Laissez faire

Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Monday October 3, 2011

Wichita City Council. Tomorrow the Wichita City Council considers these items: First, the council will have a do-over of a public hearing it held on September 21st. The need for this arises from a mistake regarding proper notification. Mistakes like this are not uncommon at Wichita city hall. ... Then the council considers revising the development agreement for the Ken-Mar TIF district. More about that at Ken-Mar TIF district, the bailouts. ... The council will be asked to approve an agreement with Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 513 providing for pay raises of 2.5 percent per year for the…
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‘I, Pencil’ in audio argues for economic freedom, not government control

The Foundation for Economic Education has released an audio version of the booklet I, Pencil. Written by FEE's founder Leonard E. Read and first published in 1958, its message proclaiming the importance of economic freedom has not diminished with the passage of time. This audio recording, which you can listen to on your computer or mp3 player, is just short of 15 minutes in length. But it this short span it makes a compelling case for economic freedom instead of government control and planning. In Wichita, we have a mayor, city council, and business leaders that are steering us down…
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In Wichita, who is to plan?

In presenting the plan for the revitalization of downtown Wichita, Wichita's planners routinely make no distinction between government planning and private planning. In their presentations, they will draw analogies between the wisdom of individuals or businesses creating and following a plan and government doing the same. An example is Wichita Downtown Development Corporation President Jeff Fluhr, who told the Wichita Pachyderm Club that the development of downtown is like the planning of an automobile trip, so that we don’t make major investments that we later regret. But government and the private sector are very different, facing greatly different constraints, motivations,…
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Kansas: business-friendly or capitalism-friendly?

Plans for the Kansas Republican Party to make Kansas government more friendly to business run the risk of creating false, or crony capitalism instead of an environment of genuine growth opportunity for all business. An example is the almost universally-praised deal to keep Hawker Beechcraft in Kansas. This deal follows the template of several other deals Kansas struck over the past few years, and outgoing Governor Mark Parkinson is proud of them. Incoming Governor Sam Brownback approved of the Hawker deal, and probably would have approved of the others. Locally, the City of Wichita uses heavy-handed intervention in the economy…
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Thompson makes case for liberalism, freedom, capitalism

Speaking to an audience in Wichita last Thursday, author and scholar C. Bradley Thompson delivered a lecture that explained the foundation of the greatness of America, and cautioned that this greatness is, and has been, under attack. Thompson's lecture was sponsored by the Bill of Rights Institute and underwritten by the Fred C. and Mary R. Koch Foundation. Thompson is the BB&T Research Professor at Clemson University and the Executive Director of the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism. He has also been a visiting fellow at Princeton and Harvard Universities and at the University of London. In his…
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