Economic freedom

Cronyism is harmful to our standard of living

"The effects on government are equally distorting -- and corrupting. Instead of protecting our liberty and property, government officials are determining where to send resources based on the political influence of their cronies. In the process, government gains even more power and the ranks of bureaucrats continue to swell." An editorial in Wall Street Journal last year written by Charles G. Koch, chairman of the board and CEO of Wichita-based Koch Industries contains many powerful arguments against the rise of cronyism. The argument above is just one of many. Did you know that the Washington metropolitan area is one of…
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Economic freedom ads debut in Wichita

This week the Wichita Eagle reports that Charles Koch, chairman of the board and CEO of Wichita-based Koch Industries, is starting a local campaign to educate people on the benefits of economic freedom and the harm of government overreach. (Charles Koch launching Wichita campaign about economic freedom, government overreach, July 9, 2013) So far one video advertisement is available, shown at the end of this article. In announcing this effort, a statement at the Charles Koch Foundation reads: “We believe the best way to promote progress and societal well-being is through free societies,” said CKF founder Charles G. Koch. “The…
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Kansas freedom scorecard released

To help Kansans understand how legislators vote, Kansas Policy Institute has produced the Kansas Freedom Index for 2013. Legislative scorecards like this are important as they let citizens know how legislators have actually voted, which is sometimes different from their campaign rhetoric, and even different from their current proclamations. Generally, scorecards include a large sampling of votes, so that no single issue paints a member into a corner. [powerpress url="http://wichitaliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/james-franko-kansas-policy-institute-joseph-ashby-show-2013-05-17-excerpt.mp3"]James Franko of Kansas Policy Institute joins Bob Weeks on the Joseph Ashby Show to discuss the Kansas Freedom Index. Then, Bob runs down the scores for Wichita-area legislators. The Kansas…
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Bankrupting America: There’s an app for that

If you spot government waste and you have an iPhone, you can make a difference. There's now an app for that. Bankrupting America is, according to its website, "an educational project that explores the policies hindering economic opportunity and growth in America. The project focuses on the causes of the country’s current economic downturn and the future implications of careless policy-making." It's produced many informative videos and infographics, many which I've shared here or on Quick Takes. Now, Bankrupting America has a free app for your iPhone. Besides providing a convenient way to read Bankrupting America's content and view videos,…
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Downtown Wichita issues not appreciated

Once again, the Wichita Eagle editorial board misses the point regarding downtown Wichita development. There may be some that are opposed to downtown simply because it's downtown, or for other silly reasons. That seems to be the focus of Rhonda Holman's editorial today. But speaking from a perspective of economic freedom and individual liberty, it's government interventionism in downtown that I object to. This is what harms Wichita, not the fact that people are living and working downtown or anywhere else, for that matter. The political cronyism involved in many projects in downtown Wichita is what harms our city. When…
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Economic development in Wichita, the next step

Critics of the economic development policies in use by the City of Wichita are often portrayed as not being able to see and appreciate the good things these policies are producing, even though they are unfolding right before our very eyes. The difference is that some look beyond the immediate -- what is seen -- and ask "And then what will happen?" -- looking for the unseen. Thomas Sowell explains the problem in a passage from the first chapter of Applied economics: thinking beyond stage one: When we are talking about applied economic policies, we are no longer talking about…
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Economic development incentives questioned

When the New York Times is concerned about the cost of government spending programs, it's a safe bet that things are really out of control. Its recent feature As Companies Seek Tax Deals, Governments Pay High Price reports on economic development incentive programs that are costly and produce questionable benefits. Do we know the cost of economic development incentives? No, reports the Times: "A full accounting, The Times discovered, is not possible because the incentives are granted by thousands of government agencies and officials, and many do not know the value of all their awards. Nor do they know if…
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Refuting the attacks on Koch

From KochFactsTV: What do big government politicians mean when they say, "Koch?" Nancy Pfotenhauer of Koch Industries explains that when big government politicians say "Koch," they're not talking about the successful American company that employs more than 50,000 people nationwide. They're really attacking the principles of economic freedom that Koch has advocated for more than 50 years regardless of what political party holds power. Economic freedom means property rights protected by an impartial rule of law, the freedom to trade and exchange goods and services, sound money, and a government that promotes prosperity rather than undermine it. Economic freedom also…
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Economic freedom, quickly explained

Why is economic freedom so important, and important to everyone? The following video explains in just one minute. Unfortunately, people in the United States have less economic freedom than before. For more about economic freedom and its important, I recommend The importance of economic freedom and Advancing economic freedom.
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Kerr’s attacks on Pompeo’s energy policies fall short

We often see criticism of politicians for sensing "which way the wind blows," that is, shifting their policies to pander to the prevailing interests of important special interest groups. The associated negative connotation is that politicians do this without regard to whether these policies are wise and beneficial for everyone. So when a Member of Congress takes a position that is literally going against the wind in the home district and state, we ought to take notice. Someone has some strong convictions. This is the case with U.S. Representative Mike Pompeo, a Republican representing the Kansas fourth district (Wichita metropolitan…
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