despite dumping (and in some instances, wasting) huge amounts of money per year per student into education. There are numerous reasons for this, but taking money away from the public schools may actually force them to re-evaluate what they’re doing instead of continuing with the stagnant status quo.

    • Social Darwinism is such a splendid philosophy in the eyes of the winners. But you want some rules don’t you. I mean you are sure to get a bit uppity yourself when a sub group of losers finally get it into their heads to start dealing with you winners (how can I express this kindly?) in a somewhat more forthright manner.
      In short, the way things are going the socially retarded pseudo democracy known and loathed by most of the world as the USA will soon be solving its problems through an injudicious application of second amendment remedies. If you get my drift.

    • ““School choice” is one of the best opportunities children and teenagers today have for getting quality educations they are not finding in public schools ” very true, however there is a certain disingenuousness in the proponents of the voucher options. The preference for voucher schools leans more toward picking and choosing the facts of the education, not necessarily the quality or providing different mechanisms to teach. These voucher programs are being pushed by those who wish to limit the exposure to certain topics and change the thinking and decision making process of the child vs teaching them critical thinking and giving them to the tools to examine and decide for themselves wear they will go with those decisions. The other component in the voucher programs is still money. These are schools are mostly for profit and when profit is put into the equation quality is not always the outcome.

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