Hello World!

Welcome to the life and chronicles of My Jersey Boys and me, B (the only girl who hangs out with them). Our original mission was to prove that not all of Jersey is obsessed with GTL. Now it's kind of become the place where we share our random thoughts, ridiculous stories, regular quote updates, and maybe a picture or video here and there. There's always something going on...

Love from,
The one and only,
B

0

Frustration

Posted by D on 3:16 PM
I've stopped writing lengthy posts in favor of shorter ones with links, photos, and videos because recently I've felt like I haven't had much to say. Although I can write pretty quickly, I need an idea or some inspiration to overcome my short attention span. I become bored easily, and I tend to lose interest in any post over several hundred words. I also haven't had much time recently to sit down and write. You might think that being done with work would have given me even more time to write, but you'd be wrong. When I was at work doing nothing, writing for B's blog was one of the few things I could do to kill the time. As you may or may not (probably the latter) have noticed, I've stopped doing the countdown (which now stands at 6) until I leave for Chicago. Now that I have other things to do, writing doesn't seem nearly as appealing. Fortunately, last night I had a thought. Some might even call it an idea.

----------------------------------------------

Next Wednesday, T and I leave for graduate school. He is going to medical school, presumably to be a doctor. I am going to public policy school, presumably to be employed when I'm done. Not many people know what pubpol is. When people ask, I say that it is pseudo-government training. I tell them that although I've going to "gov school," I have no intention of going into anything related to government. I say that even though I agreed to go to this program for 2 years and read about politics and policy everyday. Clearly, my problem with government is not a lack of interest.

Perhaps my problem with government is that I read about it everyday. At work, I followed every piece of news related to the self-created debt ceiling crisis. I listened as our elected leaders fought over two competing ideologies related to the role of government in society. My point is not to preach about my own politics leanings. I big proponent of the concept that everybody is entitled to their opinions (the stupider the opinion, the harder it is to keep believing this), and I am very reluctant to impose my values on other people.

What really frustrates (I made it 3 paragraphs without using the title of the post) me is lack of progress. There is nothing I find more frustrating (#2) than putting in work and having nothing to show for it. In college, I put in a lot of effort that ended up being wasted because other people wouldn't match my effort, other people didn't care, or other people wouldn't do what I asked them too. Politics (at least the way we do it in this country in the 21st century) is defined by lack of progress. National government officials are elected by local constituents and are supposed to represent their interests while also representing the interests of the entire country. This dual responsibility is great when interests align but is disastrous when interests are in conflict. Even worse is when what people think is best for them is not in fact best for them. This is what happened in the debt crisis.

This might be where my problem with government and politics lies. I don't want to be elitest. I don't want to even feel elitest. I don't want to tell people what's best for them. It's hard enough to know what's best for me. However, sometimes people are just plain wrong. Sometimes people believe in an ideology that promotes concepts about the economy that will make poor people poorer, that will make unemployment worse, and are fundamentally incorrect. My personal definition of being elitest is thinking that you know better than other people. Although my degree in economics hasn't given me much, it has provided me with enough background to know that most politicians have no idea how the economy works. Even among the politicians I support, most of them have no training in economic policy.

*As a quick aside, I find it extremely troubling that elected officials are overwhelmingly lawyers. Although I understand that law school provides one with the background to be knowledgeable about the law, I don't think letting lawyers make all our policy decisions is a great idea. Both my parents are lawyers, and I know what being a lawyer means. Lawyers are often smart and clever (OFTEN) but are also stubborn, argumentative, and promote a culture of conflict. I would never design a system in which lawyers were nearly exclusively responsible for our collective decision making. After all, we are not a nation of only lawyers. The smartest people in the country do not all become lawyers. Some become doctors. Some become engineers. Some become professors, businessmen, teachers, etc. Ideally, the demographics of Congress would better reflect the occupational demographics of our population. Unfortunately, I can't blame somebody who has gone through med school for not wanting to deal with politics. *

Similarly, some people believe certain things about social policy that make me really sad. One of the great things about New Jersey (at least to me) is that it is a relatively socially open state, which I take to mean that people can do what they want as long as it doesn't hurt anybody else. One of my favorite moments of the summer was watching CNN on a JetBlue flight as the state of New York legalized gay marriage (if you couldn't tell already what my political ideology was). I understand that some social policy offends people for religious and moral reasons, and I admit that I struggle how to resolve this. Just as I want social freedom for those whose beliefs are persecuted, I also want religious freedom for those who do the persecuting. I even struggle with how loaded the word persecuted is. It has a negative connotation that I did not want to imply.

Clearly, I struggle with extreme internal conflict. I think I know whats best, but I'm also aware I only 22. I want people to be free to live their lives, but I also don't want to offend people. I want everybody to be happy and successful. Unfortunately, in this country it seems like there is a 0 sum game when it comes to collective happiness. For red states to be happy, blue states must be sad. For atheists to be happy, religious people must be sad. I don't know if it this way in other areas of the world, but it is endlessly frustrating to me that our culture has become so polarized. Although in reality we as a country agree on most issues, we focus 99% of our time on our differences. Additionally, It hurts me just to think that I may know more than elected officials. These are serious people with serious responsibility, and yet sometimes it seems like our government is one of those island reality shows where conflict is contrived for the sake of drama.

I don't think I'm cut out for politics. Perhaps I'm too soft. Perhaps I'm to weak to handle the responsibility. I don't think I could go to work everyday knowing that I was stuck in quicksand. All I know is that I want to stay as far away from government as possible. And yet, I'm going to public policy school, and you shouldn't be surprised if in 10 years I'm neck deep in quicksand.

D


|

0 Comments

Theme by Laptop Geek. | Bloggerized by FalconHive | Free Blogger Templates created by The Blog Templates