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Archive for Saturday, February 2, 2013

Letter: Kansas cronyism

February 2, 2013

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To the editor:

Mike Hoeflich’s column (Journal-World, Jan. 30) on the relation of state power and individuals as human questions is correct. Justice for negatively affected citizens has broadly been seen as not just questions of equality but more importantly protecting the weak from the strong. The ancient practice of using taxes to reward supporters and fund your agendas while defunding your critic’s organizations is one example of the misuse of justice. The “Arts failure” editorial (Jan. 31) is another example of the application of this baleful practice.

Our intellectual and cultural life, our institutions which make political, social and cultural life possible, have past efforts deeply embedded in them. Discarding these institutions because you believe the state shouldn’t fund them and only support economic activities was thoroughly discredited by the conservative thinker Edmund Burke, who wrote, “the state ought not to be considered as nothing better than a partnership in a trade of pepper and coffee, calico or tobacco, or some other such low concern … because it is not a partnership in things subservient only to a gross animal existence …. It is a partnership in all science, all art, …in every virtue.”

The current Legislature’s “conservative” majority’s pietistic enthusiasm for lower taxes has become obstinate spitefulness. The current swift-boating of public sector union members while claiming to protect them from their organizations is one disingenuous example. This majority rewards their supporters with state socialism (tax breaks) and punishes the critics and the public with diminished opportunities (fewer educational opportunities being particularly malicious). This isn’t conservative thought. It is reactionary cronyism.

Comments

Richard Heckler 1 year, 7 months ago

Kansas republicans NOT want to cut taxes and force down wages. Where will tax dollar revenue come from?

Think long term impact.

It isn't only union wages that go down. It's most wages. If all unions get busted and those millions upon millions are receiving less that translates into most all other workers making less money because workers across America will quit spending money.

When workers quit spending money what happens for the long term?

People go out of business thus more job losses.

Carpenters,plumbers and electricians go out of business because workers cannot afford more houses.

Property values sink because there is no money and foreclosures continue to rise.

New auto sales will slump AGAIN.

MORE retirement plans will go up in smoke because Wall Street will take a dive because spending which drives investors is no where to be found.

Millions more will not be able to pay for medical insurance.

Sales taxes will increase because all other tax sources have gone up in smoke.

Infrastructure will go longer without maintenance and/or replacement.

This is but a short list.

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jonas_opines 1 year, 7 months ago

On the other hand, it probably does matter how you define cronyism.

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 7 months ago

Sometimes the line between a system of cronyism and a mertiocracy depends on the eye of the beholder. Furthermore, most public arts funding goes to introducing art to underserved populations in locations that could not afford the "luxury" of arts programs, including art exhibits, education programs, lectures, demonstrations, etc. Similarly, is physical education funding a system of cronyism rewarding its practitioners at the public expense, or is it seen by a community to have inherent value and worthy of support because of its across-the-board benefits?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 7 months ago

You're right-- additional "sin" taxes on things like tobacco should only be used to fund the resources required to deal with the negative effects of its use. In the case of tobacco, that would clearly be the funding of medical care for the many diseases it causes or exacerbates.

But given that Republicans believe only the wealthy deserve access to medical care, look for an increase in sin taxes of all kinds as the Republicans look for ways to fund elimination of taxes on the wealthy.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 7 months ago

Perhaps you should place more emphasis on learning to read.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 7 months ago

One of the best letters submitted here in a long time.

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verity 1 year, 7 months ago

"obstinate spitefulness"

Pretty much sums up this whole administration.

I do see that even some Brownback/Koch/ALEC diehards are against taking away the home mortgage deduction. Why? Because they're looking at their re-election and they know that one is pissing people off.

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yourworstnightmare 1 year, 7 months ago

Knowlin's quoting of the "Leviathan" Edmund Burke's statement deserves requoting:

"“the state ought not to be considered as nothing better than a partnership in a trade of pepper and coffee, calico or tobacco, or some other such low concern … because it is not a partnership in things subservient only to a gross animal existence …. It is a partnership in all science, all art, …in every virtue.”"

I guess Burke was a taker, a liberal.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 7 months ago

When Bill Clinton spoke here several years ago, he was lamenting the moral, intellectual and ideological decline of conservatism (and it's only gotten worse since then.)

He gave the following view of conservatism he'd heard from an old-school conservative (my paraphrasing.)--

The solution to any problem or issue should first be addressed by the private sector. If that doesn't work, then it's up to local governments. If that doesn't work, it's up to state governments. And the last stop for solutions should be at the federal level. But there was no demonization of government as pure evil and incompetence in anything it attempted to do. There was no hysterical rush to dismantle and defund government in order to satisfy extreme anti-government ideologies.

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jayhawklawrence 1 year, 7 months ago

I just want to add to what has already been stated many times here that I believe this is an amazingly good letter to the editor by Mr. Nowlin.

If I was creating an anthology of greatest letters to editors, this would definitely be in it.

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