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Open forum: Are we a ‘Selfish Society?’

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Yesterday in the news two Midwestern politicians declared emphatically, “We’re broke!” Minnesota Republican Party Chair Tony Sutton and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, both argued their case for drastic measures to cut state expenditures. In this angry political winter, apparently “any lie will do” as loud voices shout their talking points Cut spending! Keep your money! Low taxes mean more jobs! 

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We are a prosperous nation. Wealthy beyond anything previously known on earth. But we also are becoming selfish and insensitive to anyone in need. Unwilling to suggest any shared sacrifice or fairness, when it comes to recognizing human obligations. We are far from broke. 

From municipality to township to county, state, and nation — all across America — there’s enough wealth within our borders to provide decent support for the most vulnerable among us. Shame on the hypocrites who try to persuade us otherwise! 

Gov.Dayton has addressed Minnesota’s deficit with a balanced and fair budget — with spending reductions and revenue increases. Republicans dogmatically reject any revenue increase from the individual income tax and insist that only spending cuts to education, health and human services must cover the billions of dollars in deficits and overdue deficiency payments, that have accumulated over years to reach a crisis. 

Gov. Walker across the border in Wisconsin has declared war on the bargaining rights of his public employees — in the name of eliminating a budget deficit about half the size of Minnesota’s. With conservatives in control of the executive and legislative branches of Wisconsin government, Walker hopes to roll back a legacy of progressive labor rights and achieve a balanced budget by cutting the take-home pay and pensions of state workers. 

Time was when we aspired to be a “Great Society.” The threat in our state capitols today is the drift toward a “Selfish Society.” 

Gordon Prickett

Aitkin County 

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Sarah Nelson
Sarah Nelson joined the Brainerd Dispatch in April 2010 and works as a online reporter, content editor and staff writer. She is a world traveler, accused idealist and California native now braving the winters of Central Minnesota. She believes in the power of human resolve and hopes to be part of something that makes history by bringing an end to injustice in the world. Sarah has worked as a criminal background researcher, high school civics teacher, grant writer, and contributing writer with Causecast.org — tackling every issue from global poverty to bio-degradable bicycles. Her favorite thing about living in Minnesota is July. Sarah left the Brainerd Dispatch in April 2014.
(218) 855-5879
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