Articles of Interest


Wichita airport, golf, Sweden’s economy, federal government hiring needs, depression.

Drop in fliers could alter terminal plan

The Wichita Eagle reports that a drop in passengers might cause the airport to alter its plans. “The trouble locally is that Wichita was counting on increased traffic to finance a planned new terminal building to replace its 1950s-vintage facility.” I’ve been in favor of keeping costs at the airport as low as possible, which means making a small renovation rather than a wholesale replacement. See Wichita’s new airport terminal: Has its time passed? and Consider carefully costs of a new Wichita airport terminal: “As Wichita considers building a new terminal at its airport, we should pause to consider the effect an expensive new terminal would have on the cost of traveling to and from Wichita, and by extension, the economic health and vitality of our town. … Airlines are starting to become alarmed at the high costs some airports charge airlines for using their facilities.”

Wichita City Council approves $1 golf fee increase

The Wichita Eagle reports an increase in golf fees at city-owned courses. Editorialist Rhoda Holman wrote: “To their credit, the six Wichita City Council members who voted Tuesday to raise golf course fees clearly hated to do it.” What, does hating to do something mitigate its effect or make it heroic in some way? If the city really wants to improve the golfing experience for Wichitans, it should immediately sell all the courses it owns.

The Swedish Model

There are those in America who praise Sweden as an example of a country with a huge government and prosperity at the same time. In The Swedish Model, the Cato Institute’s Richard W. Rahn looks at the history of Sweden over the last century and concludes this: “Those who wish to chase the Swedish model need first to decide which model they seek: The high-growth, pre-1960 model; the low-growth model of the 1970s and 1980s; or the reformist, welfare-state model of recent years. The irony is that the current Democratic Congress and administration are rapidly emulating the parts of the Swedish model that proved disastrous and rejecting those parts that are proving to be successful.”

Federal Government Needs Massive Hiring Binge, Study Finds

A Washington Post story finds that “The federal government needs to hire more than 270,000 workers for ‘mission-critical’ jobs over the next three years, a surge prompted in part by the large number of baby-boomer federal workers reaching retirement age, according to the results of a government-wide survey being released Thursday.” All told, the study found that the federal government needs to hire 600,000 workers over the next four years, which would increase the workforce by one-third.

The Real Town Hall Story

E.J. Dionne Jr. writes in the Washington Post that the impression that television viewers may form of the last month’s town hall meetings may be false: “Much as the far left of the antiwar movement commanded wide coverage during the Vietnam years, so now are extremists on the right hogging the media stage — with the media’s complicity.”

What Happened to the ‘Depression’?

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, economist Allan H. Meltzer makes the case that the recession is probably over, or will be soon: “Most economists now believe that the recession is expected to end before much of the government spending takes hold.” The spending referred to is the stimulus bill passed earlier this year. So what should we do? “The proper response now is to repeal what remains of the misguided stimulus and avoid the cap-and-trade program.”


6 responses to “Articles of Interest”

  1. It’s much better to stop and put a project on hold than to sink a tremendous amount of money into an unnecessary project. Right now the Wichita Mid-Continent Airport is easily accessible and must be relatively low cost to maintain and operate. Let’s wait until our economy revives a bit. Rather we should find ways of lowering taxes for Wichitans who need to invest to open new businesses, pay for school to “re-tool,” and continue to pay for services while their revenues temporarily sag.

  2. Cybex

    Former Mayor Carlos Mayans voted NO on the airport terminal project and warned the Council and the taxpayers that the $250 million budget for the Airport terminal was not sustainable due to the questionable federal funding sources. The Council under Mayor Brewer’s administration scaled back the project to $150 million and even that amount is now in jeopardy.

    The Ks Legislature will meet in a few months and the Airtran subsidy will be on the table. The State is broke! No Airtran funding, No Airtran in Wichita, No New Airport terminal!

  3. Joe

    I still think they should go ahead with the airport terminal. Because it will serve our needs for the next 50 years. I don’t think the current one will last that long.

    The longer you wait, the more expensive it will be. If they started on the airport like they were planning to rather than waiting years, the airport wouldn’t have cost as much.

    It’s best to build infrastructure like that on a down economy. Bond rates are cheaper and construction materials and cost will be cheaper.

    Build the new terminal. Building a new Airport Terminal every 50 years is not unreasonable or a waste of money in my opinion.

  4. Pat

    I’m pretty sure that the terminal was never estimated or budgeted for more than $150 million. When the planning process started, the terminal was initially scheduled to be open by this year; however, due to changes in the city manager and airport director positions, commencement of the project was delayed. Also there was the controversy surrounding the selection of DMJM as the program manager that caused some delays. Former Mayor Mayans repeatedly voted in support of the terminal project.

  5. Cybex

    At the City Council meeting of 06/27/06, Airport Director Victor White said in his presentation: “the best estimate shows that a new airport terminal will cost approximately $184 million. The next day on the Wichita Business Journal he was quoted as saying: “Worst case scenario it could cost as much as $211 million”

    Aldous Huxley once said “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”

  6. Pat

    Okay. Perhaps our differences is in the nuances in what all is encompassed when cost is discussed. The terminal building in and of itself has never been that high. The total cost of the “project” includes other costs beyond that of the terminal building including the new air cargo building, a new parking garage structure, new remote parking lots, apron improvements, etc.

    In the early stages, the WAA never knew what the total project would cost because of the scope of the project was not fully defined. At one time, they even studied locating the new terminal on the south side of the airport with access from K-42.

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