Wichita swoons over Boston attention. The self-congratulatory back-patting by a group of Wichitans over attention paid by a Boston Globe travel writer is starting to be embarrassing for us. The Wichita Eagle article on this topic mentions chicken-fried steak and biscuits and gravy in its opening sentence, a sure sign that the article will attempt to draw a contrast between our image and our purported reality. Which is, if I understand, mostly street statues, the Old Mill Tasty Shop, and Exploration Place. … As it turns out, Geoff Edgers, the writer, has a financial motive in his praise of Wichita. On his initial visit: “Festival directors put up Edgers, his wife and two small children at the Hotel at Old Town.” Now Wichitans are raising money to help the writer, who is also a filmmaker, get his movie on television, and “the Wichita groups offered to raise money to help Edgers’ get his film shortened and syndicated for public broadcasting. … If he raises $2,500 while in Wichita next month, Edgers intends to include a ‘thank-you’ to Wichita in the credits of his syndicated film.”
Harm of expanding government explained. Introducing his new book Back on the Road to Serfdom: The Resurgence of Statism, Thomas E. Woods, Jr. writes: “The economic consequences of an expanded government presence in American life are of course not the only outcomes to be feared, and this volume considers a variety of them. For one thing, as the state expands, it fosters the most antisocial aspects of man’s nature, particularly his urge to attain his goals with the least possible exertion. And it is much easier to acquire wealth by means of forcible redistribution by the state than by exerting oneself in the service of one’s fellow man. The character of the people thus begins to change; they expect as a matter of entitlement what they once hesitated to ask for as charity. That is the fallacy in the usual statement that ‘it would cost only $X billion to give every American who needs it’ this or that benefit. Once people realize the government is giving out a benefit for ‘free,’ more and more people will place themselves in the condition that entitles them to the benefit, thereby making the program ever more expensive. A smaller and smaller productive base will have to strain to provide for an ever-larger supply of recipients, until the system begins to buckle and collapse.” … Phrases like “smaller and smaller productive base” apply in Wichita, where our economic development policies like tax increment financing, community improvement districts, and tax abatement through industrial revenue bonds excuse groups of taxpayers from their burdens, leaving a smaller group of people to pay the costs of government.