Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Tuesday July 5, 2011

Kansas can choose its future path. Kansas has a choice to make, writes Dave Trabert, President of Kansas Policy Institute: “‘Rich States, Poor States’ is loaded with good policy advice but perhaps the greatest takeaway is that economic prosperity is a matter of choice. Some states choose to create an environment that encourages economic activity; others choose to put a higher value on government growth, which discourages job creation.” The choice we have to make is based on Kansas’ middle-of-the-road ranking in Rich States, Poor States: The ALEC-Laffer Economic Competitiveness Index, a new edition of which was recently released. It is, writes Trabert: “We can either choose to continue the tax-and-spend mentality that continues to drive jobs away or we can choose to become prosperous.” More is at Rich State or Poor State — It’s a Matter of Choice . … Trabert will be speaking in Wichita on this topic this Friday, see the next item.

Kansas budget to be topic. This Friday’s meeting (July 8th) of the Wichita Pachyderm Club features Dave Trabert, President of Kansas Policy Institute, speaking on the topic “How Kansas ranks in the Rich States, Poor States Economic Competitive Index, and how our state’s ranking can be improved by stabilizing the Kansas budget.” The public is welcome and encouraged to attend Wichita Pachyderm meetings. For more information click on Wichita Pachyderm Club. … Upcoming speakers: On July 15, Jon Hauxwell, MD, speaking on “Medicinal Cannabis.” On July 22, U.S. Representative Mike Pompeo of Wichita on “An update from Washington.” On July 29, Dennis Taylor, Secretary, Kansas Department of Administration and “The Repealer” on “An Overview of the Office of the Repealer.”

Year of school choice. The Wall Street Journal, in a Review and Outlook piece, notes the progress made throughout the country in advancing greater freedom for parents in educational opportunities for the children. Of particular note is expansion of existing programs in Milwaukee and Indiana. … Schools choice is important, writes the Journal, but alone is not sufficient: “Choice by itself won’t lift U.S. K-12 education to where it needs to be. Eliminating teacher tenure and measuring teachers against student performance are also critical. Standards must be higher than they are. But choice is essential to driving reform because it erodes the union-dominated monopoly that assigns children to schools based on where they live. Unions defend the monopoly to protect jobs for their members, but education should above all serve students and the larger goal of a society in which everyone has an opportunity to prosper.” … In Kansas, reform measures such as these are rarely mentioned, as the state’s education establishment is content with keeping inner-city and disadvantaged kids in poor schools. While Kansas has some good schools, these are largely located in well-to-do suburbs in Johnson County and surrounding Wichita. Families with money, therefore, have opportunities for school choice (of a sort). Poor families don’t have this choice. … In Kansas, tinkering with the teacher tenure formula is all that has been accomplished this year regarding school reform. This is in a state that ranks very low among the states in policies relating to teacher effectiveness, according to the National Council on Teacher Quality. … Kansas Governor Sam Brownback campaigned with an education platform, but it contained mostly weak measures that appeared to be designed by the education establishment. So far Brownback has not come forth with proposals for meaningful reform of schools in Kansas.

How much does a stimulus job cost? According to the Council of Economic Advisors, all appointed by President Barack Obama, $278,000. If that’s not bad enough, analysis from The Weekly Standard finds that now, the stimulus program is working in reverse: “In other words, over the past six months, the economy would have added or saved more jobs without the ‘stimulus’ than it has with it. In comparison to how things would otherwise have been, the ‘stimulus’ has been working in reverse over the past six months, causing the economy to shed jobs.” Why might the stimulus not be working? Borrowing the money and then “spending it mostly on Democratic constituencies” is to blame, writes Jeffrey H. Anderson.

More ‘Economics in One Lesson.’ Next Monday (July 11th) Americans For Prosperity Foundation is sponsoring a continuation of the DVD presentation of videos based on Henry Hazlitt’s classic work Economics in One Lesson. The event is Monday from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm at the Lionel D. Alford Library located at 3447 S. Meridian in Wichita. The library is just north of the I-235 exit on Meridian. The event’s sponsor is Americans for Prosperity, Kansas. For more information on this event contact John Todd at john@johntodd.net or 316-312-7335, or Susan Estes, AFP Field Director at sestes@afphq.org or 316-681-4415.


One thought on “Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Tuesday July 5, 2011”

  1. Hi Bob,

    I read as many of your postings as possible. Especially your articles regarding education and school choice. Your doing school choice a great service. Will there be a time that you will be addressing the Kansas Educational Liberty Act, HB2367. It will be starting back up in the next session. You could show Kansans an example of what your talking about with KELA. If you would like the author, Stacey Davis, or I to contribute just ask. Keep up the good work.

    Al Terwelp
    Chairman
    Libertarian Party of Kansas

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