Free markets

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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Export-Import Bank threatens a revival

Last week members of the United States House of Representatives successfully executed a maneuver that will force a vote on the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank of the United States. The method used, a discharge petition, was signed by well over a majority of House members, including perhaps 42 Republicans. If the petition signers vote the same way, the bill to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank will pass the House. It will then move to the Senate for consideration. No members of the House of Representatives from Kansas signed the discharge petition. In July a vote on an amendment in favor…
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Does Kansas have its own Solyndra?

Does Kansas have its own version of Solyndra, the politically-connected firm that failed and cost taxpayers some $535 million? We don't know. But the Abengoa cellulosic ethanol plant near Hugoton received a $132.4 million loan guarantee under the same program that benefited Solyndra. In January I requested documents regarding the Abengoa loan guarantee and risk assessment from the United States Department of Energy. I had several conversations and emails with a records clerk. We came to agreement as to what I would receive, or at least what I am requesting to receive. But I’ve received nothing so far. I don’t…
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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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Kansas senators vote to advance Ex-Im Bank

In a procedural motion, Kansas Senators Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran voted to advance the revival of the Export-Import Bank. The vote was a procedural motion on an amendment to allow a floor vote (invoking cloture). The amendment passed by a vote of 67 to 26. Among Republicans the vote was 24 to 26 against the measure. All Democrats voted in favor. The Export-Import Bank failed to be reauthorized by a June 30 deadline. It has not been making new loans since. The current legislation that passed the senate would reauthorize the bank. Free market groups have long opposed the…
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