Essay by:
Megan Biehler
Emporia State University

I can remember years ago when the crop markets hit an all-time low.  My dad, who has been a farmer his entire life said the government was starting to get careless and as providers for this country, we really need to start pinching pennies because farmers are the ones who will be hit first.  From January 2008 to September 2008, fertilizer prices hit an all-time high.  We had to cut back on fertilizer, the amount of seed we plant per acre, and we went to the no-till method because it requires less fuel.  So far, my dad’s farming corporation is still floating.  If farmers, the people who work seven days a week, 16 hours a day, 365 days a year, can find ways to cut corners, why can’t our government?


This past year, my hometown voted on a $29 million school bond twice (once in the last fiscal year and once in November) and each time it didn’t pass.  My hometown, Herington, has a population of 2,421 (as of 2007; see the link at the bottom of this essay).  Considering over half of the population has retired or is on welfare, obviously the town couldn’t handle the tax increase considering we just built a new overpass.  Therefore, if the towns people couldn’t afford the increase, the farmers who have property in that school district would have to pick up the slack.  Can farmers afford this increase? Of course not!  Therefore, I propose, in order to protect the farmers, we turn our schools into schools that have tuition (ex. Emporia State University, Kansas State University) to help support the much needed updates without wiping out all of our farmers.  All students are granted the right to a free and appropriate education, but right now, we can’t afford free.  Everybody needs to pitch in!


After looking at the facing up website, it was rather frightening to see how far we, as a nation, have plunged into debt!  How do we get out of this hole?  My proposal is everyone should have the same tax rate.  The poor should not be taxed more, or the rich taxed less as a percentage of their income; otherwise, the gap between classes will continue to grow.  If everyone was taxed at the same rate, America may be able to pull themselves out of a recession at a quicker rate.


Another cut we can make is in some welfare programs.  Rather than let people make a career out of sitting at home and receiving paychecks each month, why not give everybody a total of six months of assistance that they can use whenever they need it?  In my home town, some people use welfare assistance as an easy way out.  They apply for jobs like they are required to, but present themselves in an inappropriate manner so nobody will want to hire them.  It was also brought to my attention that the more kids you have the higher amount you get each month.  This appears as more of an incentive to be on welfare rather than to try to stay off of it.  I understand we want to try and help people who are going through a rough time in their life, but at the same time, helping is one thing, supporting them is another.  I had to laugh at my last meeting with my financial aide advisor when I attended Washburn University because I make more money per year than most people my age so her advice to me so I could get more aide each semester was either quit my job or have a child.  I chose to ignore her advice because I am able to support myself and I take pride in that.  Why would I want to take the easy way out just to get a cheaper education?


As a nation, I feel like we could make more sacrifices and if we would help each other rather than be selfish and inconsiderate of others, then we wouldn’t even be in this situation.  Yes, that means giving up our private jets and going to the world’s hottest vacation places to hold our company meetings.  We need to stop shifting the burden of this generations finance issues to next.


I feel that if we start sacrificing the things we don’t need and helping others, change some of our welfare policies, and have equal taxes, we will be able to get out of this recession and move on without carrying all of the burdens of this generation to the next.

Re: Finances: What Do We Do Now?


You provided interesting resolutions. Although some people certainly are on welfare and do not need it, other people actually do. The idea of providing assistance to absolutely everyone, as well as the people that don’t need it (the people that earn millions of dollars a year, but would still qualify), would most likely result in money being spent on wanted items, instead of needed items. I believe this would result in ultimately more people being hungry and homeless. It’s unfortunate that the welfare program is abused in your area, but instead, steps should be taken to reform the program, rather than eliminating it all together.

-Amber Vanderhofe

Re: Finances: What Do We Do Now?

You make a great point with the fact that no one cares about the nation anymore we are very self centered and we dont think about how its effecting others. Great points! I loved your essay.

Re: Finances: What Do We Do Now?

Hey Megan,

I like how you introduced facts on farming, because it is very important but people often forget about it. I am definately in agreeance with you that everyone should have the same tax rate, or as close as possible because it is not fair for the poor to be charged more and the rich to be charged less. Great ideas about welfare as well.

Great Job!
Whitney Franklin

Re: Finances: What Do We Do Now?

Megan, I really enjoyed reading your paper. Your first couple sentences were really interesting, an angle I haven't read about yet. I agree that the welfare program needs to be updated, I think many others are taking advantage of this system. Great Job.

Kelsey C.

Re: Finances: What Do We Do Now?

I like the fact that you wrote your paper from both a professional as well as personal perspective. It gives the reader a good insight on statistical information as well as illustrate how the economy affects farmers in our local area. Great Paper!!
-Brandon Rich

Re: Finances: What Do We Do Now?

I agree that the nation needs to cut funds, and the population as a hole should cut back on un necessary items. However, some of that spending also benefits our nation. I also do not agree with completely cutting welfare. I feel it does need to be addressed because many people are using it as an easy way out, but some do need the assistance.

Patricia McKenzie

Re: Finances: What Do We Do Now?

Good job, well thought. There are limits on welfare like how much time but because of tight finances there are not enough social workers to check on the people that weesle out of getting off or find loop holes. Illegal immigrants play a huge role- in California i would say probably half of the kids in public schools are from illegal parents and my kid was told there was no room and my family have been here forever. That needs resolve. They are using welfare but also too many school seats. Until we fix the econ- our sign should read no vacancy unfortunatly.

Angela Cooper

Re: Finances: What Do We Do Now?

You did a great job! I agree with your opinion about the tax policy and the welfare programs. You have lots of thinking which I never thought about.

Re: Finances: What Do We Do Now?

Your conclusion is great!!! Well said!!! I shudder to think how much we will end up paying if something is not done!!!

Whitney Cates

Re: Finances: What Do We Do Now?


I wonder if you realize that today's welfare programs have much more strict requirements than those of the past. In fact, in most cases, a person cannot receive cash assistance through welfare for more than two years collectively. I would hardly call that "making a career out of sitting at home."

Also, I believe that non-income percentage based taxes would only make the rich richer and the poor poorer. The reverse Robin Hood method won't work in fixing our nations finances.

However, I definitely agree that it's time to make some sacrifices and help one another. We've got to come together and work toward a solution.

-Mallory Livingston

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