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Posts published by “Bob Weeks”

Arts funding in Wichita produces controversy

As local government tries to decide which arts and cultural institutions are to receive government funds, controversy arises. A June 8, 2006 Wichita Eagle article titled "Arts panel biases alleged" tells how some funding applicants are upset that some of the members of the funding committee have ties to organizations that also applied for funds. In an editorial titled "Let Arts Funding Work" published in the June 10, 2006 Wichita Eagle, Rhonda Holman writes "The process may not be perfect, but it's a precious opportunity for public dollars to be invested in the arts and attractions in a merit-based way that's fair, open and accountable."

Wichita Eagle Editorial Blog not recommended

In June, 2005, the editors of The Wichita Eagle started a blog, the Wichita Eagle Editorial blog, or WE Blog.

The way this blog works it that one of the Eagle editors starts a topic, and then the public can add comments.

Government harms those it means to help

A column by economist Thomas Sowell Preserving a Vision--at the Expense of the Facts tells just how harmful big-government liberalism is to those it aims to help. In particular, black families have been harmed. "... the black family, which survived centuries of slavery and generations of discrimination, has disintegrated in the wake of the liberal welfare state is only one example."

Kansas Spends While Neighboring States Invest

Kansas will spend $984.2 million in state funds over the next three years and a record-setting state budget as a result of the 2006 legislature. Alan Rupe, the attorney for the litigious school districts, told the Wichita Eagle that this spending hike is inadequate and demanded more on May 12. The ethically challenged Kansas Supreme Court, three of its seven members having had ethics complaints filed against them in this matter during the last year, will soon render their latest verdict in the long-running school finance litigation that began in the 1980's. Three members of this court have endorsed the legal theory that would have the court exercising almost perpetual financial oversight on state public school spending and eviscerating the power of elected officials.

As expected, price controls harm Wichita travelers

The effect of the AirTran subsidy is to reduce the price of airfare to and from Wichita. That is its stated goal. If the subsidy did not work to reduce prices, we would be wasting our money. The fact is that the subsidy does work to reduce airfares to and from Wichita. It also does what any economist could predict: it reduces the supply of air transport to and from Wichita. I think that's why economics is called the "dismal science." There really is no free lunch.

Paying for tax cuts

Commentary surrounding two recent tax cuts reveals the backwards thinking about taxes that is common.

Judicial Scandal Grows

The Kansas legislature's school spending spree is racing the latest developments in the judicial-legislative misconduct scandal over school finance in Kansas. The outcome of this race could influence the size of the spending spree going on at the Kansas statehouse right now. The latest revelations on the school finance scandal brings the governor into the story. Senate President Steve Morris has now informed at least some in the statehouse press that he told the governor about his meeting with Supreme Court Justice Nuss and Senator Pete Brungardt.

The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century

This interesting book explains in detail what many people already know: that advances in technology -- and in politics to some degree -- have made the world a smaller place. Not only have manufacturing jobs been moved overseas, but white-collar jobs such as accountant, computer programmer, radiologist, and many others can be done from anywhere in the world. Even a McDonald's restaurant is not immune. At a McDonald's drive-through in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, the person you speak to when ordering is not present in the restaurant you're visiting. Instead, the person you're speaking to is in Colorado, a long way from Missouri. But when considering telecommunications India, as a practical matter, is no farther away.

Kansas Judiciary Gets National Criticism

Kansas Judiciary Gets National Criticism
Karl Peterjohn, Kansas Taxpayers Network

The school finance litigation began in the 1980’s in Kansas and has continued and expanded in the 21st Century. The first lawsuit was tragic, but now Kansas is becoming a judicial joke, albeit a very expensive demonstration of judicial activism and contempt for the democratic principles that are the foundation for not only this state, but for this republic.

Kansas is now getting negative national attention created by the judicial activism coming from the Kansas Supreme Court. Kansas is not alone in judicial activism but the attention focused upon the Sunflower state by the Wall Street Journal April 8, 2006 is a national recognition of a fundamental problem facing Kansas. The negative judicial impact is already hurting Kansas firms as business costs and risks grow. Any out-of-state firm looking to relocate into this region won’t come anywhere near us.

Here, the judges are setting budgets and legislatures have been relegated to an elected advisory board. Litigious school district lawyers publicly whine about “inadequate school funding,” despite an increase of over $650 per pupil last year alone. Governor Sebelius and her liberal legislative allies in both parties want this spending to be doubled again to a total of roughly $2,000 more per pupil per year. That would be an additional $40,000 per twenty student classroom in Kansas if the legislature approves this spending when they return to Topeka April 26.

When this gubernatorial backed spending spree was approved in the Kansas house all 42 Democrats joined 22 liberal Republicans led by Garden City lawyer, Representative Ward Loyd in narrowly passing this bill on a 64-to-61 vote in March. In a spasm of caution, the senate deadlocked and passed nothing so far this year.

Consider carefully all costs of gambling in Wichita

In a free society dedicated to personal liberty, people should be able to gamble. But that's not what we have, as in a free society dedicated to personal liberty, people wouldn't be taxed to pay for the problems that others cause in the pursuit of their happiness.

How does this relate to the issue of casino gambling in Wichita and Kansas?

Senate spending spree blows roof off Kansas capitol

The government school spending spree is erupting in the Kansas senate today. The senate took up the horrific house passed HB 2986 this morning. Over three years Sen. Karin Brownlee said this bill would cost a total of $1.38 billion.

Increase our awareness of taxes

As the annual tax deadline is upon us, we should take a moment to examine our level of awareness of the taxes we pay.

Let markets fund arts and culture

Former Wichita City Council member and present Arts Council chairwoman Joan Cole wrote an article titled "City needs dedicated arts funding" that appeared in the March 16, 2006 Wichita Eagle. This article advocates continued and increased government funding for arts in Wichita.

In her article Mrs. Cole mentions a policy that she seems to approve of: "Moreover, for the first time, performance measures and desired outcomes will be used to assess the progress that these organizations demonstrate." The organizations are the various groups that will receive funding from the City of Wichita.

Not Everyone Agrees With Choice

Recently I wrote about the case of a young girl who is homeschooled, one who gives me hope in the future of youth. (See A Declaration of Independence from Public Schools.)

There are people, however, who would deny talented and dedicated young people like Mary the opportunity to be educated in the way their parents wish. In a blog post titled It's not homeschooling -- it's truancy we find someone who would, if I understand the author, deny everyone this opportunity.

A declaration of independence from public schools

Mary Moberly, a young woman just 15 years old, wrote this piece. She lives in Manhattan, Kansas. I have been reading her two websites for the past few months, ever since I saw that she referred to a post on this website.

If you look at her two websites, Tea and Crumpets Zine and Just Go Boil Something, you will discover her wide-ranging interests and accomplishments, both remarkable for someone so young. I particularly recommend her essay What Makes a Well-Educated Person?

State of Kansas vs. Students

Taxpayers have had to pay over millions to fund both the school districts suing the state for additional state spending, for the state's defense of this lawsuit, and this does not include the costs for the judicial system. Instead of chasing ambulances it has now become much more remunerative for lawyers in Kansas to chase taxpayers. You as a taxpayer will have to pay a lot more in taxes due to this odious environment. Kansas is the economic loser as school district lawyers Alan Rupe and John Robb made their case for another statehouse spending spree March 5, 2006 in the Wichita Eagle.

Economics In One Lesson, 50th Anniversary Edition

This book, first published in 1946, explains common fallacies (a false or mistaken idea) that are particularly common in the field of economics and public policy.

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