Letters to the editor on rail service, central command, libertarian redefined

09/12/2012 12:00 AM

09/11/2012 6:11 PM

Rail service not likely to benefit

“Rail service would triple investment” (Aug. 29 Letters to the Editor) cited two poor examples in arguing that rail service would be a benefit. A financial impact study is in practicality a political tool to justify a program, and a political person talking to other politicians is not a good character reference for the rail service program.

The University of Kansas study may see a 3.2-to-1 investment ratio, but I doubt a benefit. Amtrak spent $1.70 last year for every dollar it earned on food and beverage sales. Then consider the other subsidies and special deals that will be created and not directly associated with the railroad. Getting money from the federal government also means paying federal finance charges.

The KU study is a little weak. It may well cost us more than $3.20 of the public treasury for $1 of private investment.

JAMES W. KILPATRICK Jr.

Wichita

Central command

Will Paul Ryan, a Catholic, have much difficulty justifying his regard for free-market economies? Some will suggest that he will, because in their minds free markets trample social justice.

What they fail to consider is that while Ryan is a Catholic, he is also an individual, and individual conscience is the only valid standard of moral judgment. Social justice, like every other human value, takes place and proceeds from within each person’s own mind.

Some individuals tire of their values not being those of their fellow humans, and then combine themselves in bringing government force to bear down upon their brothers and sisters. When that happens, the chains for restraint and the whips used for motivation get brought up from the dungeons.

The fear that is spread with this central command is that free people either are not to be trusted or are not qualified to charitably disburse their own wealth. Instead, government must do it for them. History has demonstrated how that has benefited political and economic freedom, while continuing to show us in our current time how well it works for our economic prosperity.

RON A. HOFFMAN

Rose Hill

Redefined word

When I hear Americans refer to themselves as “libertarians” I have to laugh, because I doubt most libertarians in America know where the term originated from.

An American libertarian thinks government should stay out of our lives and let corporations do whatever they want, buy up as much land as they want, and accumulate as much wealth as possible with no thought for others.

If we let corporations redefine words like “libertarian” to fit their agenda, we are failing as a society.

Are we not smart enough to look up the word and understand that libertarian politics in world history has meant anarchy, in which states’ rights are forbidden, corporations do not exist, and workers have a takeover mentality regarding industry?

AARON LANDES

Derby

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