Diamonds and water from Charlottesville to Houston


For the previous few weeks I’ve been targeted on the ins and outs of Georgia’s tax construction and the way these monies are spent. There are nonetheless a few installments to go earlier than I’m completed, however the occasions of the previous couple of weeks must be addressed.

A few weeks in the past we had a despicable march of Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia. The demise of Heather Heyer by the hands of a home terrorist was unconscionable. The President’s lack of consistency in his response condemning people who organized the march has served to deepen the divisions amongst People. It appears to many who the world, even our personal nation, has gone mad.

And but whilst I write this, the rains are nonetheless falling over southeast Texas. The winds of a Class four hurricane have definitely induced injury that might usually dominate newscasts. As an alternative, as a lot as 50 inches of rain might fall this week on the Houston metropolitan space. As a comparability, tropical storm Alberto dropped slightly below 15 inches over south metro Atlanta and peaked at 28 inches in southwest Georgia; that resulted within the nice flood of 1994.

The state of affairs in Texas is dire. We gained’t know the extent of how dangerous this actually is for at the least every week, as rivers gained’t crest for days to return. We’ll see tragedy in actual time, in sluggish movement.

Within the midst of this, I pay attention to a query from a pal of mine on Fb. She asks a easy query: “Why does it take disasters, pure or artifical, to deliver out the perfect of us or remind us what really issues or holds actual worth in life?”

Earlier than I try a solution, a bit about her. She and I reverse in virtually each approach. She’s an African American feminine. Whereas I’ve by no means tried to particularly label her political views, I consider she would see it as an honor moderately than a pejorative if I referred to as her a socialist. Our views on economics and the right position of presidency couldn’t be extra totally different. And but, I’m proud to name her a good friend – even when she’s flawed.

I say this as a result of I do know she means nicely. I don’t imply that in a “bless her coronary heart” type of means. She’s a very good individual. She’s making an attempt to get herself and the remainder of us to a greater place. She and I differ on how one can get there, however in all of our conversations, we’ve not as soon as questioned one another’s motives, intentions, or beliefs. Politics, it appears, doesn’t need to be private.

Politics is only a course of. Life is what’s private.

Again to her query. One of many earliest classes one will research in economics is that of the diamond-water paradox. In regular circumstances, water has no worth. It’s ubiquitous. These of us who’ve a water invoice probably don’t understand that we’re not likely paying for the water, however the cost per gallon is for the price of working the distribution system.

Diamonds, then again, have nice worth for such small objects. Their worth is in that they’re extraordinarily uncommon. Worth in economics is all the time relative, and is all the time tied to shortage.

The paradox comes when occasions aren’t regular. An individual misplaced within the desert for days with a bag of diamonds will certainly give them up for sufficient water to get him again to security. It’s needed for all times itself.

On this paradox the water, as soon as taken without any consideration, turns into the one factor of worth. It’s the one factor that issues.

So the reply to my good friend is that, maybe, we’ve taken a number of the very primary rules of our nation as a right. We should keep in mind that our founding fathers had a lot in widespread, however got here collectively to place a framework round find out how to reside with our variations, to not pressure us all to be the identical.

That understanding appears to be what’s now scarce in a political surroundings the place winners consider they get to take all, and losers refuse to bow to the desire of elections. Each main events have outstanding members who’ve been responsible of this regardless which aspect of the coin they’ve been on over the previous couple of many years.

And but, right here we’re once more, within the midst of a nationwide tragedy, witnessing particular person triumphs of humanity that briefly eclipse the actual and deep divisions we’ve pressured upon ourselves. Hurricanes and floods aren’t inherently political. These dealing with one hundred thirty mile an hour winds from their multi-million greenback seashore entrance property or rising flood waters from their blighted neighborhoods all perceive the worth within the diamond-water paradox. Nobody asks the political affiliation of their rescuers.

When life and household are threatened, nothing else is of worth. It’s time we begin to take a look at our neighbors who disagree with us as the one ones who can be a part of within the rescue of what makes this nation so worthwhile.



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