The Forgotten Millions – NYTimes.com
I think Paul Krugman demonstrates the foundation of the problem well here…
Some will say that this is the job of the government, to care for “America’s forgotten millions”. I say that the simple fact that the government is seemingly the only hope for these millions is indicative of the true problem; that millions of people are considered “forgotten” to begin with and that government is the only (best) solution. There will be those who, with great indignance I imagine, proclaim that this is reality, that these “forgotten” ones can only be “cared” about by politicians and by Washington. I have such a difficult time with the lack of specifics of these arguments. Who are politicians and what is Washington, really, I mean really really. I know the people who believe in what Krugman says make the argument that it’s just a form of speech, a generalization necessary to facilitate communication – to quicken things up, simplify. But I don’t agree at all, in fact I think this type of simplification is at the heart of many of the social issues we see today. There is a lack of…what? What is it? Courage? Clarity? Honesty? To call a thing by it’s true name. Honestly! “What will it take to get politicians caring again about America’s forgotten millions.”? I mean are we so far gone that we have been compromised into this last and meekest human approach of what caring is? Does Krugman think that there is such a dirth of humanity, such an incapability of the human spirit to address human problems that we must all and only rely on “the government and politicians” to care.
I am saddened when I think of this because to imagine this belief is to wear a cloak of hopelessness in humanity and in spirit. It is, in my humble opinion, to be so afraid and horrified at the state of the world that one searches for the lowest common denominator that can possibly offer any type of security or, more accurately, relief from present circumstance. I am saddened by that point of view and saddened to see it so prevalent in our world today. As if it’s normal and perfectly intelligent to think this way, even celebrated.
But there it is, none-the-less. Paul Krugman thinks there is no other option. And I think that view is worse than the actual point he is arguing. And I think there are many, many on both sides, on all sides, that argue for their option, for their way, for singularity, for “The Way”. And in that, I think, we destroy ourselves, our ability to rise up, our ability to fail, our ability to care for ourselves. And I think there is no way out of that paradigm, the paradigm of not caring for ourselves other than to begin to do so, which necessarily begs the question…I think the final question, the only question, the foundational question…How do we best care for ourselves? I don’t know about you but “politicians” and “government” have little to do with my answer.