Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Kansas Votes to Become More Like Mississippi – Lower Economic Growth and Lower Quality of Life

And What’s Going on With the Chamber of Commerce?

In 2010 Kansas elected a highly conservative Governor, Sam Brownback who wanted to put into practice the highly conservative economic policy that he and his kind espouse.  But full implementation ran into just regular conservative state legislators, men and women who resisted the radical ideas that a society could function by have the least amount of government possible.

So for this election season the ultra-conservatives in Kansas mounted a campaign to eliminate the just conservatives in Kansas, and in the primary elections, which are tantamount to general elections in a one party state, the radicals largely succeeded.

Kansas, already one of the nation's reddest states, shifted further to the right in Tuesday's primary as several centrist Republicans in the state Senate lost to more-conservative challengers.

The Kansas Senate has been home to most of the state's remaining moderate Republicans, particularly since 2010, when Sam Brownback was elected governor and Republicans backed by the tea-party movement won control of the state House of Representatives. This summer, conservative Republicans, some with the backing of Mr. Brownback, targeted a dozen sitting state senators in a bid to wrest control away from the more-centrist Republicans.

On Tuesday, nine GOP incumbents fell, and conservative candidates also won several open seats. In one of the most closely watched campaigns, Senate President Steve Morris, a 20-year lawmaker who had been a critic of Mr. Brownback's policies, lost to his challenger, state Rep. Larry Powell.

What this means of course is that after the November elections when all the new candidates have taken office Kansas will embark on a policy of stripping the state of all but the most basic of public services.  Education, environmental control, transportation, health care and law enforcement will all be drastically cut. 

Those who support this policy will argue that the lower taxes will attract industry and increase growth.  But over time they will find that industry likes good highways and good schools, and that the increase in poverty and depredation of the low income elements of society is a bad thing with respect to economic success, not a good thing.  Of course, none of this will happen immediately, but in a decade or two the economy of Kansas will look a lot like the current economy of Mississippi, a poor state that relies on federal aid to keep even basic services, a state that new industry largely ignores, a state that relies on gambling and casinos for much of its economic activity and a state where health care for many of its citizens is below that of developing nations.

How did this happen in Kansas?  Well the usual suspects are involved, along with some unusual ones.

The conservative challengers promised to take more steps to reduce government spending and to lower taxes, backing an income-tax cut Mr. Brownback signed into law in May. They were heavily supported by the chamber, whose political-action committee has been largely funded by Wichita-based conglomerate Koch Industries Inc.

Ah yes, the ubiquitous Koch Brothers, billionaires who for some reason have taken it upon themselves to turn America back to the 1800’s.  But the chamber referred to here is the Kansas Chamber of Commerce.  Since when did a Chamber of Commerce become a political tool of the radical right wing?  These people are supposed to support business and the economy?  Now both locally and nationally they are moving to install radical conservatives into government.  The U. S. Chamber of Commerce may well spend as much as $100 million or more to defeat Mr. Obama and Democrats, despite the huge rise in corporate profits that has occurred during his Presidency.

Our serious advice to those business owners who support the various Chamber of Commerce organizations in this quest, be very careful of what you wish for, you may get it. 

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