As I read through the bills making their way through the state legislature, I am concerned. A meeting I had with a state official helped me put into words how I feel about the legislative process lately.
This official said too many lawmakers are governing with “emotion.”
That resonated with me. It means lawmakers set aside data and debate in the name of looking popular, especially on social issues. They’re going with what makes them seem caring and supportive in an economy that’s simplified to haves doing well and have nots forever struggling to get a leg up.
In this equation, the haves and the haves nots get a lot of attention as the shrinking middle class gets ignored.
Let’s be honest, a lot of the bills we have flowing through our state and federal governments are feel good. They sound like the right thing to do but they are not going to make a difference the daily lives of many average constituents.
Some of my favorite books about how franchises and businesses have thrived in this country can be used as examples on why we are failing. In “Good to Great” and “Built to Last,” the most successful businesses over the years succeeded because of their willingness to evolve and run a business as a business, meaning emotions do not play a part.
With so many newer lawmakers at the Capitol, I am becoming increasingly concerned with the lack of effort to make the lives of average workers better.
While rent control bills are important, I have seen little discussion on what is going to happen when middle-income homeowners are hit with what are expected to be extremely high property taxes this year. I have also seen little in the way of help for young couples and families looking to buy their first home. I don’t blame those who simply give up.
I see very little in terms of how my children, who go to a great school district, are going to get better educations in math and reading as Colorado falls behind. There are a lot of distraction bills about our education system. Very few mean my kids will get better learning tools.
When I go to the grocery store and fill three or four of my paid-for bags for my household of seven, I wonder what is being done by our lawmakers to help families like us.
We have joked that this Easter we will color potatoes instead of eggs because the cost is so outrageous.
I am hearing from some sources in the retail industry that butter is about to be as expensive as eggs, if not already.
I bought 13 items, recently, and spent nearly $100. Don’t get me started on the big shopping trips where meat, lunch supplies and necessities push the final bill to shocking amounts.
I feel like I am part of the ignored population this year. My husband and I work hard. We live in a good school district. We do what we can to help the economy. That must mean lawmakers think I do not need help. They must think that my struggles are not as important as the feel good social bills we hear about nonstop.
I work hard and I have a right to ask what is happening to help relieve the pressures we in the middle are feeling. Many middle-class families lost something during the pandemic and the high-inflation economy that followed it and persists today. Families are struggling, hoping not to drop to low-income status. Lawmakers don’t seem to feel much for them.
Thelma Grimes is the south metro editor for Colorado Community Media