Open letter to Governor Brownback

Dear Governor, and Kansas Lawmakers,

I am the homemaker you are nostalgic for. I am married; my husband is fully employed, and earns a salary well above minimum wage. We have two children, and are just far enough above the poverty level to not require social assistance. My job is that of Mother: helping my children with their schoolwork, teaching morals and values that reflect goodness & justice, caring for our home and family.

Morals & values do not pay the heating bill. Morals & values do not put food on the table.

“Too many people have not progressed in recent years, in many cases held back by an economy that is growing too slowly or an overly paternalistic big government.” We are not held back by an economy that is growing too slowly, we are held back by an economy that continues to favor the wealthiest members, at the expense of the rest of us. Our progression is not hindered by slow growth; it is hindered by an unequal distribution of wealth. This unequal distribution can be easily seen in Brownback and Colyer’s trading of $500,000. That amount is worth five houses the size of my own. That amount could supply approximately ten bachelor’s degrees at a state university. Nearly every member of this legislature probably benefited from a tax-payer funded post-secondary education, because when you were young, our government had a high tax rate on the wealthiest members of society. Your progress is a direct result of the former redistribution of wealth in the U.S. Because conservatives have hindered the growth of our whole society, we are currently experiencing an increase in poverty, instead of prosperity.

Governor, your parents most likely had to sacrifice because the wealthy of their time collapsed the economy by hoarding their wealth. It was known as the Great Depression because all wealth was concentrated to a few, just as it is today. They had to sacrifice because there was not an equal distribution of wealth, just as it is today. Our country recovered thanks to liberal ideas of shared prosperity.

As fundamentalists have removed sex education from public schools, we have experienced an increase in single-mothers. As fundamentalists have insisted on the elimination of science in schools, our children are not learning experimentation and innovation. Since conservatives refuse to tax the wealthiest members of our society, our public schools are unable to provide services necessary to teach all children, as well as a whole, comprehensive course of study.

Economic problems will not be solved by cultural mores. If we are to truly cherish all members of society, then those members deserve fair wages that will provide the necessities of a home and the peripheral expenses of a family, without the need for government supplements. Raise the minimum wage, eliminate the sales tax on food & clothing items, heavily invest in public education to provide a fully comprehensive course of study, and tax the wealthy who are the members of our culture living in excess, who can afford to sacrifice. If the rest of us sacrifice any more, we’ll be starving to death. God help us, and may God help you turn away from Greed.

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