Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Economics of Life

Here's another post from Daily Rantings of an increasingly cynical Fish. I really don't know anything about economics, but this is a good prod to keep thinking and wrestling with the issues of the violent world we live in:

Dec. 8, 2007

Donkeys in Gaza, suicide bomber in Iraq, studying in America and Economic theories...

The past semester I have been taking a class on International Political Economics. Now, everywhere I look instead of seeing bad political policies I see bad economic policies coupled and enhanced with bad political policies. Instead of questioning why Bush contradicts his rhetoric about democracy, I question why he contradicts his rhetoric about economic liberal policies. I am awed by the strength and perseverance of Palestinians making their own work, downsizing from a car to a donkey, and I wonder is the Middle East a backwards underdeveloped society, or are we making it a backwards underdeveloped society?

I then see the article about the tragic suicide bombing in Iraq, and of course the sex of the bomber is emphasized before her act. Again, she did not commit a political act, she committed a vengeful act. Technically her act was not terrorism, for how can a woman commit a politically charged violent act, her act was to get revenge for the killing of her sons.

Then I question what does it matter...she still blew herself up. What type of a world do we live in where the only way people feel that they can have a voice is to blow themselves up?

I think of what my friends would say...of what my society would say being at a Christian school...we are not of this world...only Jesus can solve our problems. I sit quietly as I have been trained to do as a woman (or at least how people have tried to train me to act), and inside I am kicking, shouting and cursing. How can we so easily brush aside these problems as if we are unable to affect them?

Then I recognize if I want the world to change I have to change it. I have to choose a career that will allow me to change it. I've been slowly recognizing this for sometime now...which is why I'm an international studies major...why I study abroad...why I work for the's why I'm planning to go to grad school. Still, what will I do? how will I use my skills to change the world...I have no idea. I think I know what I want to do in grad school but I'm not sure. Whatever it is...will it actually help these people? Will I choose a career that will feed my wallet, or keep a person from blowing themselves up? Will I choose a career that will benefit me, or give a man in Palestine an opportunity to start his own buisness?

I guess it all goes back to economics. How do I see the world? Is it really zero-sum, or is positive-sum? Or is it negative -sum? I honestly don't know.

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