Addressing the long list of pressing modern challenges facing Kentucky requires a unified effort from all of us. How will we create good jobs in a globalized economy, stem climate change and deal with its effects, protect public health against the threat of future pandemics, and more? And both were major successes. In 1928, the richest 1% of Kentuckians took home a staggering 18.3% of the state's income, but a combination of state and federal policies ushered in a fairer economy that cut that share in half by the early 1970s. It did so through strong and broadly-shared economic growth that created a middle class in Kentucky for the first time. The state still faced unacceptable levels of poverty, especially in eastern Kentucky and among Black Kentuckians, but major strides were made. In 1940, only 16% of adult Kentuckians had at least a high school diploma, compared to 88% today. In 1930 only 9,000 people were attending the state's public colleges and universities, according to A New History of Kentucky, compared to nearly 200,000 now. Healthcare advances since 1930 have added an average of 16 years to life expectancy, for which the Medicaid program -- which didn't exist until the 1960s and is funded in significant part by the state -- has been a major contributor. That trend will continue with the new restrictions on unemployment insurance and cuts to, and potential elimination of, Kentucky's income tax. The unemployment cuts are particular harm to workers in rural areas, Kentuckians of color, and other people facing structural barriers to re-employment. The wealthiest 1% of Kentuckians will get an average $11,056 annual tax cut if the income tax rate drops from 5% to 4%, as the legislature is now considering under House Bill 1. Typical workers, in contrast, will get between $20 and $278 a year. Nearly two-thirds of the dollars will flow to the highest-earning 20% of people, the least in need of any aid. The more the legislature reduces the rate, the bigger the hole in future state budgets that must be closed by either eliminating vital funding for public services, raising regressive sales taxes and applying them to everyday needs like groceries, or both. Let's face what's in front of us, and not bring back the bad old days to struggle through again.