Wichita Eagle opinion watch

A Believer in Good Government Programs

An audio version of this post is available here. A Mr. Greg Abbott of Clearwater, Kansas makes the case in the June 13, 2008 Wichita Eagle that there are many good government programs: the interstate highway system, the post office, the air traffic control system, police and fire departments, etc. I believe the writer makes a huge error in logic by assuming that because these programs exist and have been provided by government, then they are good things to have, and that these things can only be provided through government. To make this conclusion requires a huge leap and a…
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Support the Wichita School Bond Issue For Our Community

In a letter printed in the May 30, 2008 Wichita Eagle, Margaret Wooldridge of Park City, Kansas criticizes opponents of the proposed bond issue for USD 259, the Wichita, Kansas public school district. The mysterious "Boondoggler" at Wichita 259 Truth exposes the several problems with this letter in the post BOE Meetings and Letters. In my opinion, the worst part of this letter is where the writer invokes the spirit of President Kennedy with the plea "We need to ask ourselves not what our community can do for us, but what can we do for our community." But is the…
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Let’s Spend on Wichita School Facilities, But Not Maintain Them?

A writer in The Wichita Eagle (May 21, 2008) makes the case that since one of the persons opposed to the proposed USD 259 (Wichita public school district) bond issue in 2008 hasn't been in a Wichita public school for many years, he isn't as credible as he could be. If he would take a tour of the schools, he would better understand the magnitude of the problem. As the person who is the subject of this letter, I can say that I don't agree with the premise of this writer. That's because I agree that some school buildings and…
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Investment in Wichita Public Schools

Part of the Wichita Eagle opinion watch series. An audio broadcast of this article may be heard by clicking here. A letter writer in the April 27, 2008 Wichita Eagle makes the case that investment in USD 259 (the Wichita, Kansas public school district) has a good return. By way of comparison, the writer argues that the Wichita airport, having been built with public funds, represents "an investment return." Whether it represents a good return on investment the writer doesn't say, but I believe he means that the airport was a good investment of public funds. The mere fact that…
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Economic fallacy supports arts in Wichita

Recently two editorials appeared in The Wichita Eagle promoting government spending on the arts because it does wonderful things for the local economy. The writers are Rhonda Holman and Joan Cole, who is chairwoman of the Arts Council. I read the study that these local writers relied on. The single greatest defect in this study is that it selectively ignores the secondary effects of government spending on the arts. As an example, the writers in the Eagle promote the study's conclusion that the return on dollars spent on the arts is "a spectacular 7-to-1 that would even thrill Wall Street…
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Wichita Eagle Editorial Blog not recommended

In June, 2005, the editors of The Wichita Eagle started a blog, the Wichita Eagle Editorial blog, or WE Blog. The way this blog works it that one of the Eagle editors starts a topic, and then the public can add comments. A small group of the posters who make these comments seem to know each others' reputations well, and postings from this group account for nearly all the content of the blog. They have had, by my count, two social gatherings. From posts filed by the attendees, they seemed like enjoyable affairs. I was surprised to read these pleasant…
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