7.22.2014

It's Not That Simple

http://www.seykota.com/tribe/EcoNowMics/Hole_in_the_Bucket/1_HoleInTheBucket.jpgI've blogged about being able to see both sides of a story before, most recently in April, but I feel compelled to chime in yet again on account of recent ongoing debates at the local and national level.  Stop me if you've heard this (or said or thought this yourself):


Locally, lack of funding is destroying the public schools, and anyone who opposes efforts to increase funding is heartless.

Nationally, Central American kids are streaming to our borders, and suggesting that we send them back to their home countries is heartless.

Both of these topics are about kids, so it's especially easy to think that the straightforward solution is the only morally acceptable one.  And it may very well be the most morally acceptable one.  But, take a moment to see the other side:

Locally, funding matters, to be sure.  But if there are systemic flaws in our school systems, pouring more money into them without addressing those flaws is like dumping water into a bucket with a big hole on the bottom.  It doesn't actually solve the problem.  (Although, if your goal is not to solve the problem but to look good "fighting for what's right," then go ahead and suggest that we keep on dumping water into that bucket.)

Nationally, vulnerable kids should be protected, to be sure.  But if recent measures to harbor kids are what caused the massive influx in the first place, and are taking us away from a more thoughtful and comprehensive solution to the very complex issue of immigration, I'm not sure that protecting these kids is the best long-term solution and I'm not even sure that doing so doesn't make things far worse in the long run.

I'm not saying that funding schools or taking care of the incoming kids isn't the right thing to do or even the shrewdest long-term action to take.  I'm just saying it's not the slam dunk many people take it to be.  Very caring, very wise, and very thoughtful people can disagree with that stance and not be evil. 
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