Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Friday September 9, 2011


A citizen call to action. This month’s meeting of Americans for Prosperity, Kansas focuses on the Douglas Place project in downtown Wichita. Event organizers write: “On September 13, 2011 the Wichita City Council will be holding a public hearing to consider approval of millions of dollars of public incentives being offered to the downtown Douglas Place project developers. Monday’s meeting will have these topics: Learn about the incentive programs being offered. … Learn and consider getting involved in this issue as a citizen. … Consider testifying before the City Council. … Attend the council meeting to show your support for other speakers. … Please attend and participate in a group discussion to share ideas on how you can make a positive difference in local city government. … Presenters include Bob Weeks, Susan Estes, and John Todd.” This free event is Monday September 12th from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm at the Lionel D. Alford Library located at 3447 S. Meridian in Wichita. The library is just north of the I-235 exit on Meridian. The event’s sponsor is Americans for Prosperity, Kansas. For more information on this event contact John Todd at john@johntodd.net or 316-312-7335, or Susan Estes, AFP Field Director at sestes@afphq.org or 316-681-4415.

Troubles with Kansas City tax increment financing. I think the problems in Kansas City are larger than what we have in Wichita. But then, Wichita hasn’t relied on TIF as much as Kansas City has. But plans for the revitalization of downtown Wichita call for its expanded use. We need to be cautious, as Jon N. Hall explains in Creative Destruction in Kansas City?

Effects of stimulus on hiring. A new paper from the Mercatus Center sheds light on the effects of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, also known as ARRA, also known as the stimulus bill, and one of the first legislative initiatives by President Obama. “In an effort to boost hiring and job creation and to invest in a variety of domestic infrastructure programs, Congress passed and the president signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), commonly known as the economic stimulus package, in 2009. ARRA represented one of the largest peacetime fiscal stimulus packages in American history. But little is known about the ways in which organizations and workers responded to the incentives created by the bill.” Among the report’s findings: “Hiring isn’t the same as net job creation. In our survey, just 42.1 percent of the workers hired at ARRA-receiving organizations after January 31, 2009, were unemployed at the time they were hired (Appendix C). More were hired directly from other organizations (47.3 percent of post-ARRA workers), while a handful came from school (6.5%) or from outside the labor force (4.1%)(Figure 2). Thus, there was an almost even split between “job creating” and “job switching.” This suggests just how hard it is for Keynesian job creation to work in a modern, expertise-based economy: even in a weak economy, organizations hired the employed about as often as the unemployed.” See Did Stimulus Dollars Hire the Unemployed? for the full report.

Kansas education summit. On Thursday September 15th, Kansas Policy Institute is holding a summit on education in Kansas. In its announcement, KPI writes: “Kansas can expand educational opportunities for students in need — even in our current economic climate. Join a “Who’s Who” of the nation’s education reformers in a discussion on how Kansas can give every student an effective education. … Invited participants include Gov. Sam Brownback, the Kansas Department of Education, Kansas National Education Association, Kansas Association of School Boards, state legislators, and other public education stakeholders.” … KPI notes that we increased total aid to Kansas public schools by $1.2 billion between 2005 and 2011, that 25 percent of Kansas students are unable to read at grade level. The event will be held at the Holiday Inn & Suites, Overland Park West. The cost is $35, which includes breakfast and lunch for the all-day event. … RSVPs are requested. For more information, click on Kansas Policy Institute Education Summit.

Why should conservatives like libertarian ideas? From LearnLiberty.org, a project of Institute for Humane Studies: “Are you a conservative? If so, Dr. Stephen Davies provides a few compelling reasons to consider libertarianism. For instance, conservatives tend to prefer institutions that have been tried and trusted, and want to maintain and uphold a traditionally established way of life. They also typically believe in an established or correct moral code. However, it does not logically follow that government should enforce all of these things. In fact, government enforcement of morals and traditions is often detrimental to both.”


3 responses to “Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Friday September 9, 2011”

  1. Nash


    I know you mainly focus on economic issues, but I do have a question for you on a social issue. The 2011 Legislature passed legislation imposing new government regulations on abortion clinics. Do you agree with these specific regulations? I’m not asking your opinion on abortion, I just want to know if you agree with the Kansas Legislature’s big government regulations on abortion clinics.

    I do find it strange that conservatives claim they want less government, but “less government” only applies to certain circumstances. If it comes to an issue, like abortion, then conservatives in the Kansas Legislature have no problems imposing new government regulations.

  2. Anonymous


    HOW DARE YOU QUESTION BOB! Conservatives are never hypocritical.

  3. Actually, the question of regulation of the abortion clinics is — or should be — an economic issue. The clinics’ insurers have a huge economic incentive to see that the care the clinics deliver is delivered safely. If it turns out that having janitor’s closets of a certain size or characteristic, to pick an example, is necessary to provide good medical care, we would expect that first, doctors would provide these, and second, the insurers would require it. Otherwise, the clinics would not be able to obtain insurance, or the insurance would be expensive.

    The market also provides guidance to good behavior in other ways. If it is known, as I think it was revealed in the past, that a certain clinic is filthy, I think that most people will look somewhere else to get an abortion or any medical procedure. This also provides an incentive for good and safe medical practice.

    I don’t think that many conservatives would agree with what I’ve written. Their distrust of markets and preference for government, not only in the realm of social behavior but economic behavior, is one reason why I am not a conservative.

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