Monday, September 29, 2008

A Crisis of Ignorance

Carolyn WilliamsCarolyn Williams
Department of History

When it began to materialize for me, the enormity of the economic problem we face, the first thoughts that popped into my head were “greed” and “lack of oversight.” Now that we have been bombarded with words and images of the scramble for a solution, the other phrase that keep rolling around in my head is “crisis of ignorance.” From the top down, it seems that no one really knows what is going on or what to do.

So maybe this is the big “wake up call” for us to do what the founders urged, that is, to be informed and engaged citizens. If all of us took more time to understand economic issues from our daily lives to the big engine that drives the nation, we would make better decisions about our personal finances, have a real comprehension of government policies, etc., ask pointed questions, demand clear and substantive answers and hold our representatives to greater accountability.

As we try to avoid a catastrophe, let’s follow the advice of the Founding Fathers-eternal vigilance-to make sure our rights to life, liberty and property are preserved and protected. Faculty and others with knowledge, insight and expertise here at the university can contribute to creating a new vigilant citizenry that can be of use to the present crisis and help prevent future disasters.

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