Tech Boom Tensions
The creation of a robust, local tech economy – and the attraction of the high-wage earners who work in it – can be transformative for a local economy. But others wonder how their community will ensure equitable access to these new opportunities. For example, newly created jobs are often given to newcomers rather than to longtime residents, and others worry about gentrification. High-tech economic gains may be real, but are the spoils enjoyed by all?
Liberty and Equality
The tension between preserving liberty and promoting equality is longstanding. On June 26, 1787, at the Constitutional Convention, Alexander Hamilton said: “Inequality will exist as long as liberty exists. It unavoidably results from that very liberty itself.” The push-pull between liberty and equality manifest in all kinds of ways — from discussions on the economy to freedom of speech to gun laws, to name just a few. Many of today’s most heated political debates relate to which ideally should be prioritized, or how to strike the right balance between liberty and equality.
Voter ID Laws
Today, one of the most significant debates around voting rights relates to voter identification laws. Proponents argue that voter ID laws can instill confidence in our democratic system by limiting voter fraud. Meanwhile, opponents say that voter ID laws place an undue burden on voters and reduce participation. They emphasize a disproportionate impact on minority groups and point to a long history of disenfranchisement of the same groups. Ideally, elections would be both secure and accessible. But ultimately, a tension exists between wishing to ensure that elections are as safe as possible and want to ensure that there are as few barriers to voting as possible.