Role of government

Small and weak government?

Small and weak government?

Do corporations prefer the marketplace or a large and powerful government? A letter in the Wichita Eagle criticized the marketplace and the power that corporations purportedly hold over it. (Government needed, February 28, 2016). This letter refers to an op-ed by Charles Koch (Charles G. Koch: Sanders and I agree on a few issues, February 19, 2016, originally published in the Washington Post) A few remarks: The letter-writer states: "It was also no surprise to read that his solution is very small and weak government." Reading the Koch op-ed to which the letter-writer refers, I didn't see a call for…
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If you can’t get a cop in Wichita

It could be that the officers are busy protecting the city from the illegal playing of poker. This is an area ripe for reform. Why is playing poker for money on east Kellogg illegal? At one time the state thought it had to protect us from gambling because it was sinful. That argument has faded as states across the nation have sanctioned casinos. Kansas is unique -- at least at the time of the start of non-Indian casino gambling in the state -- in that the casinos are actually owned by the state. So if the state of Kansas owns…
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Friedman: Laws that do harm

Friedman: Laws that do harm

As we approach another birthday of Milton Friedman, here's his column from Newsweek in 1982 that explains that despite good intentions, the result of government intervention often harms those it is intended to help. There is a sure-fire way to predict the consequences of a government social program adopted to achieve worthy ends. Find out what the well-meaning, public-interested persons who advocated its adoption expected it to accomplish. Then reverse those expectations. You will have an accurate prediction of actual results. To illustrate on the broadest level, idealists from Marx to Lenin and the subsequent fellow travelers claimed that communism…
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Franklin Roosevelt, contributor to modern nanny state

If you've wondered what was the genesis of the modern nanny state, listen to this speech by Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It's part of his State of the Union Address from 1944. The purpose of the original Bill of Rights is to protect our freedoms from government. But to provide the things Roosevelt calls for -- food, clothing, a decent home, adequate medical care, and a good education -- requires an expansive government. These rights are called positive rights because they require action by the government, in contrast to the negative rights found in the Bill of Rights. Richard A. Epstein…
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Like it or not, we’re coming to plan for you

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. -- H.L. Mencken We've learned that the government planners will plan for you, whether or not you want it. Despite having voted against participation, two Kansas counties are still listed as members of a regional planning consortium. Further, a month after the Butler County Commission sent a letter asking that references to its participation be removed, its name still appears. The new website thinktomorrowtoday.org promotes and supports the sustainable communities government planning process in South-Central Kansas. The planning effort has…
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Round table: Role of government in society

In this episode of Kansas Living, Rick Laurino hosts a round table discussion with Kansas representatives Ed Trimmer, Marc Rhoades, and Bob Weeks of WichitaLiberty.org about the role of government in society. View the second part next weekend.
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A second Bill of Rights, by Franklin Roosevelt

If we wonder what was the genesis of the modern nanny state, listen to this speech by Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It's part of his State of the Union Address from 1944. The purpose of the original Bill of Rights is to protect our freedoms from government. But to provide the things Roosevelt calls for -- food, clothing, a decent home, adequate medical care, and a good education -- requires an expansive government. These rights are called positive rights because they require action by the government, in contrast to the negative rights found in the Bill of Rights. Richard A. Epstein…
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Things have changed at Social Security Administration

Remember when your Social Security card stated that it was not to be used for identification purposes? You'd have to be of at least a certain age to remember this, according to SSA: "The first Social Security cards were issued starting in 1936, they did not have this legend. Beginning with the sixth design version of the card, issued starting in 1946, SSA added a legend to the bottom of the card reading "FOR SOCIAL SECURITY PURPOSES -- NOT FOR IDENTIFICATION." This legend was removed as part of the design changes for the 18th version of the card, issued beginning…
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The effect of government grants

Trackside is a column written occasionally by John D’Aloia Jr. He lives in St. Marys, Kansas. TRACKSIDE © by John D’Aloia Jr. February 5, 2012 AD How do you view government grants? Are they "free" money handed out by a caring and beneficent government? My view is that government grants are funded by a forced redistribution of the resources from many people for the benefit of a few. Such grants are a means by which the grantor achieves control over the grantee. Such grants are morally and politically unacceptable. "The Eighth Commandment does not say 'Thou shalt not steal ...…
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Pentagon strategy blamed for Boeing Wichita closure

The fact that price was the key determinant in the decision to award Boeing the air force refueling tanker contract led Boeing to close its underutilized, and therefore expensive, Wichita plant. This is the conclusion of Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D., who is chief operating officer of the Arlington, Va.-based nonprofit Lexington Institute and chief executive officer of Source Associates. His article Viewpoint: Why Boeing's Not in Kansas Anymore appears in Industry Week. Thompson writes: "The acquisition strategy that the Obama administration put together to finally break the impasse over purchase of a new tanker was what people in the defense…
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Perhaps an end to legislative time-wasting

Politico reports that the practice of issuing proclamations and similar matters during sessions of the U.S. House of Representatives may end. Says the story: "Republicans are moving to get rid of House votes on symbolic resolutions and are planning to post their internal conference rules online, two minor yet politically important changes to the party’s operating guidelines. ... The GOP next Wednesday is set to adopt a new set of Republican Conference rules that will place tight restrictions on who and what the House can honor, a bid to cut time they consider wasted on the floor." This would be…
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In Central-Northeast Wichita, government is cause of problem, not solution

From the November 2007 archives. Since then, the Wichita schools have a new superintendent, and Kansas has raised its minimum wage. An article in The Wichita Eagle “Plan offers hope for city's troubled heart” (November 14, 2007) reports on the development of a plan named New Communities Initiative, its goal being the revitalizing of a depressed neighborhood in Wichita. The saddest thing in this article is the realization that there is consideration of a plan for large-scale government intervention to solve problems that are, to a large extent, caused by government itself. The article laments low high school graduation rates…
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Plato to speak to Pachyderms

This Friday June 19, 2009, the Wichita Pachyderm Club turns back the clock of time real far to present the Greek philosopher Plato. A very talented local authority, who wishes to remain anonymous, will personify the essence of ancient wise man. His topic will be "Why I am not a democrat." Plato has said things like "Democracy ... is a charming form of government, full of variety and disorder; and dispensing a sort of equality to equals and unequals alike." Also "Dictatorship naturally arises out of democracy, and the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavery out of the most…
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I Tested My Politics

I came across a test designed to place you and your political thoughts on a map of political ideologies. The test I took is here. These tests can be fun, but in the case of this particular example, I wondered how some questions had any relevance to politics. In these tests I also find that some questions are leading and seem to be designed to get people to answer a certain way. On this test, here are the results reported for me: "You are a Social Liberal (76% permissive) and an Economic Conservative (93% permissive). You are best described as…
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I’m Glad I Won’t Be Reading This Book

At Reason Magazine, Jesse Walker contributes an excellent review of Thomas Frank's latest book The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule. I say it's an excellent review, but since I haven't read the subject book, I'm not really qualified to make that judgment independently. But having suffered through some of Frank's recent columns in the Wall Street Journal, I'm not exactly eager to spend money and time reading this book. This review gives me confidence that my decision is correct. Read the review at What's the Matter With Libertarians?
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Wichita Chamber of Commerce values

Here's a message that Bryan Derreberry, president of the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce, sent to Chamber members. Note that this message doesn't mention the role its political action committee played in the third Sedgwick County Commission district. In that race, the PAC spent some $19,000 of its $48,000 in an effort to elect Goddard mayor Marcey Gregory. Her opponent, longtime taxpayer advocate Karl Peterjohn, is just the type of candidate you'd expect chambers of commerce to support. But that's changed. Stephen Moore in the article "Tax Chambers" published in The Wall Street Journal on February 10, 2007 wrote this:…
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Government Workers Are America’s New Elite

Should a special license-plate program for California government workers allow them to drive without regard for traffic laws? Is it possible for a firefighter to earn more than $200,000 in a year? The Foundation for Economic Education reports on these and other matters in Government Workers Are America's New Elite.
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Liberals Favor Outsourcing

A press release announcing the new book by Peter Schweizer Makers and Takers contains this sentence: Schweizer argues that the failure lies in modern liberal ideas, which foster a self-centered, "if it feels, good do it" attitude that leads liberals to outsource their responsibilities to the government and focus instead on themselves and their own desires. What a great insight. Liberals outsourcing their responsibilities to government.
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Tax Chambers of Commerce, Right Here in Kansas

This week, Kansas Liberty has a very fine editorial titled The KC Chamber: Enemy of Life, Enemy of Business. Prominent is the mention of the work of my friend the Kansas Meadowlark in revealing the funding of the The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. See Greater Kansas City Chamber PAC, Awash With Cash, Forms New PACs to “Buy” Kansas Elections for the Meadowlark's original reporting. I won't reveal the entire content of the Kansas Liberty piece, as I urge you to read it in its entirety. But here's a sample: "Through its well-funded political action committees, the best funded…
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Voters Want Less Pork, Even in Their Own District

From Voters Want Less Pork, Even in Their Own District, July 24, 2008 Wall Street Journal: The Club for Growth recently conducted a nationwide poll on government spending, and the results were exactly the opposite of what most politicians have been saying for years. Voters are fed up with Washington's out-of-control spending. Politicians aren't representing the will of the people when they bring home the bacon. They are really representing the will of their special-interest cronies. And it's not just conservative voters who feel that way. Voters across the board have finally found something they can agree on even if…
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