It is popular in the personal finance community to say that politics doesn’t matter. But it does matter. Politics matters because policy matters and politicians set policy.
It can be frustrating following along with our political system. We see issues that we care about fail to get addressed. We see laws that we don’t like created and enforced. We read the stories of corrupt officials. We read and hear the vitriol between the parties.
It becomes easy to disconnect.
It becomes easy to say “It doesn’t matter.”
“They’re all the same.”
“This won’t affect me.”
But we need to fight that tendency. If we avoid politics, then we skip out on our right to influence the decisions that are made about how our country will be run. We are saying, “I don’t care what happens. Let other people decide.”
This whole community is based around the idea that we need to defeat this pattern of behavior when it comes to personal finance and spending habits. Why do we condone it when it comes to politics?
With that in mind, I am considering expanding the topics I discuss here to include economic policies that are proposed or discussed in the future. The economy, trade deals, and the future of blue collar work were all central issues in the recently-concluded presidential campaign and there is sure to be a lot of change (or at least proposed change) in the near future to discuss.
The aim would still be to unpack complicated or under-explored topics and drill down to how they affect you as an individual and what you can do. A sincere hope for this project would be a fully informed public that is able to pressure politicians and lobby for the policies that most benefit them.
Whether your Senator or Congressperson listens to you and heeds your advice can be considered in your midterm election vote. As we’ve noted before 90% of members of Congress that sought reelection in 2012 were successful despite Congress having a 21% approval rating. Knowledge and active involvement helps you identify whether your incumbent Congressperson or the challenger will benefit your life more substantively.
What do you think of this idea? Would you be interested in reading? If so, how frequently (given that I post every Tuesday and Thursday) would you like to see this type of coverage?