Saturday, June 23, 2012

Mild Sauce

While having a little chatty chat with my friend Ethan today, he (a soon-to-be third-year law student) dropped some political pearls of wisdom on yours truly.

According to Mr. Ethan, where one lies on the political spectrum depends on where one believes personal responsibility ends and government obligation begins.

I shushed Ethan right after he said this. After all, such profundity demands a moment of silence.(Plus, I knew what he just said required all of my mental attention, and thus I could no longer be bothered with his actual presence.)

As I predicted in that moment, the truth of his statement has been with me since.

Ever tried to put on a bathing suit while contemplating the nature of your political affiliations? Seems both activities require two hands...

Anyway, two-handed or no, it all boils down to balance. Trouble is, people continue to disagree on where the balance of personal responsibility vs. government obligation lies.

An easy example: government bail outs. Proponents said without the bailouts, thousands would lose their jobs, lucrative businesses would go under, the American economy would crash. But where is the personal responsibility for those who ran, say, General Motors into the ground to begin with? Why should our government bail out a wealthy CEO but not the hundreds of thousands of American small businesses that fold every year? Are not those closures also--and equally--affecting the economy?

Who's right?

Well, your stance on the issue likely says much about your views on personal responsibility vs. government obligation.

The examples here are endless, and I won't suffer the hand cramp of articulating each of them. Suffice to say that it's something to think about. Especially in an election year.

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