Shutdown and Politics Blog 6

“Not a Game”


Stephen Colbert satirically frames the government shutdown as “not a game”.  However, we all know that politics could not exist without our elected officials playing their many games with each other and us. Succeeding in politics means coming up with strategic moves and knowing how to play “the game”.

I believe in negotiation, and in many circumstances, using diplomacy to solve issues.  Bryce Covert, author of “What Should Democrats Demand in the Budget Showdown”, an article found on The Nation, suggests that Democrats should stop playing defensively and go on the offense.

The article lists demands that Democrats could utilize in negotiation.  My initial reaction was that all of the demands she enumerates would cost money.  I’m hesitant to support superfluous government spending, but after reading through her argument I am less hesitant.  Covert suggests: 1. A public option for healthcare 2.  Universal preschool, 3.  Raise the minimum wage and index it to inflation, 4.  Free public college, and 5.  Guaranteed paid family leave, sick days and vacation.  These requests would help control spending on healthcare, invest in the future, help close the gender and racial wage gap, lower burdens on families, and make workers more productive.

She thinks that by pushing these policies the Democrats can progress our country and economy.  I believe that many of her ideas provide great public services to citizens.  While we all want what’s best for this country and its citizens, we all have different judgments on what this defines. That’s exactly why this shutdown started.

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7 thoughts on ““Not a Game”

  1. I think it is interesting how you are now less hesitant to support government spending due to reading an article different than your original opinion. When we originally came up with the prompt, we were unsure what affect reading a different argument would have on someone’s current political standing.

  2. So, you came out as a Republican or Conservative?

    Just curious.

    What about those ideas seemed good or smart to you?

    By the way, more family-friendly work policies is not so much tax revenue as it is an impact on the private sector.

  3. Game can have two meanings. It can mean something frivolous or unserious. or, it can mean a defined space of competition with its own rules, plays and strategies. TO recognize that politics is a game can be both, but I agree it can be useful to think o fit as the latter. Just like those other “games,” professional sports, the outcomes of political games can have huge impacts, fiscal and otherwise.

    I worry that the problem here is that Democrats are playing a political game and the tea Party conference in the Republican party is playing a nihilstic game. That is like the Philadelphia Eagles playing football against a team of bear hunters who are shooting them. Two games, different rules.

  4. I agree with you that politics is a game. As Lauren said, I found it interesting how reading a different opinion can open your eyes and make you change you mind on issues. While all of those suggestions seem ideal, the issue for me is going into more debt. Can we afford to continue to sink into debt?

    • There are two questions here.

      One, can we afford it? How does a larger organizationa sses its credit worthiness? What lenders ask for in interest.

      Due to the FEd easing up on buying up bad assets from the great recession (called Quantiaitive Esing so no one udnerstnads it), AND due to the shutdown crap, investors want more, so the treausry yield has been going up (it moves opposite of treasury bods).

      However, in general, US debt still is sold at much lwoer interest rates than other kinds of debt reflecting an overall confidence in the US´ ability to pay back capital plus interest.

      Now, the POLICY question is should we incur this debt? What are we buying for it? If we are buying over priced military equipment, drones that create as many new terrorists as they kill, inflated or poor healthcare in medicare, or boondoogle construciotn projects, tas breaks for coporations or for the very wealthy, then maybe not so good. If we are investing in early child education, needed infrastrucure, basic research, or other investments in people and prosperity, maybe its a good investment.

      The idea that we “have too much debt” from a policy point of view means we should specify what we are buying today with a promise to pay off debt tomorrow.

      The idea of “our debt is too expensive” is a question that interest rates can provide insight on.

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