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Brainerd: How we once had a cure for fundamentalist control of small towns

In this outdoors paradise, school board chief Sue Kern recently questioned why they were teaching the "unproven" theory of evolution.

In this outdoors paradise, school board chief Sue Kern recently questioned why they were teaching the "unproven" theory of evolution. Star Tribune

Reader Dave Porter responds to Brainerd schools boss questions why they’re teaching ‘unproven’ theory of evolution:

FDR appointed a blue-ribbon commission to examine why the Great Depression (the one that started in 1929) hit the United States harder and longer than other developed countries. The answer came back: It was because we leave our education system in the hands of local communities susceptible to being taken over by "fundamentalist" evangelicals.

This report led to the GI Bill, which in turn led to unprecedented prosperity in this country all through the 1950s, 1960s, right up until the Reagan years, when unfettered capitalism and Rupert Murdoch's Fox News empire took us off the track.

The GI Bill also provided extremely low-cost loans to start up small businesses -- with limited personal liability -- thus encouraging a huge wave of entrepreneurial small enterprises. As has been repeatedly shown, small businesses hire more people and are often more likely to be successful at providing actually useful goods and services than large corporations.

This combination of social investment strategies paid off spectacularly, but smart investment in our own people has been forgotten and disregarded.

Instead, thanks in no small part to Ronald Reagan's doing a few favors for those nice people who'd bought Rancho del Cielo for him, getting rid of Equal Time and Fair Comment, we've developed a literally misbegotten faith in making the rich richer and the poor poorer.