I was perplexed. The argument sounded fair and reasonable. And I am in the demographic that this policy impacts. But am I thinking right?
A few days ago, an angry father confronted presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren over her plan to release tens of millions from their student loan debts. The debts, now reaching almost 2 trillion dollars, are escalating to a national crisis. The father, who had saved and paid for his daughters school and now had no school debt, asked if he would get his money back. Many said Warren laughed at his request as she responded, “Of course not.”
Aside from her poor political strategy in dealing with potential voters, Warren is trying to address the issue’s symptoms – while neglecting the real problems. Ignoring her economics on the issue as being untenable and short sighted, she has found a way to legally offer a financial benefit for potential voters. (Isn’t that like purchasing votes?) And overlooking the emotions in the interaction, the father should be proud of his daughter’s accomplishments and that she was not in financial distress.
My quandary? I’m still paying for my son’s college loans. I wouldn’t mind a little relief. I feel for the father in this news story. I understand it seems like people doing the right thing often are taken advantage of in this world.
But am I thinking right? My mind keeps going back to a story – a parable told by the Master Teacher. Recorded in Matthew 20, laborers were hired for a specific wage. Later, others were hired. Hours passed and even more were hired. At the end of day, the employer was paying the workers for their labors. But there seemed to be a problem, for each received the same amount. Those hired early in the day expected more … more than they had been told and more than the others had gotten. After all, hadn’t they done more?
But the employer said he was acting fairly. They were getting what they had been promised. They should not be complaining.
True, he didn’t laugh at them, but he did use it to teach a lesson. He didn’t yield to their whiny logic, but he did give them a fair days wage. He didn’t withhold wages from those hired later, but was gracious in his actions.
Yes, I understand the parallel falls short. For in the parable, the employer was using his money to pay the wages. Warren is using my money to pay off others debts. Me being a taxpayer and all.
Fair is me paying what I have promised. Fair is politicians trying to solve the issue, not bandaid the symptoms or payoff voters.
The challenge is to make sure I am not looking at the world through a selfish, short-termed world view that compromises my values. I need to live with integrity and let my yes be yes. And if others find grace, I should be happy for them.
This reasoning is not an economic or political one – for those thoughts may arrive at a different decision. And I believe it is okay to argue politically and economically, but the ultimate reasoning must be above that. Pragmatism is fine, but limited. Our ultimate world view should be a biblical one.
What would Washington DC and Richmond (my commonwealth’s capitol) be like if we did that?
What a great quandary that would be.
Have a great day!