Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Montclair SocioBlog makes a good point

This is Joseph

I don't completely agree with this sentiment, but I think it is worth deconstructing the underlying thinking pattern that the author identifies:
Last week, a New York Times op-ed about Medicare had a title that characterized the Republican approach: “You’re Sick. Whose Fault Is That?” The same idea applied to abortion would give us “You’re Pregnant. Whose Fault Is That?” It’s a great question if you are interested in assessing blame. The payoff comes in the currency of feelings – guilt (for those with illness or unwanted pregnancy), pride or righteousness for the healthy and virtuous. But if you’re interested in effective policy to improve people’s health or reduce abortion, “whose fault?” is the wrong question.Why not ask, “How can we help?”
There is a question about whether the question"how can we help?" is the best approach.  I think that it is terribly unhelpful to focus on judging others for their struggles, misfortunes, and challenges.  Everyone has a moment when they are down or require help.  If you don't believe that then ask how many infants are completely self-sufficient and don't require at least some degree of assistance.

Focusing on judging is a barrier to solving problems, both social and in in terms of public health.  It is a good thing to remember.

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