Congressional Ignorance

September 17, 2011

It’s sometimes frustrating to see how members of congress cannot understand that the actions they are taking in regard to the economy are having the exact opposite affect than what they originally intended. As they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

So, it’s not that they want to ruin America by printing up enough money to keep the well-fare state going. They truly believe their efforts will have a positive affect on those they govern.

In these videos, Peter Schiff attempts to enlighten some members of the Congressional Jobs Committee. No easy task, as you will see, but Mr. Schiff has the ability to clearly express his viewpoints and backs them up with solid examples.

Let’s hope at least some of them picked up some useful knowledge.

 

A Somewhat Tangential Thought…
Although it seems so sometimes, the government is not our enemy. In humanistic terms, the members of our government have the same array of dispositions as does the general public. In that sense Lincoln’s famous words still, at least partially, ring true: “…that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” It’s that last part – “for the people” – that may be in the process of perishing.

Why?

Ignorance.

Members of the government are much like the members of the general public. They are distracted by their own needs of survival. While most citizens worry about keeping their jobs, paying their bills and maintaining statu quo, members of the government have the same worries. In the case of political leaders, they’re dependent on re-election to keep everything going for themselves.

As such, all these distractions that we submit ourselves to are keeping us ignorant. We allow ourselves to spend time in front of the TV, watching “Dancing with the Stars” instead of trying to understand why our country has close to a 100% debt to GDP ratio. We tell ourselves, that someone else was elected, and are actually paid, to think about those kinds of things. Then we excuse ourselves from the problem altogether. It’s just easier to remain ignorant.

News flash! Those we’ve been dependent upon in government are no better at understanding these problems than are the general public. They may hear more about them in their daily jobs, but that doesn’t mean they’ve paid the necessary attention to them for true understanding. Most politicians are distracted by their own efforts to keep their jobs, rather than actually doing their jobs.

And worse, they might be developing a warped understanding due to the never-ending stream of lobbyists and special interest groups propagating specific agendas. (This is where Lincoln’s “for the people” is even more threatened.)

So how will we overcome this?

The first thing that needs to be done is to educate ourselves. We must make the effort to try to understand these issues and rid ourselves of this ignorance!

This means that we all need to be consciously aware of our own distractions and deal with them as they arise.

Here’s a challenge: The above videos would be boring to most people. They’re boring only because the subject matter is unknown and they’re less entertaining than watching porn or hearing the latest gossip about some celbrity’s illegitimate conception.

First, in watching the interactions between the people, see if you can distinguish those that understand the issues from those that do not. But most people will not be able to focus long enough to even watch the video the first time. If you are reading this far in the article, chances are you’ll be able to concentrate long enough to accomplish this task. If so, then congratulations – you are already ahead of the pack on the way to understanding.

Second, test your assessment of the people in the videos by investigating the issues yourself. Were you correct in your original assessment? Again, most people will give themselves an excuse not to even think this far. They will accept their first judgement and find no need to delve any further into the matter. They are satisfied with their conclusion and therefore may hold limited understanding, but they maintain their ignorance.

Finally, now that you have understood the issues, assess the validity of this author’s claim that ignorance is the cause of our government not acting “for the people.”

Currently, if politicians get a glimpse and gain a bit of understanding, they can immediately see that the difficult decisions and sacrifices necessary to remedy the situation would be too unpopular to get them re-elected. Their fears are well-founded, indeed. But again, this is only because the voting public is ignorant and only considering their immediate needs. But the more the public becomes aware of the situation – the more they understand the truth of it – they will see that those difficult decisions and sacrifices must be made. (To say otherwise, is to admit that the human being is irreconcilably selfish in nature and there is no hope. If that is the case, then God help us!)

 

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