[Note: If your head is in the sand and don’t know what is going on in the economy and the government right now, go to your favorite news website. It will be on the front page. I promise. Read up.]
On Sunday morning during Sunday school, I asked my high school students, some of whom are seniors taking Government, if they had heard anything about the $700 billion dollar bailout plan currently in the news. A few of them had heard something about it. I asked if any of them had talked about it in school, and they said no, which was understandable since the Treasury didn’t get their plan to Congress until Friday.
So, I told them that they needed to ask about it in an appropriate class this week at school. Wednesday night I asked again if they had talked about it at school, and the answer was no. One girl who asked her teacher about the plan said that her teacher said, “Yeah, I’ve heard about it,” and that was it.
My seniors who were taking Government still hadn’t talked about it. They were busy talking about John Adams or something. Riveting.
Does this bother anyone else? Regardless of the actual peril that our economy may or may not be in if Congress does not act, Congress is acting in ways that I have never seen. And Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson sent a proposed bill to congress that included some crazy propositions:
(a) Authority to Purchase.–The Secretary is authorized to purchase, and to make and fund commitments to purchase, on such terms and conditions as determined by the Secretary, mortgage-related assets from any financial institution having its headquarters in the United States…
Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.
If I was a government, economics, or history teacher I would have had printouts of the bill submitted by the Treasury (you can read the text of the bill here, it’s only two and a half pages long) on the desks of my students on Monday morning. In economics, we would talk about free markets, investments, supply and demand, regulation, and such. In government, we would compare the powers requested by the Secretary and the proposed involvement of the government in the financial markets to the powers enumerated in the Constitution. In history, we would compare our current situation to the Great Depression, which has been thrown around a lot in the news but is probably very overblown.
What should youth ministry’s role be in situations like this? When significant things are happening in our society and aren’t being covered by the schools, should we step in? Why aren’t schools addressing this?
Some of our students will be voting in the election on November 4th, but they don’t even know about what is happening in our economy. Do we in youth ministry have a role in this?