The April 16 paper was like reading a Charles Dickens novel. The JROTC and Guidance Center patients and clients were as Oliver Twist's orphaned friends.
To the editor:
The April 16 paper was like reading a Charles Dickens novel. The JROTC and Guidance Center patients and clients were as Oliver Twist's orphaned friends. The Scrooges as our leaders have marked us with a sequester of needed educational and health facility funding, with only the portent of another electricity hike.
I do not come to rail on these issues, because we have elected those decisions. I come just to express my sadness that those of the more well-off will siphon again from those caught in the ravages of poverty, drug addiction and mental illness.
Since 53 percent of the drug addicted have mental illness and 59 percent of the mentally ill have drug addiction, it seems obvious these co-occurring disorders have a disastrous effect on our community (stats from 2005
Treatment Improvement Protocol 42, DHHS,p6).
Using Census Bureau 2010 stats, Kansas has 14 percent poverty with over-all 16.3 percent health-uninsured. According to "Needs growing, funding shrinking at Guidance Center" there is a condition perfect for professional burnout and increased prevalence of violence. Research has shown (see SciAmMind, Mar/Apr 13, whole issue) urban stressors and social strain increase incidence of mental illness. Logically, this increases CODs and social costs e.g. police, judicial, health, ER, etc.
Generally, the increase in violent crimes is obviously evident in prevalent mass shootings, Boston Marathon bombing, most recent. Economic downturn and joblessness just amplifies already increasing stressors.
As Oliver Twist's orphanage prospered from the cheapest of labor and Scrooge exacted his profits, the Kansas business community relishes no small-business taxes, right-to-work lowest wage outlay, and reducing electricity costs. These are, in part, at the expense of the fixed-income seniors, of which I am one.
The only thing different from the novel is that in the novel Oliver attains a success escaping the squalor and abuse of the orphanage and Scrooge becomes enlightened. I can see none of that here, social costs will continue to escalate and attracting more out-of-state businesses into our state is like inviting more bacteria into our disease ridden body.
Just as an unchecked fever can lead to costly hospital care, so can the neglect of an ever-increasing stress level within our community; especially Guidance Center clientele.