What We Really Think About Jobs, The Economy, And Politics

To those who care about the United States,

Much has been said lately about how college students and recent graduates won’t stand for Obama to be reelected because the economy has not improved and job prospects are bleak. Instead of finding our dream jobs, we are moving back into our parents’ homes. While some of that may be true, here is another truth: we are smarter than you think – and we realize that Obama is not solely responsible for the economy.

I am employed and I am enjoying my job. Is it my dream job? Maybe, maybe not: but it is certainly putting me on the right path, whatever that is. Many of my friends who graduated in the past two years are employed across the country in just about every industry. And many other friends are still looking for jobs. Some had jobs, but left to look for other work or get another degree – because we aren’t here to settle.

Maybe it’s a generational thing, but we don’t want just any old job. We want to be happy and feel like we are contributing something to society. Many of us are willing to remain unemployed longer if it gives us the chance to end up where we want to be. Sure it sucks, and we wish the economy was better, but we also know that we have a lot to offer and we know that our turn will come.

Conversation about the economy has been hijacked to become a referendum on President Obama. Some say that Obama must not be reelected so anything he tries to do must be stopped. Therefore, any efforts Obama attempts to improve the economy are doomed to failure, or at least limited success. It is Congress and the states that prevent improvements to the economy when they refuse to participate in Obama’s plans if said plans could help Obama in the election. This isn’t solely Obama’s fault. It is those who refuse to work together. And this is not a pro-Democrat or anti-Republican analysis. It is the facts. Research them. We did and we will continue to do so.

Our generation is not content to sit back and be told what to think and who to blame. We have too much information at our fingertips. We will use it. And we want to pursue more and more opportunities. We believe in our future and in the future of the United States of America. What we do not believe in is the partisan attacks that prevent useful governance and which prevent our country from actually solving its problems. We demand that politicians work together, compromise, and understand that they are here to do something. Represent us – the future. We have voted and we will vote for or against you because this is how the economy affects us.

Sincerely,

College students and recent graduates

Advertisements

Politics, Society, Hobbes, And The Tea Party

In one of my business classes today, we discussed the Social Contract as a basis of society (some of the thoughts below are developed based on statements of my professors).  It is clear that this is true whether one thinks about company norms, the Bill of Rights, parliamentary procedure, codes of conduct, etc.  All of these, and more, are based, at some level, on the Social Contract.  Our current notion of the Social Contract is based on Rousseau, but some claim that it is “almost as old as philosophy itself”.  Regardless of its origins, the Social Contract is a negotiation of control between “man” and “nature”.

Law and structure are the basis of society.  Without them, we fall into a state of chaos, controlled by nature only.  When each is out for the self and there are no controls, moral or otherwise, it leads to the destruction of society.  Hobbes described this in graphic terms. When there is no Social Contract,

“…there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and consequently no culture of the earth; no navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by sea; no commodious building; no instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force; no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death…”
– Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan Chapter 13

The Social Contract extends to politics – although Hobbes says Hobbes is the primary reason for the Social Contract.  It seems as though our government leaders have forgotten how to be civil towards one another and perhaps, they need to reread the Social Contract.  I have read countless articles lately on the topic (most recently in Newsweek, I think?) and you would think that politicians would get the idea.  There is a reason public opinion of Congress is so low – and it is not just about the policies that are or are not being made.

Personality differences seem to have been exacerbated over the past year or so by politicians on all sides of the aisle.There really is no reason for this.  I cannot help but think though, that such (unnecessary) personal attacks seem to have increased with the invention(?) of the Tea Party.  Whether or not I always agree or disagree with the politics of the Tea Party, I certainly disagree with some of the Tea Party’s tactics.  They certainly are effective, but they are effective because these tactics exist in the world without a Social Contract.  They feed on the “state of nature” and contribute to the “the life of man” quickly becoming “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short”.