Sunday, December 16, 2018

Why you need to understand the basics of government and politics

It's important that you come to know and understand the basics of our system of government and politics in our country, not just at the federal, or national, level, but at the state and local levels, as well. So if you're not paying attention in your social studies and civics classes, you better start!

Now, we're not saying you need to become an expert at this stuff. Not everyone wants to be a lawyer, or social studies teacher, or government employee, or run for office. We get it. But having a decent working knowledge base and being able to exercise your rights and responsibilities in an informed manner is critical for our continued way of life. Having a basic foundation is applicable to any job or career you'd like to have, and just about every major life event and situation that will come your way. And here are some practical, everyday examples of how and why this is the case, in no particular order:

  • If you ever wish to file a lawsuit, or you yourself are ever sued, you'll want to understand your rights, responsibilities, and how the court system works in regard to lawsuits.
  • If you are ever arrested and charged with a crime, or you ever wish to accuse someone else of a crime, as with the previous example concerning lawsuits, you'll want to understand your rights, responsibilities, and how policing and the court system work in regards to these matters.
  • Want to marry someday? Have kids? Get or renew your driver's license? Buy a home? Lots of government forms and paperwork to fill out and keep up on!
  • If you ever want to start your own business, there are a variety of federal, state, and local rules and laws that you'll have to become familiar with and follow.
  • You'll want to stay current on what political parties and alliances control what legislative and executive bodies - their philosophies and decisions can potentially impact your job security, how your industry is regulated, etc. They'll determine how you're taxed and what your tax money will be used for. Their decisions can greatly impact economic activity, and that impacts you.
  • If you ever need to file for unemployment, disability, and/or bankruptcy, there are legal systems and processes in place that you'll have to understand and navigate through.
  • If you ever want to advocate for or against a law, or even a city ordinance in your hometown, you'll want to understand the basics of how these laws and regulations are passed and implemented.

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