Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Soapbox: Marriage, Government and Water

Disclaimer: This is my soapbox today. I am not a psychologist. I am not an expert on marriage or politics. But I am married and I am a voter and I have an observation today. Random and out there? Maybe. But it’s my blog. Some days you get farming and food on this page. Some days you get fashion and family. (Tomorrow will be fashion. I got my 2nd Stitch Fix, stay tuned.) But today you get my random soapbox on the water bond negotiations being discussed in Sacramento right now. By the way, I’m not a water expert either but I know just enough to make this observation and I’m annoyed by it enough to spend my lunch hour penning this.

What is the key to a successful marriage? What is the key to a successful government? Strangely enough it’s the same thing. It is also now apparent why the divorce rate is ridiculously high in this country and why the success rate of our California legislature getting anything remotely helpful done is so low.

Lack of communication and compromise. The process and outcome are the same whether you have an “R” or “D” after your name or husband or wife on your (pre-2008) marriage certificate.

One might argue that there is plenty of communication going on in marriages and in Sacramento these days but this talking is worthless if no one is listening. For decades now, we in agriculture have criticized the legislative majority and special interest groups for not including money for new water storage in previously passed water bonds. Yesterday the Governor’s office came out to tell us about the latest version of a water bond that includes $2.5 billion in continuously appropriated funds for water storage. While this is not the $3 billion “all” of agriculture would like, you must admit that it’s pretty darn close! Better yet the Governor supports it.

Sadly not all of agriculture is happy and they are throwing each other under the bus on social media and in the news. 

So a large group of interests (agriculture included) sat down and came up with a plan (which by the way is still being negotiated) and agreed support. This is called compromise. Is it the perfect solution for agriculture? No, but its more than we had going for us before. And it has a greater chance of getting us where we need to be than ever before.

Do I always get what I want went I ask my husband? No. But we talk about it, discuss the options and come to a compromise that is best for our marriage because that’s what we signed up to do when we got married. I look forward to practicing this model many times over as we prepare to build a house.

Communication and compromise people. Because keeping your position will afford you just that. You’ll have a position and nothing actionable to show for it. Isn't that why we are where we are right now? A drought and not enough water storage to support our population and an annual divorce rate that is greater than the marriage rate in this country. 

Agriculture can't fix divorce but if we in agriculture stop thinking of ourselves as individual industries - almond, walnut, rice, citrus, dairy, cattle - and think of ourselves as just agriculture we might get somewhere and get a little more respect too. 

As a reminder, my blog and my opinions. Thanks for reading. ~mrs. c

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