On Wednesday, March 23rd, US House Representative Peter Meijer visited City High Middle to meet with seniors and discuss policy, the economy, and current events. Students were able to ask questions as part of a Q&A, and engaged with the Representative in spirited discussion about the stock market, inflation, and environmental legislation.
This is the second time Meijer has worked with City students, the first being in an interview with Sam Ostrow earlier this year about the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. Meijer served in Iraq as a non-commissioned officer in the army reserves, and later coordinated aid and relief efforts in Afghanistan as civilian Deputy Director of a conflict analysis NGO, a unique perspective which he discussed in detail.
It is not uncommon for representatives to work with constituents, even high school students, but this is the first time such an event has happened at City since before the COVID-19 pandemic began. The Q&A was organized by senior government teacher Mark VanGoor through the Stock Market Game, a SIFMA Foundation project which allows participating students to simulate trading a stock portfolio on the open market.
12th grade government students have been playing the Stock Market Game in teams since the beginning of the semester in order to explore how the stock market operates and American economics in general. Peter Meijer was able to expound on some of the concepts students have been learning about and explain some of the intricacies of how the government and the economy work together.
Through Meijer’s visit, students were able to learn how complicated policy making, especially economic policy, can be. There are always multiple angles to consider, multiple impacts for every move, and different ways to approach every problem. We may not always agree with each other’s views or solutions to problems, but it is through asking questions and discussion that progress can be made and a common ground of understanding can be found.