Freedom

In Hungary, the rise of nationalism and racism

In Hungary, the rise of nationalism and racism

Zoltán Kész will speak at the Wichita Pachyderm Club on Friday February 21. The public is welcome to attend. For more information on this event, see Hungarian activist to address Pachyderms and guests. In Hungary, nationalism and racism are rising problems. The Free Market Foundation of Hungary, co-founded by Zoltán Kész fights against these problems. Last November Kesz was in Wichita and I visited with him and a small group. I asked about economic freedom in Hungary, noting that according to the economic freedom of the world report, Hungary was about in the middle of the European countries, although it…
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Voice for Liberty Radio: David Boaz of Cato Institute

In this episode of WichitaLiberty Radio: David Boaz spoke at the annual Kansas Policy Institute Dinner. David Boaz is the executive vice president of the Cato Institute and has played a key role in the development of the Cato Institute and the libertarian movement. He is a provocative commentator and a leading authority on domestic issues such as education choice, drug legalization, the growth of government, and the rise of libertarianism. Boaz is the former editor of New Guard magazine and was executive director of the Council for a Competitive Economy prior to joining Cato in 1981. He is the…
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Voice for Liberty Radio: Private enterprise and markets

In this episode of WichitaLiberty Radio: Mary Beth Jarvis delivered the keynote address of the Kansas Republican Party Convention for 2014. She spoke on the topics of private enterprise and the profit and loss system. Mary Beth Jarvis is Chief Executive Officer and President at Wichita Festivals. Prior to that, she worked in communications at Koch Industries, and before that in the United States Air Force. In her speech, she said "Entrepreneurial capitalism -- you know what that is -- it's not cronyism. It's real courage, real risk, real passion, and real effort." Expanding on the importance of entrepreneurial capitalism,…
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Economic freedom improves our lives

Economic freedom, in countries where it is allowed to thrive, leads to better lives for people as measured in a variety of ways. This is true for everyone, especially for poor people. This is the message presented in a short video based on the work of the Economic Freedom of the World report, which is a project of Canada's Fraser Institute. Two years ago Robert Lawson, one of the authors of the Economic Freedom of the World report, lectured in Wichita on this topic. The current video is made possible by the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation. One of the…
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Why Liberty

Cato Institute senior fellow Tom G. Palmer has released another new book in what seems to be an annual series aimed at young people. This year's book is titled Why Liberty. The book's webpage is at Why Liberty, and you can download your copy there. Why Liberty is described as "a broad and multidisciplinary introduction to the ideas of liberty. It focuses not just on political theory but also on liberty through the lens of culture, entrepreneurship, health, art, technology, philosophy, and the transformative power of freedom. Edited by Dr. Tom G. Palmer, the book features articles from experts in…
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Classical liberalism means liberty, individualism, and civil society

In a short video, Nigel Ashford of Institute for Humane Studies explains the tenets of classical liberalism. Not to be confused with modern American liberalism or liberal Republicans, classical liberalism places highest value on liberty and the individual. Modern American liberals, or progressives as they often prefer to be called, may value some of these principles, but most, such as free markets and limited government -- and I would add individualism and toleration -- are held in disdain by them. Here are the principles of classical liberalism that Ashford identifies: Liberty is the primary political value. "When deciding what to…
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Laws that do harm

As we approach another birthday of Milton Friedman, here's his column from Newsweek in 1982 that explains that despite good intentions, the result of government intervention often harms those it is intended to help. There is a sure-fire way to predict the consequences of a government social program adopted to achieve worthy ends. Find out what the well-meaning, public-interested persons who advocated its adoption expected it to accomplish. Then reverse those expectations. You will have an accurate prediction of actual results. To illustrate on the broadest level, idealists from Marx to Lenin and the subsequent fellow travelers claimed that communism…
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Friedman: The fallacy of the welfare state

As we approach another birthday of Milton Friedman, here's an insightful passage from the book he wrote with his wife Rose: Free to Choose: A Personal Statement. It explains why government spending is wasteful, how it leads to corruption, how it often does not benefit the people it was intended, and how the pressure for more spending is always present. A simple classification of spending shows why that process leads to undesirable results. When you spend, you may spend your own money or someone else's; and you may spend for the benefit of yourself or someone else. Combining these two…
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Cronyism is harmful to our standard of living

"The effects on government are equally distorting -- and corrupting. Instead of protecting our liberty and property, government officials are determining where to send resources based on the political influence of their cronies. In the process, government gains even more power and the ranks of bureaucrats continue to swell." An editorial in Wall Street Journal last year written by Charles G. Koch, chairman of the board and CEO of Wichita-based Koch Industries contains many powerful arguments against the rise of cronyism. The argument above is just one of many. Did you know that the Washington metropolitan area is one of…
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An IRS political timeline

An IRS political timeline

In the summer of 2010 President Barack Obama and his allies warned of conservative groups with "harmless-sounding names like Americans for Prosperity." At the time, supporters of AFP like myself were concerned, but AFP saw the president's attacks as evidence of the group's influence. This week Kim Strassel of the Wall Street Journal looks back at the summer three years ago in light of what we're just starting to learn about the Internal Revenue Service under the Obama Administration. Strassel writes: "We know that it was August 2010 when the IRS issued its first 'Be On the Lookout' list, flagging…
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