Friday, February 18, 2011

Deadly sins for a reason

I am surprised by my feelings about Wisconsin governor Scott Walker's proposed budget.

I am among the least politically active or politically informed people I know. I find all things political extremely stressful. This is probably because I know I need a lot more information and because I feel very helpless to change anything.

Lately I've been making a bit of an effort to pay attention. (Maybe this is one reason why falling asleep has been so difficult?) I am a bit overwhelmed. On the one hand the popular uprisings in the Middle East offer hope: young people peacefully working together to bring about political change. Wow. Learning about such cooperative, informed, constructive passion is refreshing. Super cool.

While I am dismayed by the terms of Walker's budget proposal, I am even more dismayed by the reactions I've seen by friends and family on facebook.
A thinks that teachers and state employees should just be grateful to have jobs at all.
B thinks that if teachers don't like the new conditions, then they should get out and get new jobs; everyone has the a choice.
C thinks teachers should consider themselves lucky to have any sort of benefits since she doesn't have any.
D thinks that it's about time someone stood up for taxpayers since teachers are getting rich while not teaching anyone.
E thinks that if public workers don't like the cuts, then they should get some education and get a different job.
F thinks that teachers wouldn't last a minute in the "real world" (I have never figured out where this is).


The envy in these posts is what strikes me hardest: I don't have everything I want; you shouldn't have anything I'd like to have. Classic "bootstrap" mentality: I did everything on my own (which is never the case) so you don't deserve anything I couldn't get for myself.

I am Envy, begotten of a chimney sweeper and an oyster-wife. I cannot read, and therefore wish all books were burnt. I am lean with seeing others eat. O that there would come a famine through all the world, that all might die, and I live alone! then thou should’st see how fat I would be. But must thou sit and I stand? Come down with a vengeance!
Doctor Faustus,

1 comment:

omphaloskeptic said...

One of my aunts posted something similar and I struggled with how to respond and ended up not saying anything. But I think this says it pretty well.