The in box. Jim Keating on our state legislators and life-long learning
We have well-educated state legislators who cannot solve the state’s revenue problem. They need to learn how to do this.
Hey, that’s our job! We are educators, right? Without judgement and with care and concern we can use our exceptional communication skills to give our state representatives a clear, enlightened way to solve our state’s financial problems. We should keep it simple though. These folks really don’t need a lesson in deep critical thinking skills to get this job done right. Our job is to engage them and have them focus on the state’s real problem, its poorly designed revenue stream, and then guide them as they work toward the correct, logical solutions to the problem.
We can start by teaching them the sentence we educators heard in school, probably over the school intercom at the end of the morning announcements. That sentence is, “If it is to be, it is up to me.” When you contact your representatives, recite this sentence to them in a soothing voice and assure them that they can do what must be done, morally and ethically. They don’t have to be afraid. Tell them that you will give them the knowledge they will need to feel empowered and confident as they collaborate effectively with their peers to pass legislation that will solve the state’s financial issue once and for all. You can begin that education program by telling them that it is A REVENUE PROBLEM AND NOT A PENSION PROBLEM! (How many times do we have to say that?). Then ask them to move this state to adjust the state’s income tax structure and expand our state’s sales tax to cover consumer services. Baby steps, baby steps.
Don’t you just love educating those who truly need to be educated, even those with certain handicaps (misguided priorities; personal demons; charges of political corruption, etc). I know this can be challenging for both them and for us but they’re getting a proper education is really worth it. Don’t get discouraged. In this case life long learning for them and us is only from gavel to gavel and not cradle to grave. Educate them. Your financial future depends on it.