Kansas Progress Institute

Ad Astra Per Aspera ~ To the Stars Through Difficulties


  • ‘Positional Goods’

    December 15, 2016

    David Burress

    George Will is introducing the concept of “positional goods” to a wider audience.  That public service constitutes what economists call a “public good,” which is about as opposite from a positional good as you can get.  I was unaware of this useful quote from Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations: “The chief enjoyment of riches consists ...

  • Pitfalls of Shaming as Political Practice

    December 14, 2016

    David Burress

    “Mansplaining” and “whitesplaining” and the like are effective terms of invective and shaming. 1. They are based on a real phenomenon: the tendency of privileged group members to talk down to members of an oppressed group. 2. They are essentially impossible to refute, since the main evidence depends on the perception of an oppressed audience, not the ...

  • Johnson County Kids More Equal

    December 12, 2016

    David Burress

    1. All Kansas school kids are equal, but also   2. Johnson County kids are more equal.   Or at least that seems to be Steve Rose’s message, when he says; 1. “all students in Kansas schools deserve and have the right to a high-quality education. There should be no laggards due to funding. And there should be no mediocrity ...

  • Objective Journalism vs. “Balanced” Journalism

    December 9, 2016

    David Burress

    Objective journalism means debunking falsehood and revealing the truth.   “Balanced” journalism aims at a far lower standard– it means giving equal time to truth and falsehood, being careful to make no judgement between them.   Profit-maximizing journalism, as practiced by the Mainstream Media, usually fails even that despicable test, insofar as falsehood sells more newspapers than truth. For ...