I had been staying away from posting about politics because I was driving myself into a deep weltschmerz by trying to keep up with both sides of all the stories. Now I’m back, after restoring my HP and MP by listening to music, watching random hilarious mess on YouTube, and drinking lots of Georgia Peach flavored Green Tea.
I came home from class today to see that the proposed 700 billion dollar bailout had failed to pass. I was in some ways relieved. This was the first time I wrote a letter to Congress about an issue. Yay for practicing Democracy!
Anyway, the reason I was relieved despite hearing that the stocks had plummeted (by 777 points at that…Oh, Universe…) was because I had doubts about the bailout when I heard President Bush say that we needed it so that banks could continue to extend credit. That’s when I became quite confused. If one of the reasons for this mess is that people were given more credit than they could pay back, why is the solution to the problem to give people more credit? I was also worried about where this money was going to come from. They talk about it in terms of the taxpayer paying for it, but the taxpayers apparently don’t have any money, because they’re not paying back their credit, so how are they going to pay for a bailout? The government’s in a deficit, so where would they get the money from? Aren’t we borrowing money from China? If they get the money by simply printing more, wouldn’t that really make the dollar worthless? Isn’t that what inflation is?
That reminds me of the BBC’s television adaptation of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The people who landed on Earth decided to make tree leaves their currency. But then, because there was so much of it around, it was worthless. So they proceeded to burn down forests.
To go off on a side note, back to what I said about “keeping up with both sides of the stories”…I wasn’t particularly impressed, unfortunately, with either of the main presidential candidates during the debate last Friday. I didn’t like how Obama said that he had “a bracelet, too”, and I didn’t like that McCain refused to look at Obama. It really bothered me that he laughed at the question of why he didn’t look at Obama when George Stephanopoulos asked him about it on This Week. But what ticked me off perhaps the most, was people using Obama’s repeated use of “John, you’re right,” against the man. I don’t want a leader who can’t see the good points in another person’s arguments. When I was a teenager, I used to get into debates for the sake of arguing. It was fun, until I started to lose, at least. I’d find myself cornered, and instead of deftly taking what was right with the other person’s views and applying it to my argument, I would continue to argue a losing point, getting increasingly flustered over something that had started as a game. It was these experiences that were key to making me realize that there should be no shame in conceding a point. But I think that McCain, and many people out there, don’t realize this. To illustrate further:
I’m currently taking a chemistry class with a dynamic professor. He made an excellent point at one of the first classes, comparing the scientific way of thinking to the political thought process. In science, he said, once something has been proven wrong, you’re considered a fool if you continue to go by the old ideas. For example, if you were to refuse that the Earth is round and goes around the sun. But in politics, he continued, the person who sees the truth in another’s argument and admits that their own previously held view was erroneous, is called a flip-flop.
I’ve come to the conclusion that no human knows what the truth is, because we’re all looking at the facts through some lens or other. Objectivity is a word.
Wow, I got off track. These negative thoughts are depleting my HP again. Let me stop. – _ -