Kansas lags in charter schools. It won’t be a surprise to regular readers of this site, but Kansas is way behind most states in taking advantage of charter schools. This is a school reform measure that, while not perfect and doesn’t succeed in all cases, provides a way to increase opportunity for often the most disadvantaged students. It also increases opportunity for those students who don’t directly use them. Paul Soutar takes a look at how Kansas earns such a poor evaluation regarding charter schools in his article Weak Charter School Law Works Against Taxpayers’ Interests.
Bureaucrats Gone Wild in Cancun. Global warming alarmists are meeting, and Americans for Prosperity is there to keep an eye on them. AFP says: “The United Nations Climate Change Conference is meeting in Cancun, Mexico from November 29 — December 10, 2010 where bureaucrats will work to transfer wealth and technology from developed to developing nations by raising the cost of traditional energy. But before these international bureaucrats get to ‘work’, they decided to throw a lavish party for themselves.” A news headline spotlighted in a video produced by AFP reads “Cancun climate change summit: scientists call for rationing in the developed world. The video is here: Bureaucrats Gone Wild in Cancun. AFP is taking its Hot Air Tour there. There are two ways to view this event: online, or by attending a watch party. There’s one in Wichita Thursday evening. Click on Hot Air Tour: Live from Cancun for more information and to register.
Obama federal employee pay freeze — or not. President Barack Obama has been praised for instituting a pay freeze for federal employees. But the freeze may not be all it seems to be. Vincent Vernuccio of the Competitive Enterprise Institute reports: “President Obama’s proposal of a pay freeze for federal employees is a small step towards curbing government spending. However, a closer look shows there is less to it than meets the eye. In fact, many federal employees will still see their salaries increased. While Obama’s plan would stop the annual across-the-board cost of living adjustment (COLA) for all federal workers, it will not stop workers from getting raises altogether. The freeze will not affect pay raises for job classification upgrades. As an official at the Office of Management and Budget told Federal News Radio, ‘employees will still be eligible for step increases.’” The full analysis is at the Daily Caller in Federal workers will still receive raises despite pay freeze.
The moral case against spreading the wealth. From The Moral Case Against Spreading the Wealth by Leslie Carbone: “After two years, the results of President Obama’s wealth-spreading policies have confirmed centuries of economics, political philosophy, and common sense: Forced wealth redistribution doesn’t make things good for everybody; it makes things worse, both fiscally and morally.” Carbone explains the two reasons: Government-mandated wealth distribution does create prosperity, and it’s not a legitimate function of government. On the type of behavior we’d like to see in people, she writes: “Wealth redistribution discourages the virtuous behavior that creates wealth: hard work, saving, investment, personal responsibility.” After explaining other problems that progressive taxation — wealth redistribution — causes, she sounds a note of optimism: “Through Tea Parties and popular protests, millions of Peters and Pauls, and Joe the Plumbers are rejecting what F.A. Hayek so aptly called the fatal conceit of paternalistic government. Decades of federal expansion have demonstrated what history, economics, philosophy, and common sense have told us all along: People, working through the market, are the engines of prosperity, both moral and financial — but only if we get government out of their way.” Leslie Carbone is the author of Slaying Leviathan: The Moral Case for Tax Reform. That book expands on the ideas presented in this article.