Ms. Manigault

by The Augustan on 11/18/2014

On June 19, 2014, a 20-year-old woman named Alicia Manigault left her then 2-week-old child in the back seat of her SUV from 8:00 a.m. until 8:50 a.m. while she took an exam at Virginia College in Augusta, Georgia. 

Understandably, many members of the community were outraged. Even for a young mother, Ms. Manigault clearly demonstrated poor judgment when she decided to leave her child unattended in her vehicle. 

Still, does this unfortunate situation point to a broader issue?

The Family Y in Augusta offers a complimentary, two-hour Child Watch service to its patrons so that they can have their child nearby as they workout. By doing this, the Family Y has made it simpler and more convenient for parents to attend. I suspect that the intention of the Child Watch service is to encourage new membership.

What if colleges offered the same service?

After all, the obstacles that exist for a parent that seeks a workout are no different from those that exist for a parent that seeks an education. The terms of a college Child Watch service can be debated, but certainly the idea is worth exploring.

Many people appeared to be eager to condemn Ms. Manigault’s actions. There is no question that what she did was wrong. Even so, my hope is that people will be equally as eager to consider the need that her actions have inadvertently revealed.

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The Holy Trinity of Job Creation

by The Augustan on 11/11/2014

Many policymakers embrace the idea that job creation is the work of a select class of individuals. These individuals are affectionately referred to as “job creators.” They are more commonly known as business owners. They are people that take on a greater than normal financial risk in order to start a business. 

The idea that jobs are created by business owners alone is wholly inadequate.

I would argue that viable job creation is not the work of a select group of individuals; rather, it is the outcome of a successful collaboration between three groups of people: business owners, employees, and consumers. 

Such a relationship is known as symbiosis. Our economy is an ecosystem. It thrives off of an interdependent relationship that exists between different entities. 

Obviously, in order for a job to be created, an individual or group must first start a business. A job is created, but is it viable? Of course not. Perhaps the business owner cannot create the product or render the service of the business themselves, so they hire skilled laborers. A job is filled, but is it viable? Nope. In order for the business to survive and grow there must be a consumer base that has the income to purchase the business’s products or services. 

Creation is complete.

Where would America be without individuals that had the courage to start a business? In the same way, where would America’s businesses be without a skilled labor force and a prosperous consumer base? Any job creation legislation should reflect an understanding or this relationship. A job creator is not one; it is three acting as one. The holy trinity. 

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Pots and Kettles

by The Augustan on 11/4/2014

I recently read an opinion piece on The Augusta Chronicle’s website titled, “Slandering her own state.” The article was about U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu’s comments regarding racial and gender bias in Louisiana and in the south.

Admittedly, I am not familiar with Senator Landrieu or her policies. Nevertheless, the following excerpt from the article caught my attention:

“We pray Louisianans and other Americans see [Mary Landrieu’s] loathsome bigotry for what it is: a transparent attempt to instill fear and hatred in the electorate in a vain attempt to divide voters, and yet to try to appear above the very muck she herself has conjured up.”

That is a bold statement.

Though it was meant to be a criticism of a single politician, it is actually an indictment of the entire culture of politics.

How many campaigns employ the “if the nation keeps going in the direction that it is headed in, then unimaginably bad things are going to happen” argument? How many political ads seem to try to convince voters that America is on the verge of a violent outbreak of the Ebola virus brought across our southern border by members of ISIS? I suppose that is possible, but there is difference between informing voters of likely threats to our nation and whipping people into a manic frenzy.

The sentiments of The Augusta Chronicle’s editorial staff are valid. Fear-mongering and hatred are real problems within politics that should be addressed. The saying, “The pot calling the kettle black,” is used to describe a person that is guilty of the very thing that they are accusing someone else of doing. It also implies, because both the pot and kettle are black, that they are actually both guilty. It is an expression that perfectly encapsulates the culture of politics.

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