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Articles of Interest

Kansas Senate scraps higher fines for speeders along perilous roads (Jeanine Koranda, Wichita Eagle). In a defeat for Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer, the Kansas senate decides to skip his plan for higher traffic fines along Wichita’s main east-west highway. Perhaps he’ll do better with entertainment zones.

Upside-Down Economics (Michael Kinsley, Washington Post). In this column, Kinlsey firmly buys the entire Keynesian package deal, including this: “By now we all know about the ‘paradox of thrift.'” (Sorry, Mr. Kinsley, I’ll decide for myself if it applies.) And he really buys it big: “And can we rely on the government to spend enough? … The answer is, apparently not. We’re going to need a second stimulus package, probably a third chapter of the bank bailout, more for the auto industry and others. It’s all going to cost at least two or three trillion. If it works, it will be money well spent. If it doesn’t work, that means we should have spent more.” Then, he raises the idea of how to pay for the stimulus: “But even if the stimulus is a magnificent success, the money still has to be paid back. The plan of record apparently is that we keep borrowing, spending and stimulating, faster and faster, until suddenly, on some signal from heaven or Timothy Geithner, we all stop spending and start saving in record-breaking amounts. Oh sure, that will work.” Then he raises the specter of inflation. And why does he find it necessary to refer to Suze Orman as the “blonde” financial adviser?

Our Greatest National Shame (Nicholas D. Kristof, New York Times) The Times’ Kristof has now decided that our education system has replaced health care as our greatest national shame. “But we do know that the existing national school system is broken, and that we’re not trying hard enough to fix it.” He recognizes that teachers are the most important factor, but our methods of determining who are the good teachers doesn’t work. He calls for a package which includes extra pay for teachers who teach in “bad” schools, something that has been rejected in Wichita.

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