Environment

The real free lunch: Markets and private property

The real free lunch: Markets and private property

As we approach another birthday of Milton Friedman, here's his article where he clears up the authorship of a famous aphorism, and explains how to really get a free lunch. Based on remarks at the banquet celebrating the opening of the Cato Institute’s new building, Washington, May 1993. I am delighted to be here on the occasion of the opening of the Cato headquarters. It is a beautiful building and a real tribute to the intellectual influence of Ed Crane and his associates. I have sometimes been associated with the aphorism “There’s no such thing as a free lunch,” which…
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Who decides? When it comes to planning, is it the people, the politicians, or the bureaucrats?

By Karl Peterjohn, Sedgwick County Commission The Wichita Eagle editorial page is unhappy with the county commission’s decision to terminate the county’s participation in the federal government’s “sustainability planning grant.” When this controversial grant was first voted upon by the county in 2010, it was rejected by a vote of three to two. This also led the county to withdraw from the Regional Economic Area Partnership (REAP). In 2011, a new county commission reversed this decision and decided to participate in this joint federal grant from three often controversial national agencies: Housing and Urban Development, Environmental Protection Agency, and Department…
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Wichita geologist sees problems with city water plan

Wichita geologist sees problems with city water plan

The following was written by local geologist Karma Mason, who also serves on the State Water Board. What are the implications of moving forward with a rushed, poor plan? Mason explains what Wichita voters should consider as they vote in the proposed one cent per dollar sales tax. $250 million of the projected $400 million five-year sales tax is earmarked for a new water supply. Over the past year, the city of Wichita has evaluated potential new water supply options. Recently, the city revealed enhancement of the aquifer storage and recovery project (ASR) as the preferred new supply. Although ASR…
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Voice for Liberty Radio: Hydraulic fracturing: A conjured-up controversy?

Voice for Liberty Radio: Hydraulic fracturing: A conjured-up controversy?

In this episode of Voice for Liberty Radio: Dwight D. Keen is former chairman of the Kansas Independent Oil and Gas Association. He spoke to the Wichita Pachyderm Club on the topic "Hydraulic Fracturing: A Conjured-up Controversy" on August 8, 2014. In the shownotes for this episode you can find the link to the short video that was shown as part of his talk. Also, you will find links to the handouts he distributed. Here's Dwight Keen at the Wichita Pachyderm Club on August 8, 2014. Shownotes Link to video shown during the presentation: Hydraulic Fracturing Handout: A fluid situation:…
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For Rep. Tiahrt, Cash for Clunkers was a good spending program

For Rep. Tiahrt, Cash for Clunkers was a good spending program

When the Obama Administration needed additional funds for the Cash for Clunkers program, Todd Tiahrt was agreeable to funding this wasteful program. As summarized by the Congressional Research Service: "Makes emergency supplemental appropriations of $2 billion for FY2009 and FY2010 to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the Department of Transportation (DOT) for the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Program (Cash for Clunkers Program)." This bill passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 316 to 109. Among House Republicans, the vote was 78 to 95 in favor of passage. Todd Tiahrt was one of the…
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Wichita’s vampires and monsters

In this excerpt from WichitaLiberty.TV: The City of Wichita urges citizens to take steps to stop "vampire" power waste. But before hectoring people to introduce inconvenience to their lives in order to save small amounts of electricity, the city should tackle the real monsters of its own creation. Originally broadcast June 29, 2014. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. For more on this issue, see "Forget the vampires. Let’s tackle the real monsters."
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Examining Wichita’s water future

Examining Wichita’s water future

From Kansas Policy Institute. A proposal before the Wichita City Council would raise the sales tax in the city by 1% to fund several projects. The biggest piece of the proposal would be to fund additional water capacity for users of the city water system. On Thursday 17 July, come hear from the City of Wichita and others on the scope of the problems, possible solutions, and the perspectives of several experts in the debate. Click here to register for this event. Date: Thursday 17 July When: 7:30 a.m. registration and 8:00 a.m. start to presentations Where: Wichita State University…
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Forget the vampires. Let’s tackle the real monsters.

Forget the vampires. Let’s tackle the real monsters.

Public service announcements on Facebook and Wichita City Channel 7 urge Wichitans to take steps to stop "vampire" power waste. But before hectoring people to introduce inconvenience to their lives in order to save small amounts of electricity, the city should tackle the real monsters of its own creation. People are probably vaguely aware that many modern electrical and electronic devices consume electricity even when switched off. One source estimates that a cell phone charger consumes 0.26 watts of electrical power even when a phone is not plugged in. While in sleep mode, a flat panel computer display consumes 1.39…
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Misguided faith

A big "thank you" to Mike Smith for his rebuttal to an op-ed printed in today's Wichita Eagle. In the commentary, which was signed by more than 60 members of the clergy from across the state, the writer states: "As people of faith, we believe it is our moral responsibility to care for all that has been entrusted to us." I think the moral responsibility of people of faith is to refrain from telling lies. And while we're at it, people of faith should stop using the coercive power of government to force others to conform to their prescriptions for…
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Renewables portfolio standard bad for Kansas economy, people

Renewables portfolio standard bad for Kansas economy, people

A law that forces Kansans to buy expensive electricity is not good for the state and its people. A report submitted to the Kansas House Standing Committee on Energy and Environment in 2013 claims the Kansas economy benefits from the state's Renewables Portfolio Standard, but an economist presented testimony rebutting the key points in the report. RPS is a law that requires the state's electricity utilities to generate or purchase a certain portion of their electricity from renewable sources, which in Kansas is almost all wind. An argument in favor of wind energy requirementy from the Polsinelli Shugart law firm…
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Cronyism is welfare for rich and powerful, writes Charles G. Koch

Cronyism is welfare for rich and powerful, writes Charles G. Koch

"The central belief and fatal conceit of the current administration is that you are incapable of running your own life, but those in power are capable of running it for you. This is the essence of big government and collectivism." That's Charles G. Koch writing in the Wall Street Journal. The article is Charles Koch: I'm Fighting to Restore a Free Society, and is available to read without subscription or payment. In the article, Koch explains his involvement in public affairs: Far from trying to rig the system, I have spent decades opposing cronyism and all political favors, including mandates,…
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WichitaLiberty.TV: For whose benefit are elections, school employment, wind power, unions, unemployment

WichitaLiberty.TV: For whose benefit are elections, school employment, wind power, unions, unemployment

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: The controversy over the timing of city and school board elections provides an insight into government. Then: Can a candidate for governor’s claims about Kansas school employment be believed? Wind power is expensive electricity, very expensive. A Wichita auto dealer pushes back against union protests. Finally, what is the real rate of unemployment in America? Episode 36, broadcast March 23, 2014. View below, or click here to view at YouTube.
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Why would the Washington Post do this?

John Hinderaker of Powerline reports on "sheer misinformation" found in a Washington Post newspaper story concerning Koch Industries, Canadian oil sands, and the Keystone pipeline. The article, The biggest lease holder in Canada’s oil sands isn’t Exxon Mobil or Chevron. It’s the Koch brothers, is authored by Steven Mufson and Juliet Eilperin. Hinderaker concludes: Why would the Washington Post embarrass itself by republishing a thoroughly discredited attempt to link the Koch brothers to the Keystone Pipeline? Because that is a Democratic Party talking point, and the Post is a Democratic Party newspaper. But the truth is a little worse than…
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Are you worried about global warming?

Are you worried about global warming?

To the extent that global temperatures are rising, and the extent that mankind is the cause, we should be concerned about global warming. Climate change I meant to say, please excuse me. It's no wonder that the term global warming has been replaced by climate change. As the following two charts show, the models that are in common use by climate scientists have predicted rising temperatures, but actual observations of temperatures have not conformed to predictions. Temperatures have been level in recent years. Here's a simplified chart of the temperatures predicted by climate scientists compared to actual temperatures. A more…
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Wichita planning documents hold sobering numbers

Wichita planning documents hold sobering numbers

This week the City of Wichita held a workshop where the Community Investments Plan Steering Committee delivered a progress report to the city council. The documents hold information that ought to make Wichitans think, and think hard. The amounts of money involved are large, and portions represent deferred maintenance. That is, the city has not been taking care of the assets that taxpayers have paid for. The time frame of this planning process is the period 2013 to 2035. Under the heading "Trends & Challenges" we find some troubling information. Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer hinted at the problem last year…
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American economy is more competitive and carbon-efficient, says economist

American economy is more competitive and carbon-efficient, says economist

The oil and gas boom in America boosts our competitiveness in the world economy while at the same time reducing carbon emissions, says economist Stephen Moore. Moore recently left the Wall Street Journal to accept a position at Heritage Foundation as chief economist. He presented to an audience at a conference titled "The Tax & Regulatory Impact on Industry, Jobs & The Economy, and Consumers" produced by the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity. A large portion of his presentation was on energy and its important role in the economy, and how radical environmentalists -- the "green" movement --…
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Economic freedom, the key to improving lives

Economic freedom, the key to improving lives

Economic freedom, in countries where it is allowed to thrive, leads to better lives for people as measured in a variety of ways. This is true for everyone, especially for poor people. This is the message presented in a short video based on the work of the Economic Freedom of the World report, which is a project of Canada's Fraser Institute. Four years ago Robert Lawson, one of the authors of the Economic Freedom of the World report, lectured in Wichita on this topic. The current video is made possible by the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation. One of the…
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Economic freedom improves our lives

Economic freedom, in countries where it is allowed to thrive, leads to better lives for people as measured in a variety of ways. This is true for everyone, especially for poor people. This is the message presented in a short video based on the work of the Economic Freedom of the World report, which is a project of Canada's Fraser Institute. Two years ago Robert Lawson, one of the authors of the Economic Freedom of the World report, lectured in Wichita on this topic. The current video is made possible by the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation. One of the…
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The real free lunch: Markets and private property

As we approach another birthday of Milton Friedman, here's his article where he clears up the authorship of a famous aphorism, and explains how to really get a free lunch. Based on remarks at the banquet celebrating the opening of the Cato Institute’s new building, Washington, May 1993. I am delighted to be here on the occasion of the opening of the Cato headquarters. It is a beautiful building and a real tribute to the intellectual influence of Ed Crane and his associates. I have sometimes been associated with the aphorism “There’s no such thing as a free lunch,” which…
Read More