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Uncle Instructor

“What’s politics?” my eight-year-old asked me. “I’ve been thinking about it a lot the last week.”

Noooooo, I thought. How can I possibly explain this in a sentence or two that makes sense to him? Do not have the brain power now!

“Politics is …” I paused, searching. “… arguments over how to apportion resources.”

I waited for his inevitable follow-up questions. Instead, my brother, visiting from Oregon, called on his Social Studies education background and continued explaining. “For every dollar you spend, the government takes twenty or forty cents. You get to decide what gets done with those cents.”

Whoa, I thought. That’s a great way of explaining it to an eight-year-old.

“That’s the idea, anyway,” I said. “In reality, the government spends even more than it takes in maintaining a vast military presence in more than a hundred countries, and then its representatives say we don’t have enough money for things like school, health, or food.” I paused, waiting to see if Li’l D would have any more questions.

Nope. Satisfied (enough), he resumed reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid

And I wished, a little, my little brother could be here for more such conversations. So. Much. Easier.

Categories: Family, politics Tags: , ,
  1. October 28, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    Sigh. And don’t get me started on the monies our elected representatives spend pushing their own barrels while chanting that there is insufficient money for education, for health and for anything else which doesn’t fit their agenda. If it is ON their agenda money will be found.

  2. October 30, 2017 at 8:44 am

    Sounds a lot like my explanations on Econ and politics as well. I went off on corpocracy on the way home from school Friday. And I’ve said the exact same thing about maintaining an Imperisl presence in 100 plus countries.

    • November 5, 2017 at 8:02 am

      It’s all so obscene. I wonder how I didn’t see it before, what with how copiously and publicly it’s all been documented. I know intellectually how I didn’t see it, but still … I can’t always wrap my mind around it.

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