I've read several recent opuses (opi?) about the Kansas economy going down the sewer pipe.
All of them were written by people and/or were full of quotes from people who may know a lot more about economics than I do.
But I don't have to know a thing about economic theory to know that a lot of what's been written and said about economics over the past 30 or 40 years amounts to a gigantic thunderclap of flatus.
Let me point out a few things that are not theories, but rather explain a good bit about real-life economics.
But first, full disclosure: I spent a large part of my adulthood in Kansas. Back then, at least, the bad press Kansas often endured was completely unjustified and must have been written by cranky people whose feet hurt from walking up and down hills in wrinkly states like Vermont or Colorado.
The fact is, Wichita was the most enjoyable of many cities in which I've lived. If the people and the nightlife were unsophisticated, they sure fooled me.
Granted, that was all BBDWOTG -- Before Brownback Declared War on the Greenback.
Since nearly everybody agrees that Gov. Sam Brownback and his impossible economic theories are what put Kansas down the hopper, I don't feel any need to point that out.
In fact, this past week, 100 Kansas Republicans pointed it out for me by stating publicly in an ad that even Brownback's Democratic opponent would be preferable next time.
Here are some things that Brownback and countless other fright-wingers either don't know or pretend they don't know:
1) A dollar doesn't know who tossed it on the table.
We've been told for 30 years that a dollar circulating around the community from government spending isn't really equal to a dollar from a private source.
Once, as a city editor attending a New Mexico Governor's Economic Development Conference, I was seated next to a former reporter who had become the economic development director of a medium-sized town.
Some bureaucrat was telling us about a project under way in a small town -- something that would bring more new jobs to that town than that it had seen in decades. The twit ex-reporter next to me snorted, "Government spending is NOT economic development."
She really believed that jobs spawned by the government were not actual, equal jobs -- and she was being paid for economic development. Not that she had a clue how it worked.
A modern equivalent to this idea would be Todd Akin's Theory That Ladyparts Know Rape Sperm from Love Sperm.
2) When you deliberately shrink an economy, the only thing you get is a shrunken economy.
I understand: You're going to remind me that every Republican you know tells you that shrinking government spending is on the verge of sending the economy into orbit.
Let's see. Government spending almost always involves jobs -- somebody doing the work. Cutting jobs means people who did have money to spend no longer will have money to spend, and in fact are likely to end up living on unemployment for awhile.
When did deliberately cutting the number of jobs ever send an economy soaring? Does it not occur to you that if Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan knew of a single, solitary case where this ever worked, we'd have heard about it daily for months last year?
The modern equivalent of this idea is commonly known as John McCain's Theory That If We Just Keep Invading Iraq, Eventually the Result Will Be Different.
3) "Trickle down" may happen regularly with your new baby, but it doesn't happen in economics.
In what galaxy were people living? They let themselves be duped into the idea of "trickle-down" economics when throughout recorded history economics had always been a "trickle-up" kind of guy.
Trickle-down economics -- what a hod of twaddle from the get-go!
Surely even the Republicans most determined to avoid reality have noticed by now that after a few decades of "trickle-down," so much has "trickled up" to the top .001 percent that there isn't much of a puddle left at the bottom for them to suck up.
The modern equivalent of this one has to be Kim Kardashian's Theory That Keeping My Butt in People's Faces Will Someday Convince Them It's Art.
In other words, like Kim's fanny fixation, trickle-down economics was never meant to be more than a fantasy of the people pushing it. By now, both Kim and the fat cats have grown rich(er) from their fantasies without doing anybody else any good.
As I said at the beginning, I don't need to know a thing about economics in order to understand who and what sabotaged Kansas.
Judging from the polls, most Kansas voters finally figured it out as well. Too bad it'll take them decades to recover from Badass Sam Brownback.