When the head of a chamber of commerce speaks or writes, it pays to listen or read carefully. While chambers are nominally pro-business, that’s a long way from saying they’re pro-liberty. Instead, they increasingly exist to serve a narrow interest. Using words and language like “pride,” “community,” “investment,” and “economic development” — all words that people can agree with, their flowery messages hide their real agenda.
If we are serious about advancing our community, then we have to invest in it and take pride in who we are. The Sedgwick County arena can boost excitement and economic development in Wichita, Sedgwick County and the region.
The arena initiative was a broad-based decision-making effort that offered everyone an opportunity to weigh in with a vote. Sedgwick County is now carrying out what the voters approved with an open and thoughtful process, allowing much input along the way.
There will always be those who resist change and look for ways to impede progress. But we have an obligation to take care of the community we live in today and make it better for those who come after us.
First, Mr. Derreberry is confused about the meaning of the word “investment.” In a recent article, Chris Brown tells us the true meaning of investment: “Investment signifies an accumulation of savings through lower present consumption, which will then be used to achieve (potential) profitable returns in the future.” None of this applies to the downtown Wichita arena. It was funded by transferring money from taxpayers to the government. Then, government has no ability to measure profitability, as it is not subject to the profit and loss system that private business must live by. Besides, how does government generate revenue? Through taxation, of course.
Then, the “broad-based decision-making effort” is certainly a misnomer. The arena passed with 52% of the vote. That’s hardly a mandate. Many people, seeing how the process has been handled since the election, have said they’d change their “yes” vote to “no.”
Finally, Mr. Derreberry slams those who say “no” to what he wants. That’s a mistake arising from the arrogance of those who believe that they know best how people should spend their money. By saying “no” to these government projects we are saying “yes” to entrepreneurship, limited government, and liberty. These goals, evidently, are not valued by Mr. Derreberry and his organization.