Tuesday 06 Dec 2016

Yield Not Science
AJ Robinson

Back in 1897, the Indiana House of Representatives passed a law trying to define, exactly, a method for calculating certain aspects of a circle. Had the law passed, it died in the state senate; the value of pi would be 3.2, period. Clocks in the state would have been completely inaccurate. Science, pure science, is the study and evaluation of the natural world. Politics is anything but that.

Truth can’t be legislated. You can’t bend nature to the will of mere mortals.

My father used to tell me the story of King Canute, who taught his followers the folly of such things. His minions proclaimed him all-powerful. One day, sitting by the sea, he ordered the waves not to crash upon the shore. Of course, they still did. He thus helped his people understand there are some things even a king can’t do.

When I hear politicians and pundits saying the same things, repeatedly, despite the weight of evidence against them, I think of those men in Indiana. Since the first minimum wage was set, critics have said raising it will crush business. It hasn’t. Various states have their own minimum wage laws, and those with higher wages have not suffered the loss of jobs. In fact, they’re doing well.

Romney and countless other conservatives say that you can’t raise taxes on the job creators. You have to cut those taxes in order to create jobs. Well, taxes on the rich are at an all-time low. Where are the jobs?

Years ago, children worked in various positions ranging from coal mining to textiles as well as countless other industries. They worked cheap and easily exploited. Then child labor laws passed.

Many politicians and business people complained about the effect those laws would have on business. They were wrong. Now we have efforts to remove those laws; the argument being it’ll be good for business, the kids can earn extra money and stay out of trouble and the economy will improve. Yeah, right.

In the 1960s, various laws arose to protect the voting rights of minorities. Many states had put punitive laws in place to prevent minorities from exercising their constitutional rights. Some states now want those laws repealed. The argument is those laws are no longer needed; everyone is now able to vote without hindrance. Yet, at the same time, states are trying to put in place new laws designed to make it harder for people to vote.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) constantly argues that any gun laws will be ineffective and only lead to more shootings. Yet, states that have strong gun control are not “police states” where people are deprived of their rights and they see marked drops in gun violence.

These are facts, and you can’t argue with facts. An opinion is one thing, but the truth is the truth. People need to take a lesson from King Canute. The man knew the worth of a man’s words when stacked against nature.

Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.

More by AJ Robinson:
Tell a Friend

Click above to tell a friend about this article.




Please report typos or corrections
to the editor


Recommended

Recommended

Recommended