The pedestrian has the right of way
Given that "Kansas spends at least $1.01 billion per year on incentive programs, according to the most recent data available,"and that the state has been found to be under-funding education, it seems reasonable to request that the state's incentive programs be audited to see if those programs are having their intended effect.
$1.01 billion is a lot of money—especially when we're talking tens of millions of dollars in direct grants, loans, and loan guarantees to private companies.
Funding public education is a constitutionally mandated core function of the Kansas government. Giving incentive grants to for-profit corporations and guaranteeing loans for them is not.
I'm interested to hear reactions to the above premise, which is, to my mind, a central truth no longer shared by enough political representatives in Washington.
I'd wanted to post it yesterday, for Labor Day, because it so clearly articulates the importance of Labor Day, but was away from internet access. It's a premise that could not stand in greater opposition to Eric Cantor's tweet that on Labor Day, "we celebrate those who have taken a risk, worked hard, built a business and earned their own success."
Here's the full quote from which it was taken:
"Labor is the United States. The men and women, who with their minds, their hearts and hands, create the wealth that is shared in this country—they are America."
If only both parties still agreed with that fundamental premise. Imagine if it was still the purpose of government, as it once was, "to establish and maintain a peaceful world and build at home a dynamic prosperity in which every citizen fairly shares."
Perhaps in the future we can get back to that.
Oh -- the above quote is from the Republican Party platform under Eisenhower in 1956. Read the full platform here: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=25838
It's a quote that also demonstrates how far away from sound American principles current Republicans have drifted, how radical and never-before-seen in America they truly are.
Happy belated Labor Day, and may the true Makers -- American laborers workers -- regain the respect and protection they deserve and as Republicans used to give them.
Let's return to the traditional, historical set of beliefs and practices and values that have, in modern times, been replaced by beliefs and practices and values wholly alien to the Kansas of its founding era.
Some examples of the values Kansans intended to have motivate and structure the state:
- Non-citizens, including non-US citizens, could vote in Kansas elections.
- The government was specifically tasked with assisting they who suffered misfortune and had claims of sympathy and aid of society
- The government was specifically tasked with the responsibility of promoting literature, the arts, and sciences
- The government was specifically tasked with encouraging intellectual and scientific improvement.
All in all, it's easy to see that the values and beliefs that motivate the current political power structure in Kansas (I won't say "political majority," because at best the current crop of politicians represent a plurality of citizens) are nearly opposite of those that motivated they who created the state and its Constitution.
(Don't believe me? Read the original Kansas Constitution for yourself: http://www.kansasmemory.org/item/90272/text )
The current political powers-that-be, and the voters who support them, sure have a lot of explaining to do, in terms of how we got so far, far away from the the humane and liberal values that motivated and structured the founding of this state.
We need to return to traditional and historical Kansas values, and reject the modern amoral values that currently influence and control the state.