Wichita’s Naysayers Are Saying Yes to Liberty


Wichita politicians, newspaper editorial writers, and sometimes just plain folks are fond of bashing those they call the “naysayers,” sometimes known as CAVE people. An example is from a recent Opinion Line Extra in the Wichita Eagle:

An acquaintance in another city refers to the anti-everything people as “CAVE” people (Citizens Against Virtually Everything). I fear the GOP voters of western Sedgwick County have selected the ultimate CAVE person in Karl Peterjohn.

Naysayers, too, can’t be happy, according to a recent statement by Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer: “And I know that there’s always going to be people who are naysayers, that they’re just not going to be happy.”

If you read all of Mayor Brewer’s remarks at Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer, August 12, 2008, you’ll learn that without government management of economic development in Wichita, we’d be back to the days of covered wagons. (I’m not kidding. He really said that, and I think he really believes it.)

Wichita’s news media, led by the Wichita Eagle, continually expresses a bias in favor of government. Even in news reporting this bias can be seen, as shown in the post The Wichita Eagle’s Preference For Government. On the Eagle’s editorial page, we rarely see an expansion of government interventionism opposed by the editorial writers. I can’t think of a single case.

But saying no to government doesn’t mean saying no to progress. It does mean saying “no” to the self-serving plans of politicians and bureaucrats. It means saying “no” to the dangers of collectivist thinking, as expressed in The Collectivism of Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius.

It means saying “no” to Wichita’s political entrepreneurs, who seek to earn profits through government coercion rather than meeting the needs of customers in the marketplace. It means saying “no” to the public-private partnership, where all too often it is the risk that is public and the profit that is private. It means saying “no” to a monopoly on the use of public money in the education of children, and “no” to an expansion of that monopoly through a new bond issue.

So yes, I guess I and Wichita’s other naysayers are saying “no” to a lot of things.

But what we’re saying “yes” to is liberty and freedom. We’re saying “yes” to the rich diversity of human individuality instead of government bureaucracy. We’re saying “yes” to free people cooperating voluntarily through free markets rather than forced government transfers from taxpayers to favored individuals and programs.

We’re saying “yes” to consumers choosing which businesses in Wichita thrive, rather than politicians on the city council choosing. We’re saying “yes” to people making their own choices, rather than government “incentivizing” the behavior it desires through TIF districts and tax abatements, those incentives being paid for by taxpayers.

So let me ask you: what do you say “yes” to?


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