I used to hear this all the time: “Why do I need to care about politics? It doesn’t affect me…”
But for the past year, I’ve only surrounded myself with people who care about politics. I’ve lived in a bubble with fellow political obsessors. Fun. But then, out in the real world, people ask me what I do… I tell them that I recently interned at a free market think tank that works to restore economic prosperity to the state of Illinois. I tell them that I write conservative/libertarian articles for a few blogs- and this is their reaction:
Nothing like the fresh breeze of reality against my face. But, you know what? It’s okay. I don’t expect everyone to know what a “free-market” think tank is or what exactly it is that we do. But here’s what I do expect people to realize: Politics is inescapable. And yes, it does affect you, and you have no choice about it. I want to help you, because I don’t want you to be this guy:
I’m going to tell you a story:
Jamie is a 17-year-old senior in high school. She goes to a public school in a small town in Illinois. *Public schools are run by the government= POLITICS* Jamie doesn’t know exactly what she wants to do with her life, like many high school kids. She knows that she really likes beauty techniques; she’s always trying new makeup techniques on herself and her girl friends, she is constantly reading Allure and Glamour, and she knows she doesn’t really want to go to college. She decides that after high school, she’s going to go to cosmetology school and become a cosmetologist. First, she has to find a licensed school. *Who gives and regulates licensing? The government= POLITICS* Then she has to complete the state’s minimum required training hours (1500 hours for cosmetology- changes per type of license), and take the state’s cosmetology board exam. *All laws created by the government. Board exam created by the government= POLITICS* Then she will get her license to work in the state of Illinois. But that’s not all. Her license will only last for 2 years, after which she’ll have to renew it. Further government stipulations require her to prove that she’s had at least 14 hours of continued cosmetology education. *Again, rules= POLITICS* Once Jamie becomes a working woman, she will have to spend money on required education, and renewing her license every 2 years. Not only that, but she will be giving away a portion of her paychecks each period to the state and federal government via income taxes. Oh yeah, the federal government not only consumes income taxes, but also forces Jamie to pay a portion into Medicare, and social security. *This is not a fact of life, it’s a government-created activity. The government steals your money, yes= POLITICS* And, we need people like Jamie to make us look pretty and edgy, like this:
That is just one small portion of Jamie’s life and how it’s affected by politics. Still think your life isn’t touched by politics?
The sidewalk you step on= government. The roads you drive on= government. Your home mortgage= regulated by the government. Your rent price= influenced by the government via renters fees and mortgage incentives. The water you drink= government. The food you eat= regulated by the FDA, government. The amount of money you make= politics. Obviously, your taxes= politics. How much you pay for things, like video games, tv’s, a new car, furniture, etc.= politics.
Now do you see? Everything, and I mean everything, is in some way connected to the government. It is in some way influenced by the government. And this isn’t always necessarily the end of the world.
You cannot escape the reach of the government in your life, whether you erase your news channels, or only read the sports section of the newspaper. Whether you wish to engage or not, the government engages you. All I want is for you to understand this, and I believe that it’ll change your attitude.
Instead of politics being the petty fights between Obama and Romney, it will become your concern in regard to your money, your health, and your livelihood.