Beware of unseen impact of water fees
French economist Frederic Bastiat, describing the law of unintended consequences, referred to the “seen” and “unseen” and said that many times the unseen becomes more important than the seen. This could become the case with the city of Wichita’s proposal for a $1,000 fine or 500 percent water fee increase.
Ben Nelson, a public works official, stated that the amount of water needed to keep a lawn alive is at or above the penalty amount (May 23 Eagle). The telephone book yellow pages show more than 50 businesses involved in lawn care, tree service, landscaping, lawn-equipment sales, nurseries and grass farming. Dead lawns and trees would seem to have a devastating effect upon these businesses.
“Go brown” is a quality-of-life issue and may have a negative effect on a new industry looking to locate in Wichita or one questioning whether to stay or leave. If these proposals go into effect, we may need a new airport and train service to handle the exodus from Wichita.
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What GOP gave us
Cal Thomas attempted to knock home a big run in his commentary about former Sen. Bob Dole’s remarks on Fox News (“Dole-ing out some blame for gridlock,” June 2 Opinion). Instead, his words fell into the usual Republican ideological mess of declaring that there should be no compromise with Democrats.
Thomas went through the list of reasons why the GOP is in trouble, including the very old line that conservatives aren’t very good at defining Democrats. In the next to last paragraph, Thomas finally wrote what he truly thinks: that any American struggling with poverty or a moral dilemma can find salvation by voting Republican and thinking like a conservative.
This is the pith of right-wing thinking, which is why extreme conservatism keeps insisting that it is the party of fiscal responsibility, economic prosperity and moral fortitude. But history says differently. Republicans are the party that gave us the Great Depression, McCarthyism and Watergate. They are the party that gave us George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, the Great Recession and two costly wars in the Middle East.
Until the likes of Thomas are willing to address these glaring anomalies, not very many Americans are going to be convinced that Republicans should be the party to follow.
I was encouraged when I read the headline “Inventor claims solar energy breakthrough” (May 12 Eagle). The article told about an obscure inventor, working out of his Maryland house, who has invented a revolutionary flat solar panel, which he calls “Solar Traps.” He said it will supply 92 percent of the world’s electricity at a fraction of current costs and may even blunt global warming.
But my hopes were soon shattered when I read that the secret invention is still only on paper and has not yet been constructed or tested.
I have a better invention in mind. It will supply 100 percent of the world’s electricity, will be free to consumers, will not pollute and will stop global warming. I have named my invention “perpetual motion,” and I am working on it in my spare time in my basement. I pledge to turn it over to the world for free just as soon as I get it perfected.