Economic freedom

Economic freedom means property rights are protected under an impartial rule of law, people are free to trade with others, both within and outside the country, there is a sound national currency, so that peoples’ money keeps its value, and government stays small, relative to the size of the economy.

Say no to special tax treatment, again

Say no to special tax treatment, again

In Kansas, a company seeks to avoid paying property taxes, again. In a bill presented in the Kansas Legislature, the owner of health clubs seeks to avoid paying property taxes. The same company and its owner have tried this before. In 2014, I explained how granting this exemption was a bad idea. What has changed since then? This exemption is still a bad idea for reasons of public policy. Additionally, Brandon Steven, the owner of the health clubs, plead guilty to a gambling charge and forfeited one million dollars in earnings. The companies also owe a lot of the tax…
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More Wichita planning on tap

More Wichita planning on tap

We should be wary of government planning in general. But when those who have been managing and planning the foundering Wichita-area economy want to step up their management of resources, we risk compounding our problems. As announced by the City of Wichita, "In response to recent recommendations from Project Wichita and the Century II Citizens Advisory Committee, community organizations and their leadership are stepping forward to take the next step to create a comprehensive master plan and vision that connects projects and both banks of the Arkansas River." The city says these organizations will be involved: Downtown Wichita Greater Wichita…
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WichitaLiberty.TV: Russ McCullough, Ottawa University and Gwartney Institute

WichitaLiberty.TV: Russ McCullough, Ottawa University and Gwartney Institute

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: Dr. Russ McCullough of Ottawa University introduces us to the Gwartney Institute and explains the importance of economic freedom. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Episode 194, broadcast April 28, 2018. Shownotes Website: Gwartney Institute Economic Freedom Basics Dr. Russ McCullough is the Wayne Angell Chair of Economics at Ottawa University in Kansas. He is also the Founder/Director of the Gwartney Institute for Freedom, Justice and Human Flourishing -- A think tank that explores the evidence of social institutions around the world including faith and economics. He joined OU in 2011 coming…
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WichitaLiberty.TV: Dr. Tom G. Palmer and the causes of wealth

WichitaLiberty.TV: Dr. Tom G. Palmer and the causes of wealth

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: Dr. Tom G. Palmer of Atlas Network joins Bob Weeks to explain why the usual approach to foreign aid isn’t working, and what Atlas Network is doing to change the lives of the poor across the world. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Episode 189, broadcast March 24, 2018. Shownotes Video from Atlas Network: Locally Grown Solutions to Poverty Alleviation Atlas Network Tom Palmer on Twitter Tom Palmer on Facebook Website: Tom G. Palmer | Libertarian Author, Thinker, and Scholar
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Rich States, Poor States, 2107 edition

Rich States, Poor States, 2107 edition

In Rich States, Poor States, Kansas improves its middle-of-the-pack performance, but continues with a mediocre forward-looking forecast. In the 2017 edition of Rich States, Poor States, Utah continues its streak at the top of Economic Outlook Ranking, meaning that the state is poised for growth and prosperity. Kansas continues with middle-of-the-pack performance rankings, and after falling sharply in the forward-looking forecast, continues at the same level. Rich States, Poor States is produced by American Legislative Exchange Council. The authors are economist Dr. Arthur B. Laffer, Stephen Moore, who is Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Project for Economic Growth at The Heritage Foundation,…
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Jeff Glendening of Americans for Prosperity

Jeff Glendening of Americans for Prosperity

Jeff Glendening is Kansas State Director for Americans for Prosperity. He spoke on the topic "It’s Time to Wake Up!" Recorded at the Wichita Pachyderm Club, March 24, 2017. Shownotes Americans for Prosperity Mentioned website: NoNewKansasTaxes.com AFP Kansas on Twitter Americans for Prosperity-Kansas on Facebook Video: Will You Be A Torchbearer? Video: Economic Freedom in 60 Seconds
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Sedgwick County economic freedom accountability index

Sedgwick County economic freedom accountability index

A new initiative to provide residents of Sedgwick County with more information about their elected county commissioners. Indexes of voting behavior are common at the national and state levels. These indexes let voters examine how elected representatives have actually voted, rather than having to rely on their rhetoric and campaign promises. Indexes also provide a useful institutional memory. Based on my experience on producing the Kansas Economic Freedom Index for several years -- a service now provided by Kansas Policy Institute -- Sedgwick County will have such an index. It's a timely launch, as this week Sedgwick County commissioners will…
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Year in Review: 2016

Year in Review: 2016

Here are highlights from Voice for Liberty for 2016. Was it a good year for the principles of individual liberty, limited government, economic freedom, and free markets in Wichita and Kansas? Also be sure to view the programs on WichitaLiberty.TV for guests like journalist, novelist, and blogger Bud Norman; Radio talk show host Joseph Ashby; David Bobb, President of Bill of Rights Institute; Heritage Foundation trade expert Bryan Riley; Radio talk show host Andy Hooser; Keen Umbehr; John Chisholm on entrepreneurship; James Rosebush, author of "True Reagan," Jonathan Williams of American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC); Gidget Southway, or Danedri Herbert;…
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Tim Norton: Saving farms from people and their preferences

Tim Norton: Saving farms from people and their preferences

In the campaign for Sedgwick County Commission, the incumbent Tim Norton touts his experience, judgment, "intellectual stamina, thirst for data and feedback," and his efforts in economic development. Following, from January 2013, an example of how uninformed he is. You also see his preference for government regulation over economic and personal freedom. Tim Norton: Saving farms from people and their preferences Last week at a meeting of the Sedgwick County Commission, Commissioner Tim Norton spoke in favor of the need for comprehensive government planning. In support, he cited the commonly-held belief that humans -- especially with their desire for large…
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A look at a David Dennis campaign finance report

A look at a David Dennis campaign finance report

It's interesting to look at campaign finance reports. Following, a few highlights on a report from the David Dennis campaign. He's a candidate for Sedgwick County Commission in the August Republican Party primary election. The report was filed July 25, 2016, covering the period from January 1, 2016 through July 21, 2016. These reports are available online at the Sedgwick County Election Office website. Keith Stevens, $200 A longtime Democrat community activist, always on the side of higher taxes and more government spending. Suzanne F. Ahlstrand, $250 Gary & Cathy Schmitt, $100 Jon E. Rosell, $100 Charlie Chandler, Maria Chandler,…
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Kansas Center for Economic Growth

Kansas Center for Economic Growth

Kansas Center for Economic Growth, often cited as an authority by Kansas news media and politicians, is not the independent and unbiased source it claims to be. When supporters of more government spending and taxation in Kansas want to bolster their case, they often turn to Kansas Center for Economic Growth (KCEG). Portraying itself as a "nonprofit, nonpartisan organization," KCEG says its mission is "to advance responsible policies by informing public discussion through credible, fact-based materials." It says it conducts research and analysis to "promote balanced state policies." [1. Kansas Center for Economic Growth. About Us. Available at realprosperityks.com/about-us/.] As…
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Rich States, Poor States, 2106 edition

Rich States, Poor States, 2106 edition

In Rich States, Poor States, Kansas continues with middle-of-the-pack performance, and fell sharply in the forward-looking forecast. In the 2016 edition of Rich States, Poor States, Utah continues its streak at the top of Economic Outlook Ranking, meaning that the state is poised for growth and prosperity. Kansas continues with middle-of-the-pack performance rankings, and fell sharply in the forward-looking forecast. Rich States, Poor States is produced by American Legislative Exchange Council. The authors are economist Dr. Arthur B. Laffer, Stephen Moore, who is Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Project for Economic Growth at The Heritage Foundation, and Jonathan Williams, who is vice…
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Wichita on verge of new regulatory regime

Wichita on verge of new regulatory regime

The Wichita City Council is likely to create a new regulatory regime for massage businesses in response to a problem that is already addressed by strict laws. During a presentation to the Wichita City Council on February 23, 2016, police officials reported on a number of investigations and arrests. In 2015, there were 22 arrests for human trafficking and other violations. The presentation did not include what comprised "other violations," nor did it contain any information about the disposition of these cases. If the city is concerned about prostitution and child trafficking, the latter being a serious crime, we already…
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Wichita to impose burdensome occupational requirements

Wichita to impose burdensome occupational requirements

The proposed massage therapist regulations in Wichita are likely to be ineffective, but will limit economic opportunity and harm consumers. The Wichita City Council is concerned about human trafficking for the purposes of prostitution. That's good. But the response the council is considering -- which is licensing massage therapists -- is not needed. We have strict laws already on the books that make human trafficking a serious criminal offense, which it is. The proposed Wichita regulations will simply make it more difficult for honest people to become massage therapists. Criminals will operate illegally. They are criminals, after all. Or, they…
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WichitaLiberty.TV: Heritage Foundation’s Bryan Riley on free trade

WichitaLiberty.TV: Heritage Foundation’s Bryan Riley on free trade

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: Foreign trade is an important issue in this year’s presidential campaign. Heritage Foundation economist and Senior Policy Analyst Bryan Riley explains concepts that voters can use in making an informed decision. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Episode 111, broadcast February 28, 2016. Shownotes Heritage Foundation website Heritage Foundation on Facebook Heritage Foundation on Twitter: @heritage Bryan Riley at Heritage Heritage Center for Trade and Economics (CTE) 2016 Index of Economic Freedom: Yet More Evidence of Free Trade’s Benefits Freedom to Trade: A Guide for Policymakers
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Massage business regulations likely to be ineffective, but will be onerous

Massage business regulations likely to be ineffective, but will be onerous

The Wichita City Council is likely to create a new regulatory regime for massage businesses in response to a problem that is already addressed by strict laws. During a presentation to the Wichita City Council on February 23, 2016, police officials reported on a number of investigations and arrests. In 2015, there were 22 arrests for human trafficking and other violations. The presentation did not include what comprised "other violations," nor did it contain any information about the disposition of these cases. If the city is concerned about prostitution and child trafficking, the latter being a serious crime, we already…
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Wichita Chamber calls for more cronyism

Wichita Chamber calls for more cronyism

By advocating for revival of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce continues its advocacy for more business welfare, more taxes, more wasteful government spending, and more cronyism. That may be surprising to read. Most people probably think that local chambers of commerce -- since their membership is mostly business firms -- support pro-growth policies that embrace limited government and free markets. But that’s usually not the case. It’s certainly is not the case in Wichita, where the Chamber supports higher taxes,[1. Weeks, B. (2015). Wichita Chamber speaks on county spending and taxes. Voice…
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Entrepreneurship in Wichita

As Wichita seeks to reboot its spirit of entrepreneurship, we should make sure we do things that have a chance of working. The Kauffman Foundation has conducted research. One paper is Guidelines for Local and State Governments to Promote Entrepreneurship. In its introduction, it holds this: In this paper, we begin with a critical overview of two of the most commonly used strategies to promote entrepreneurship: creating public venture funds and business incubators. We then explain that these strategies often neglect an essential principle: connectivity and learning by entrepreneurs. Next, we describe ways in which public venture funds and incubators…
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