Stop giving away taxpayer dollars
During the Wichita City Council debate about allowing concealed guns on city property, Mayor Carl Brewer apologized to citizens for not allowing them to have a voice or give input. I was saddened by that.
Citizens have appeared before the City Council and objected to the city giving and loaning taxpayer dollars to private enterprises, and their voices have been ignored. It has taken a petition drive to get a public vote on whether to give taxpayer dollars for a downtown boutique hotel development.
Whether law-abiding citizens with conceal-carry licenses carry guns on or in city properties is a nonissue to me, especially compared with giving and loaning taxpayer dollars to private enterprises.
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It is likely our streets would be in better repair, we would not have trouble keeping the public golf courses open and well-maintained, our police and fire departments would not have funding and staffing difficulties, and public parks could be better maintained if the tax dollars the city has loaned and given away were available to be used on public services and properties.
I want to see Wichita operate in an unbiased, efficient manner, and for it to have top-notch infrastructure and services so that people and companies will want to move here.
ARDEN D. PETERS
It’s time to plan a worthwhile New Year’s resolution. I suggest we focus our efforts and vengeance toward the state of Kansas, our incompetent legislators and the operator of the new gambling den otherwise known as the Kansas Star Casino. There’s an inexhaustible list of reasons to lash out, but let’s focus on one for now: Smoking has been outlawed virtually everywhere by state government except in state-owned casinos.
Remember the arguments legislators used – that banning smoking would improve citizens’ health, that secondhand smoke was a killer and that businesses that would otherwise choose to allow smoking and places such as bars where smoking was customary would be unaffected by the ban? So how come the state’s little personal projects were somehow exempt? If a smoking ban really has no impact on the bottom line of establishments dealing in alcohol and other vices, then why are state-owned casinos free to operate as unhealthily and immorally as they wish? Seems like politics as usual.
Let’s resolve now to kick a whole lot of politicians out of office and boycott their pet enterprises. Teach them a worthy and painful lesson.
Russell Arben Fox’s commentary “Pompeo sounding like a Populist on Boeing” (Dec. 29 Opinion) missed the point and was an unfair criticism of Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita. Fox basically claimed that Pompeo’s commitment to free markets should prohibit Pompeo from objecting to Boeing’s business decisions, that Pompeo should let Boeing run its business as Boeing sees fit. However, the basis for Pompeo’s position on Boeing – which is that Boeing should live up to its promises – was glossed over by Fox.
The expectation that we should live up to our promises is not exclusively a Populist (or Republican) ideal. It is something that I think a great many Kansans believe in. And it was unfair to neglect that crucial basis for Pompeo’s objection to Boeing’s actions.
Free markets work best when promises are enforced, not when promises are disavowed or ignored. Pompeo’s objection to Boeing’s recent announcement is consistent with his conservative, free-market ideology.
KEITH A. HAAS
With the start of this new year, we would like to encourage more of our fellow citizens to consider a different vision of how we can best create a nonhostile and civilized society, a vision of peaceful coexistence centered on voluntary exchange. Free enterprise, or capitalism, is the only system known to man in which both parties in every transaction feel happy after any exchange is complete. No coercion is involved.
Government, on the other hand, cannot exist without coercion. It has no money and cannot spend money without first taking that money from a person or business, by force (taxation).
Which system sounds more moral, more worthy of our support?
Our hope is that 2012 will bring all more health, peace and prosperity through voluntary exchange, known otherwise as liberty.
GAYLE and CY NOBLES
Eat around Wichita
For those who say there is nothing to do in Wichita and are looking for a 2012 New Year’s resolution, I would challenge you to try what several of my friends, work colleagues and I implemented in 2011.
We started an “Eating Our Way Around the World in Wichita” lunch group. Each month we sample a different cuisine and try to learn a little about the culture of where we are dining. The only rules are that people pay for their own lunches, that we take turns researching and deciding where to venture, and that we try to carpool as much as possible, to conserve gas. The monthly adventures have taken us to Pakistan, Brazil, El Salvador, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Italy and many more.
We are going to continue our eating and cultural experiences in 2012 and would encourage others who are looking for something new to try supporting our community’s rich diversity and locally owned restaurants. Bon appetit and happy new year.
Thank you, Wichita Eagle, for printing “Tidings of great joy” (Dec. 25 Opinion). That was an excellent reminder of the true meaning of celebrating Christmas, quoting Luke 2:1-20.
As the angels announced Jesus’ birth to the shepherds and glorified and praised God, so our gifts presented to Jesus and others are examples of love and devotion to Him.
Our freedom allows Christians to continue to glorify God through their choice of worship.
HARRY and ELAINE SCHMIDT
Cancer, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, etc., are all diseases that afflict some of us. But there is another set of people these diseases affect. They are the ones who take us to our doctors’ appointments, sit with us during treatments, and see the slight or obvious changes in us that can be told to the medical professionals so we can be treated. They are the caregivers, the unsung heroes of the ill.
These caregivers are wives, husbands, children, sisters, brothers, friends and relatives who are not seen because they aren’t the sick, but they are more important because they care for us every day. Their lives are interrupted because of us. They tend to us, they watch what we eat, they “nag” us to eat, to exercise, to get up and move. They give us our medicine, infusions when needed, sit with us in the hospitals, and become our minds when ours aren’t working very well.
The next time you see someone who is ill, look to his or her side and see who is there. Don’t just ask people who are sick how they are; ask their caregivers how “they” are. I know that without my caregiver, my wife, I wouldn’t be where I am today.