www.mozilla.com Weather Central
Voices
Headlines

Holiday travel -12/19/2014, 10:16 AM

ALEC's starring role in the 'Wrecking Crew' -12/19/2014, 10:17 AM

Should profiling be banned? -12/19/2014, 10:06 AM

No right to misbehave -12/18/2014, 10:09 AM

Pompeo deserves thanks -12/18/2014, 10:00 AM

Executive orders -12/18/2014, 10:00 AM

Attack on Pearl Harbor -12/18/2014, 10:00 AM

Christ's role -12/18/2014, 9:59 AM

Governing vs. giving -12/18/2014, 9:58 AM

Adapting to change -12/17/2014, 10:30 AM

Brownback's 'vision' -12/17/2014, 10:30 AM

Young at heart -12/17/2014, 10:29 AM

Newman provides western Kansas education -12/17/2014, 10:29 AM

Big banks win again -12/16/2014, 9:37 AM

Securing the future of aerospace in Kansas -12/16/2014, 9:36 AM

The future with Brownback -12/16/2014, 9:36 AM

White Christmas, red Christmas -12/15/2014, 9:20 AM

A reason to celebrate -12/15/2014, 9:20 AM

Building a competitive opposition party -12/14/2014, 4:33 PM

Without religious freedom, there won't be peace -12/14/2014, 4:33 PM

Flying Hays later -12/14/2014, 4:33 PM

Allowing torture -12/12/2014, 10:11 AM

Racing to Lake Wobegone -12/12/2014, 10:10 AM

What's rule of law? -12/12/2014, 10:10 AM

Media bias -12/11/2014, 10:13 AM

It's not about race -12/11/2014, 10:12 AM

A new civil war -12/11/2014, 10:12 AM

Climate catastrophe -12/11/2014, 10:12 AM

The case of Scott Panetti -12/10/2014, 10:14 AM

Word origins -12/10/2014, 10:14 AM

Kansas will bleed -12/10/2014, 10:13 AM

Minions' mess -12/10/2014, 10:13 AM

Prescription farmers -12/10/2014, 10:12 AM

Vaccines make sense -12/9/2014, 11:02 AM

Net neutrality -12/9/2014, 8:45 AM

Tell me it isn't so? -12/9/2014, 2:53 PM

Willing to do without -12/9/2014, 8:45 AM

KDOT funding -12/9/2014, 8:45 AM

The man elected -12/8/2014, 10:00 AM

Understanding white privilege -12/8/2014, 10:00 AM

Making sure crime doesn't pay -12/8/2014, 10:00 AM

Do Kansans really care? -12/7/2014, 3:17 PM

Core freedoms under fire -12/7/2014, 3:17 PM

Nation needs new approach -12/6/2014, 3:17 PM

Tons of fun on tap -12/5/2014, 9:48 AM

A Christmas plea -12/5/2014, 9:48 AM

School privatization via convenient debt -12/5/2014, 9:48 AM

Race in America -12/4/2014, 10:20 AM

The gift of petroleum -12/4/2014, 10:20 AM

A Charlie Brown Christmas miracle -12/4/2014, 10:19 AM

Care and feeding of farm animals -12/3/2014, 10:19 AM

Let's talk about 'black on black' crime -12/3/2014, 10:19 AM

Sports complex -12/3/2014, 4:14 PM

-12/3/2014, 10:00 AM

Kudos to school for bilingual efforts -12/2/2014, 11:42 AM

Wages prompting county workers to seek better jobs -12/2/2014, 11:42 AM

County employees urge public's support -12/2/2014, 11:42 AM

'Horrible Bosses 2' disappoints;  new 'Star Wars' trailer thrills -12/2/2014, 10:19 AM

Power rests with House speaker -12/2/2014, 10:01 AM

Climate change -12/2/2014, 10:38 AM

Ferguson's pain -12/1/2014, 10:21 AM

Out of sight, or out of luck? -12/1/2014, 10:20 AM

Blacks, whites need to wake up to injustice -12/1/2014, 10:20 AM

Kansas turns South -11/30/2014, 5:33 PM

When should holy days become holidays? -11/30/2014, 5:33 PM

Future of health care -11/30/2014, 5:33 PM

Giving thanks -11/27/2014, 3:08 PM

Give a child hope and a home -11/26/2014, 9:12 AM

Holiday shopping -11/26/2014, 9:12 AM

Today's faults -11/26/2014, 7:45 AM

Meatless Mondays -- forget about it -11/26/2014, 7:45 AM

Cosby, serial rapist? That's a lot to forgive -11/26/2014, 7:45 AM

Letting it fly -11/26/2014, 7:45 AM

KanCare oversight -11/26/2014, 7:45 AM

Giving thanks for blessings as Kansans -11/25/2014, 10:11 AM

Local fixes to local problems? -11/25/2014, 10:11 AM

Energy security -11/25/2014, 10:11 AM

Elite contempt for ordinary Americans -11/24/2014, 9:12 AM

Pipeline politics -11/24/2014, 10:04 AM

They killed Peter Kassig -11/24/2014, 10:04 AM

Going from bad to good on election night -11/23/2014, 6:38 PM

Free Speech can be shield or a sword -11/23/2014, 6:38 PM

Dodge City merger -11/22/2014, 6:38 PM

House mis-speaker -11/21/2014, 9:50 AM

Obama vs. Us -11/21/2014, 9:50 AM

Really smart conservatives love public debt -11/21/2014, 9:50 AM

Official welcome -11/20/2014, 9:52 AM

Control freaks in the U.S. -11/20/2014, 1:24 PM

How did we get here? -11/20/2014, 9:52 AM

An open letter to the GOP -11/19/2014, 10:03 AM

Successful farming -11/19/2014, 10:03 AM

Getting personal -11/18/2014, 9:15 AM

Teachers, not facilities -11/18/2014, 9:15 AM

Schoolteachers and the Legislature -11/18/2014, 9:06 AM

Water vision -11/18/2014, 9:06 AM

I see wonderful things -11/17/2014, 9:26 AM

Politics prevail over truth in Kansas elections -11/17/2014, 9:26 AM

Progress at mall -11/16/2014, 5:22 PM

Opinions on the general election -11/16/2014, 5:22 PM

Why are schools afraid of freedom? -11/16/2014, 5:22 PM

myTown Calendar

SPOTLIGHT
[var top_story_head]

Kansas Speaks

Published on -10/24/2012, 11:09 AM

Printer-friendly version
E-Mail This Story

If art imitates life, then one would expect most Kansans realize there's no place like home. Just in case Dorothy wasn't speaking for the Sunflower State past, present and future, however, public opinion surveys are used to gauge the sentiment.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the vast majority of residents believe the state is a good place to live according to the latest "Kansas Speaks" survey. Conducted by the Docking Institute of Public Affairs at Fort Hays State University, more than 95 percent of people surveyed rated Kansas anywhere from fair to excellent. A mere 4.2 percent labeled the state as poor or worse.

Such optimism doesn't surprise us. Despite the ribbing we receive from the rest of the country, Kansans by and large believe we're in a great location. The ratings weren't quite as high as they were in 2009, the first year Docking conducted the annual Kansas Speaks survey.

Gary Brinker, director of the Docking Institute, said the survey fits the organization's mission to serve the government and nonprofit entities of Kansas.

"As the Docking Institute continues to provide this service to the citizens of Kansas, our hope is that Kansas Speaks will allow our state legislators and policy-makers to better respond to the will of the people and foster a more democratic state government," Brinker said.

We're not sure how elected officials will decipher the "will of the people" from these results, however. Seeming contradictions abound, while other responses don't seem to match reality. Particularly since the survey didn't get underway until May 21, after the Legislature had completed its work for the session.

For example, 65 percent of all respondents believed income tax rates should stay the same or go up. Almost 78 percent of self-identified Republicans felt that way. When participants were questioned, it was well-known the GOP-dominated Statehouse already had set it motion the session's signature accomplishment -- a significant decrease in income taxes. That didn't prevent the majority of Kansans from refusing to be dissatisfied with either the Legislature or Gov. Sam Brownback. Basically only Democrats and highly educated individuals found these two branches of government lacking. Strong Republicans either were moderately or extremely satisfied with Brownback (73 percent) and the Legislature (61 percent).

When examining state funding for particular sectors, very little support was expressed to decrease spending on social services (7.1 percent), K-12 schools (8 percent) or state colleges and universities (15.9 percent). Yet the only way funding for any of these critical segments does not go down is if the economic renaissance promised by the governor actually takes place. While Brownback and paid consultant Arthur Laffer believe the "experiment" will work, Kansans aren't so sure.

When asked in the survey how concerned they were that the Kansas economy would seriously threaten them or their families' welfare, only 11.9 percent of respondents were not concerned.

With the lone exception of 18- to 24-year-olds, large majorities of every other demographic were slightly, moderately or very concerned the state economy is going to hit them directly.

In short, Kansans overall advocate economic policies that are 180 degrees different from the governor and conservative-dominated Legislature -- yet are willing to stay the course. In fact, with the primary election, Kansans ousted most of the moderate Republicans who were willing to stand up to the governor. So we know whose policies will carry the day, and worries the resulting economy will negatively affect us likely will come true.

Yet we still believe Kansas is a good place to live.

That's the power of positive thinking.

If you didn't see the Kansas Speaks study in Sunday's Hays Daily News, results can be found at www.fhsu.edu/docking. Click on the Kansas Speaks tab.

Editorial by Patrick Lowry

plowry@dailynews.net

digg delicious facebook stumbleupon google Newsvine
More News and Photos

Associated Press Videos