Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Thursday March 10, 2011

Kansas labor report. For January 2011, the Kansas Department of Labor reports: “According to January 2011 estimates, Kansas businesses lost 6,100 jobs over-the-year, a 0.5 percent decrease. … The January 2011 unemployment rate in Kansas was 7.4 percent, up from 6.4 in December 2010 but down from 7.9 percent in January 2010.” Said Labor Secretary Karin Brownlee: “The Great Recession continues to take a tremendous toll on the Kansas economy. The Governor’s focus on creating jobs could not be more timely. The work by the Brownback administration to make Kansas the best place to do business is the focus needed to grow our economy. Improving the tax and regulatory climate will help take some of the sting out of this recession and get Kansans back to work.” … Interestingly, at a time when it is said government is slashing budgets, government employment at all levels in Kansas grow by about 300 jobs from January 2010 to January 2011. In Topeka, about 600 government jobs were gained over that time period, in Wichita 300 jobs, and in Kansas City, 400 jobs.

Whose money is it? Wisconsin protester: “Why do you have a right to your money?” See video.

Kansas 2011 budget. Kansas Reporter writes: “Kansas House and Senate negotiators reached a tentative school financing deal Wednesday that may unjam state budget talks that have been stalled for weeks. … In the agreement that began emerging Wednesday, the House negotiators broadly agreed to restore some of the originally proposed special education funding cuts, while Senate negotiators broadly agreed to cut general fund spending for workers’ longevity pay, capital improvement projects and some child care development and insurance plans. Between $12 million and $14 million for those programs would come from special funds outside the state’s basic general fund or would be self funded with internal budget reductions.”

Green jobs. John Stossel in Washington Examiner: “Anyone who understands basic economics already knows that President Obama’s $2.3 billion green-jobs initiative was snake oil. Now, thanks to Kenneth P. Green, we have statistics as well as theory to prove it. In a new article, ‘The Myth of Green Energy Jobs: The European Experience,’ the environmental scientist and a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute writes, ‘Green programs in Spain destroyed 2.2 jobs for every green job created, while the capital needed for one green job in Italy could create almost five jobs in the general economy.'” The article Stossel refers to may be read by clicking on The Myth of Green Energy Jobs: The European Experience. Despite this evidence, Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer promotes manufacturing of wind power machinery as good for Wichita’s economic development, and Kansas Governor Sam Brownback supports renewable energy standards for Kansas.

America, welfare nation. Investor’s Business Daily: “More than one-third of all wages and salaries in this country are actually government handouts. We should be alarmed that we’ve become a nation of dependents. Using data mined from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, TrimTabs Investment Research has found that 35% of wages and salaries this year will be in the form of a government payment. That’s up sharply from 2000, when it was 21%, which is more than double the rate — 10% — of 1960.” … We should note that 1960 was before the start of the Great Society programs of Lyndon Johnson and of the War on Poverty. 2000 was the year of the election of George W. Bush.

Politics vs. free markets. Rothbard on the difference between the political means and the economic means: “A second basic reason for the oligarchic rule of the State is its parasitic nature — the fact that it lives coercively off the production of the citizenry. To be successful to its practitioners, the fruits of parasitic exploitation must be confined to a relative minority, otherwise a meaningless plunder of all by all would result in no gains for anyone. Nowhere has the coercive and parasitic nature of the State been more clearly limned than by the great late nineteenth-century German sociologist, Franz Oppenheimer. Oppenheimer pointed out that there are two and only two mutually exclusive means for man to obtain wealth. One, the method of production and voluntary exchange, the method of the free market, Oppenheimer termed the ‘economic means’; the other, the method of robbery by the use of violence, he called the ‘political means.’ The political means is clearly parasitic, for it requires previous production for the exploiters to confiscate, and it subtracts from instead of adding to the total production in society. Oppenheimer then proceeded to define the State as the ‘organization of the political means’ — the systematization of the predatory process over a given territorial area.”

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