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Persephone supervising Sisyphus in the Underworld, Attic black-figure amphora, c. 530 BCE, Staatliche Antikensammlungen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


U.S. default this fall would cost 6 million jobs, wipe out $15 trillion in wealth, study says.
(30 September 2021, The Washington Post)

After last Thursday’s vote, a refusal to raise the American debt limit, I wondered to what extent the Republicans could be considered a legitimate political party. In other words, I wondered how much the Republicans (=½) serving the government (=1) could differ from the Democrats when the goal is to pay a government’s debt? Members of a political party represent the people (=1) whose welfare it normally seeks. So, can they jeopardize the economy (=1) of the country (=1) they represent?

Voters do not give their representatives (=½) the right nor license to harm their government (=1). Representatives discuss an issue, such as their joint economy, which is an essential process in a healthy democracy. However, although the government of the United States is bi-cameral (=½ + ½), Republicans and Democrats, its two houses, are the two sides (=½ + ½) of the same medal (=1) and, by extension, the two sides (=½ + ½) of their nation’s economy (=1). There is only one medal, the government (=1), and one shared economy (=1).

Therefore, although the government is a forum, a place where a discussion occurs, it seems to me that it cannot be an arena. When all is said and done, representatives of the people usually reach a consensus or make a decision following a vote. The majority wins. The government may otherwise be rather lame or seem lame. Remember the myth of Sisyphus.

The Myth of Sisyphus

“He [Sisyphus] was punished for cheating death twice by being forced to roll an immense boulder up a hill only for it to roll down every time it neared the top, repeating this action for eternity.” 
(See Sisyphus, Wikipedia.)

The figure of Sisyphus was used by Albert Camus in Le Mythe de Sisyphe to represent absurdism. I have mentioned Sisyphus in at least one previous post to portray futility. It is in this regard that the metaphor remains useful, but Sisyphus’ fate is also absurb. Given that the Republicans are one side of the same medal, they must agree to raise the debt ceiling or face an economic debacle. Another stopgap could lower the United States’ credit rating and inflation may follow. In other words, a second stopgap could lower the purchasing power of the poorer half of the middle-class and the poor in the United States (=1). Moreover, the credit rating of the United States may be lowered, unless flexibility can be attained otherwise. In 2011, as a result of turmoil, the United States losts its AAA credit rating.

United States federal government credit-rating downgrades – Wikipedia

Current US Inflation Rate August 2021 (thebalance.com)

Last week’s failure [on the part of the United States (+1)] to raise a debt ceiling it must raise was an exercise in futility. The boulder may stumble down to the bottom of the hill only to be pushed to the top once again. All years are not equal. So, the United States must give its economy a degree of flexibility, which raising the debt limit currently provides. The United States is grappling with a deadly and financially ruinous pandemic. More than 700,000 Americans have died and some have little if any income. Moreover, in the second half of August 2021, the United States’ government had to pull its troops and its supporters out of Afghanistan after the unexpected takeover of Afghanistan by the Talibans, a fundamentalist group. The war had lasted twenty years, a Sisyphian scenario.

Americans pay their taxes. It has been reported that avoidance of taxes is frequent among the very rich, but most middle-class Americans pay their taxes in full. So one wonders whether Republicans are honest representatives of the citizens of the United States. They threaten the economy of a nation.

I am not an economist, but it would be my opinion that the Republicans had nothing to gain by postponing raising the debt ceiling. They cannot laugh for very long. Responsible representatives of a nation are not expected to misuse a citizen’s tax dollar by threatening their constituents at the best of times. Republicans did so at the worst of times. Obstructionism has seldom been so flagrant and so wrong.

By and large, the victims of Covid-19, in both Canada and the United States, have not been not been vaccinated. This disaster must be addressed by the government (=1).



Love to everyone 💕

Sisyphus as a symbol for continuing a senseless war. Johan Vogel: Meditationes emblematicae de restaurata pace Germaniae, 1649. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Sisyphus (1548–49) by TitianPrado MuseumMadridSpain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

© Micheline Walker
6 October 2021