This year we have studied both Government and Economics and worked on ways to relate our studies to the current events around us. This year has been one of Economic turmoil mostly caused by the Government’s struggle to achieve bipartisanship.In mid April the GOP began working on a bill that will limit the information the constitutionally required census will be permitted to ask us. This bill will have massive repercussions for the American economy. Not the state of the economy itself but the indicators used to calculate unemployment and the GDP itself. Making this story on primed for our economics class.
The Census is an essential part of both of our Governmental and Economic systems. Republican Representative Jeff Duncan has begun the process of pushing a bill through congress that will end the census as it is known today, limiting the amount of information that can be procured from it. This bill would limit the census to finding out information about population….and that’s about it. The bill states that the census may conduct only a “decennial census of population,”. It eliminates the part of the census that provides information about poverty, income, education, health converge and most importantly no economic census. Without further information, the ability to calculate unemployment rate will be hindered along with GDP. We would not be able to calculate unemployment rate because we would not know how many people are working nor what the people who are working are making. This eliminates our ability to know how much people are spending or saving. These pieces of information are important economic indicators for predicting and calculating GDP. Without this data the government will not know how to compensate for the economy. We willbe forced for a total hands off economy, removing government involvement entirely. Should this bill go through our Keynesian way of life could be put in jeopardy. As intrusive as the census could seem it it is a necessary part of our governmental system and essential to keeping our economy running in the state it is.
Before our class I would’ve viewed the GOP census bill as something nominal, really not worth noticing in the scheme of things. Now I see the impact the census makes. The importance of these economic indicators and the governments involvement in our economy can not be corrupted because we want a little more privacy. This article made me reflect not only on economics but on the relationship between our study of the constitution and our economics studies. Although I may not understand everything about economics, I understand the impact it has made in our world now, and how important it continues to be.
It seems that that the United States has finally taken a step in the right direction when it comes to equal protection for all people. The Violence Against Women Act was finally passed by Senate. With a successful final push through the house the legislation creates and expands programs assisting local communities with law enforcement and aiding victims of domestic and sexual abuse. The most controversial part of the new legislation is that it goes further than just women to offer protection for gay, bisexual and transgender victims of domestic abuse. It also includes American Indian women who are assaulted on reservations by non-indians, it gives them the ability to take their case to tribal courts which would otherwise not have been allowed due to jurisdiction issues. This was a huge step forward for human rights in this country but a huge step back for Republicans. For the third time in two months Speaker John Boehner brought a piece of legislation to the table without the approval of a majority of house Republicans. Conservative republicans worry that continuing to give democrats the deciding vote in congress will give them too much power.
This story represents the best and the worst of the goings on in our country at the moment. While it seems we have finally reached a point in our history we can take a step through truly having equal rights for all people, we are still struggling to reach full success. It seems strange that we can pass a bill saying we will protect against domestic abuse between gay couples without allowing them to get married. It seems that even with some of the most progressive minds of this generation in office we cannot get equality achieved. I think the biggest part of this event that connects to our class is the role the Speaker of The House has played as head of party. By definition he should be doing what he believes leads his party in the direction it wants to go and yet he put a piece of legislation on the table that republicans didn’t even help write, a point that minority leader, Nancy Pelosi. Republicans are the majority in the house right now but since they are divided among themselves the deciding vote is going to the democrats. With my new knowledge of how congress works and how parties operate it seems to me that this is the foundation of the issues that congress has been having. If the republican party can’t even get along with itself, how are they expected to reach major decisions with the republicans to solve major issues such as last December’s Fiscal Cliff Crisis?
What our class has taught me is that Politics is ultimately the art of Negotiation. In a country of Millions, we elect a few hundred leaders. These leaders are meant to come together and figure out what is best for our country. Though it can’t be easy representing millions of opinions, these leaders need to be able to put their egos aside and save our country. In the end it doesn’t matter whether you’re Republican or Democrat, Conservative or Liberal, in the end we’re all American.