Sunday, March 9, 2014

A thought for Sunday: I struck a nerve

- by New Deal democrat

My post this past week about the impact of Congress's terminating extended unemployment benefits certainly hit a nerve.  There were a slew of google recommendations. At Business Insider, it drew about 25,000 reads and nearly 100 comments.  Another site that cross-published it forwarded me emails, one of praise, and several scathing criticisms.

All because of the single paragraph I added at the beginning.

Take out that first paragraph and the concluding line, and the post is nerdy, straight economic commentary,  relying on sources to calculate via simple multiplication the likely impact of the government action particularly as to recent consumer spending.

When I read the nearly-finished piece, I was satisfied with the analysis.  But as significant as the economic impact is, it seemed to me it was a molehill compared with the contextual moral mountain. Ignoring that moral mountain might have subjected me to criticism from other progressives, and I considered that they would have been right.

So I added the first paragraph of moral context. And at Business Insider and other places, the right-wingers went nuts. It's unprofessional. It's not civil. Socialism!  Personal responsibility!

 You see, you're not supposed to rub their noses in the mess they make.  Like the controller in the US who controls a drone halfway around the world that drops a bomb from 40,000 feet, you're not supposed to call to their attention the carnage at the wedding party their mistake has caused on the ground.

Knowing now the reaction that introductory paragraph caused,  if I were writing that post instead of this one, I would still include it.