Front Page » Table of Contents » Archive: Education: October 2009


In Defense of Economics

HAYS, Kan. - I always read Walter Williams, economics professor and right-wing syndicated columnist with an overlapping interest in constitutional scholarship. I am amazed at his skill as a propagandist for the right, never telling an actual lie, but supporting the right-wing agenda by careful omission and innuendo. Williams often leaves the reader with the impression that American corporate capitalism is the same as "free enterprise" or the operation of the "free market." He leaves the impression that economic transactions between individuals and other economic entities in the modern United States of America are the same as the transactions Adam Smith described in his Wealth of Nations (shortened title). No doubt Williams has read Adam Smith. Most who refer to the "unseen hand" concept resulting from Smith's work have not. Here is some of what Williams omits (apparently intentionally, in order to serve his ends):

HAYS, Kan. - Running around on the internet and sometimes on paper is a little story that tries to draw an analogy between students' performance in a class, socialism, and--sometimes--President Obama's public policy proposals. It was reprinted in my local newspaper this morning under the headline "Socialism and you: What lies ahead for the United States?"

This analogy could bear a little analysis.

First, here is a quick version of the story: a college professor and class agree that everyone in the class will get the class average as a grade. On the first exam, in which traditional behaviors prevail--some students are striving for good grades and some not so much--everyone gets a B. On the second, everyone gets lazier and they all get D's. Then for the final exam, discord is added to laziness, and everyone ends up failing.

TOPEKA, Kan. - In one of her last acts before heading to Washington, DC, former Governor Kathleen Sebelius signed an Executive Order establishing the Kansas Coalition for Children in Nature (KCCN). The KCCN will work to promote outdoor learning experiences and environmental education for young people, and will identify barriers and suggest solutions to getting kids outside. And you're invited to take part.

PRETTY PRAIRIE, Kan. - Once again Kansas finds itself in a financial crisis. Soon the State will not have enough money to pay its bills. Adjustments must be made. Two questions come to mind. How did we get in this mess? And what adjustment should we make.

Like most crises this one has been coming for a long time. The state has been getting behind on its obligations for years. It has knowingly under funded its retirement program. Kansas has barely been meeting its obligation to education. Roads and bridges have been in a state of decline. We have told ourselves that our economy would grow and then we could catch up on our bills. Unfortunately our tax revenues have not grown enough to bail us out.

PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. - Research turned up insight into a family background steeped in science on candidate for U.S. Senate Charles D. Schollenberger a Democrat from Kansas.

Shawn Cleveland first reported on this story in this year's spring publication from The Ohio State University College of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Sciences.

Schollenberger when asked was kind enough to allow Kansas Free Press to share this unique story.

Grandson and son, Charles D. Schollenberger, continue a commitment to honor the work of agronomist Charles J. Schollenberger and chemist Charles S. Schollenberger with a gift to create the Charles Schollenberger Arboretum Visitors Center Biological Lab Endowment.

Seeing in Full-Blown Color

WICHITA, Kan. - "You say the word hell, and that's where all of you are going," shouted a lone fundamentalist preacher in front of the Rhatigan Student Center at Wichita State University last Tuesday, September 29.

In this same spot, this man and his associates have preached for the past week and a half to students on campus that, he says, "worship the Shockers."

Most students that I have talked to aren't particularly excited about their mascot like students at different universities are. In fact, they may be as big of fans of the wheat this man devours in his communion bread every week.

As I observed this situation, I decided it was best to ask him about sports. Did he ever play football, or any other sports? "Well," he said, "I played some ball in my day, but now that I am working for the Lord, I have not focused on sports as much." The key, I thought, was to get him talking about something completely unrelated to his original plan and purpose.

WSU's That Gay Group! took the initiative to stand close to this man and his friends with signs and a rainbow flag. When the rainbow flag touched the man, he said, "Get this off of me!"

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