Weekly Writing Challenge: The State of the State
Our blogs are platforms from which we share our experiences, opinions, and views with the world. For Mind the Gap challenges, we want to hear your take on a divisive issue. Each challenge includes a poll where you can cast your vote along with fellow Daily Post participants. After you vote, expand on the topic in a blog post. Be sure to visit other participants’ posts to get some healthy discussion going.
To participate, tag your posts with DPchallenge and leave a link to your post in the comments. Please be sure your post has been specifically written in response to this challenge; obvious attempts to link-bait will be deleted. We’ll keep an eye on the tag and highlight some of our favorites on Freshly Pressed each Friday.
There are few aspects of our lives that government doesn’t touch in some way, from macroeconomics to home economics. But should it? This week, we’re getting philosophical — we want to hear about what you think the role and scope of government should be. It’s time to mind the gap.
We see daily examples of governments dealing with crises — be they real or perceived — by prescribing our decisions. From the Cypriot government’s attempt to avert a financial crisis by taxing bank deposits to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s fight against the obesity crisis via the now-defunct soda ban, most modern-day governments touch every facet of our lives in some way.
There are some actions swathes of us agree are appropriate for government, like requiring us to pay taxes that fund national defense. There are other issues on which governments weigh in – many others, from gay marriage to campaign finance laws — that cause bitter division. These debates play out in our communities and homes, too. Cities ban the sale of foie gras, citing animal cruelty. Suburban communities tell homeowners what colors they can paint their houses.
Where do you draw the line between a reasonable government attempt to maintain stability or solve a problem and an unnecessary infringement on your decisions? Our poll is framed using Bloomberg’s soda ban, but please feel free to run with this question in your own posts — tell us about the ordinance on late-night public playgrounds that’s causing a rift in your community, or explore your country’s approach to a hot-button issue like reproductive rights or health care. Go hyper-local and tell us about your relationship with your kids and the challenge of encouraging their growth while keeping them safe, or step back and paint a wide-angle theoretical picture of the ideal relationship between government and individual.
And remember, we call these challenges “Mind the Gap” for a reason. We want you to take a side and discuss your views with candor and energy, but we also want to keep it civil; we can disagree in a reasoned way.