Economic vs Social – Us vs Them

Political arguments are often framed as if there is a bright red line that divides economic from social issues. Same-sex marriage, abortion, affordable childcare – those are social issues, right? Jobs and tax policy – clearly, those are about economics. 

But  if you’re a same-sex couple, marriage and the tax advantages that come with it, is very much an economic issue.  For the person carrying a child, pregnancy is an economic issue.  High quality, affordable childcare is an economic issue, on both the micro level, for the family that needs it and on the macro level, for the society that will reap the long-term benefits of investing in early childhood education.

The effect of this separation of the economic and the social casts those who are not like Us into the role of Other, and therefore potentially less deserving of rights, protections and considerations that those with economic power might choose to withhold.  And, of course, the argument can be flipped – economic decisions have social impacts.  Change will come, and all boats will rise with the tide, when we start to see that we are all us.

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