Kansas Progress Institute

Ad Astra Per Aspera ~ To the Stars Through Difficulties

Government Values For Sale

Posted on January 24, 2017

By David Burress

In a traditional democratic republic, the government itself plays an important role in maintaining the civil values that make democracy possible.  One of the ways it does this is by commemorating important figures and events by means of public statues and through names assigned to public facilities.


Now Lawrence, Kansas is proposing the sale to the highest bidder on the open market of naming rights to its public facilities.  The civic values communicated by this plan should be clear to all.


1. The accumulation of sufficient private wealth to win a bidding contest is our highest value.
2. More generally, we believe that market values should trump civic values.
3. And in particular, we the citizens of Lawrence lack sufficient love for our city to tax ourselves enough to meet our perceived public needs.

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