Before I was assigned to teach economics to high school juniors and seniors, I was an enthusiastic history teacher. I was not pleased because, although I had taken economics in college, I knew I was not knowledgeable enough to teach it.
So when the semester began JCHS brought the head of Mizzou's Department of Economics to come one afternoon each week to teach me economics.
Eventually, after learning that economics is all about how to make choices, I changed the way I lived my life.
I realized my entire life is made up of choices, and the quality of life rests on the kinds of choices I make. When I am at my best (as I am occasionally) I make every effort to make sure that my goal includes love and compassion for others.
If it does not, then my choice will be bad and the consequences will be bad also. (The world would appreciate it if I were at my best more often.)
For example, my mother was an immaculate housekeeper. I was a great disappointment to her and I felt bad about myself. But economics taught me that anything worth doing is worth doing well enough to reach my goal, not someone else's.
I came to realize that time is my most valuable resource, and If I used it to over clean (beyond my goal) I would have to give up time with my children, take a nap, watch TV, etc.
For me an over clean house would be a bad decision. (It still looks "lived in;" I'd rather write letters.)
In my opinion the recent economic choices made by the Congress and the president are mostly bad choices because they were based on politics, not on what is good for our country.
I believe that hateful attitudes toward those with different ways of thinking were the cause of the bad choices.
Because no one knows everything there is to know, the rational, goodwill approach never surfaced. The result will be a very long-lasting recession accompanied by a great deal of suffering.
A democracy cannot survive without the willingness to compromise.
Our wonderful way of life has been badly damaged. Unless there is a significant change, we can expect our freedoms to continue to erode, and we will see our democracy become an autocracy. I hope I'm wrong. I often am.