Kansas Progress Institute

Ad Astra Per Aspera ~ To the Stars Through Difficulties

Blog

  • Protesting KPERS Pensions

    June 11, 2017

    David Burress

    The Koch-funded Kansas Policy Institute has a hit piece on Kansas government pensioners, complaining because a small share of them stand to gain over $1M (but only if they live at least 20 years. (but only if they survive 20 years or so after retirement).   News flash: that amounts to $50K per year, definitely a decent amount ...

  • Originalism Unfounded

    June 9, 2017

    David Burress

    Right-wing radicals on and off the Supreme Court claim to follow a theory of interpretation based on the “original meaning” of the Constitution. Because the Constitution was written by relatively progressive liberals, there is no possibility that “originalism” could get it right in any meaningful sense. That is, modern right-wing arguments would seem almost incomprehensible ...

  • Are Patents and Copyrights “Efficient”?

    June 8, 2017

    David Burress

    No, not in any absolute sense. They are, however, better than having no government intervention at all.   Actually, standard economic theory shows that intellectual property rights are horribly inefficient, for intuitively obvious reasons. IP rights are legal monopolies and nothing else. If their owners (like most owners) seek profits they will set prices high enough so ...

  • Against Targeting

    June 8, 2017

    David Burress

    Means-tested welfare programs are “efficient” in the narrow sense that they cost less up front than general entitlements. However they are always penurious, are extremely expensive to administer, as administered are privately grossly demeaning to their clients, and are publicly stigmatizing. Even more importantly, politically they cannot stand up over time to the demonization of ...