Week in Review


The Silver State’s golden compensation packages

Whether you’re a current government employee or a retired one, Nevada is the place to be. That’s because Nevada public employees take a lot from taxpayers — both when they’re working and after they retire. 

 

Sour Sixteen

The White House tried to use the NCAA tournament to garner more support for its failing legislation by encouraging people to make their own March Madness picks. But, instead of choosing winning college basketball teams, the White House wants you to choose the “16 sweetest reasons to get covered.”

 

Just passing through the Catalyst Fund

NPRI President Andy Matthews explains more details of NPRI’s case against the state and its unconstitutional subsidies to private companies.

 

Bring out your stories

The teachers union is seeking to reduce economic growth at one of the worst possible times — when tens of thousands of Nevadans are underemployed or unemployed and struggling to support their families. While the numbers of projected job and business loss speak for themselves, the personal stories of those who will be impacted by the margin tax are also important to tell.

 

Scholarship

When you work in the think-tank world, where days are consumed with analyzing policy, keeping tabs on the government and promoting transparency, encounters with 16, 17 and 18 year olds can be rare.

It’s not that we don’t want teens to spend their Friday and Saturday nights reading about outrageous and out-of-control government spending in our Piglet Book, or about our efforts to combat the state’s disregard for its own constitution, or our solutions to Nevada’s economic and educational challenges. We know those things are of value to everyone, whether they be 18 or 80.

But the reality is that high school seniors, particularly this time of year, have a lot of other things to worry about — like getting into college and finding a way to pay for it. For the past three years, we’ve been fortunate enough to help make the latter task a little easier for students in Clark County by offering The Professor R.S. Nigam & NPRI Freedom Scholarship.

 

Suing GOED

This was a big week for NPRI.

On Wednesday, our Center for Justice and Constitutional Litigation challenged the constitutionality of the state government’s efforts to pick winners and losers in the economy through the Catalyst Fund.

Most of the media coverage since we filed the case — and there’s been plenty of it over the past two days — has rightly focused on the relevant legal issue: The Nevada Constitution expressly prohibits the state from giving money to private companies, and that is what the Governor’s Office of Economic Development is doing through the Catalyst Fund.

That constitutional issue is at the heart of this lawsuit, along with the basic unjustness of making a business subsidize its competition, and I urge you to read Joseph Becker’s detailed explanation of those issues here.

But today, I’d like to discuss another angle to this story, and to dive into the economic problems inherent to the Catalyst Fund’s existence.

 

Roses are red

In case you didn’t notice — and if you didn’t, you’re probably in trouble — today is Valentine’s Day.

And while the team here nixed my idea of raffling off dates with single staff members, I wanted to make sure NPRI gave you a Valentine’s Day present. And since we’re the generous sort, we decided to give it to the whole state and to provide it a day early.

Yes, I’m referring to our release yesterday of Nevada Public Employees’ Retirement System payouts, searchable by name, at TransparentNevada.

 

Incentives

The Congressional Budget Office released a report this week showing that millions of full-time workers will chose to leave their jobs as a result of Obamacare. As is the case with government expansion, Obamacare incentivizes people to not work.

 

Resolved

Have you ever made a New Year’s resolution?

I’ve known people who’ve vowed to exercise more, spend quality with their family, eat healthy, read more or even to follow that dream they’ve always had.

I’ve even made some resolutions myself, with varying degrees of success.

A New Year’s resolution is a conscious acknowledgment of personal responsibility — that you have the power to change your job, your body, your circumstances and your life. And you do have that power. Where I’ve succeeded or failed in keeping resolutions, the credit or blame has been my own. I’m guessing your experience has been similar.

 

Happy holidays from NPRI

When I look back at the past year, I’m really amazed by how much has happened here at NPRI. From helping hundreds of teachers leave their union, to our litigation victories to uphold the rule of law, to our policy work advancing free-market solutions, 2013 was the most exciting and productive year we’ve ever had here at the Institute.

It is NPRI’s members, of course, who make it all possible, and it was wonderful to see so many of our friends last night at our open house/holiday party at our Las Vegas office. In lieu of a typical Week in Review column today, I wanted to invite you to go to our Facebook page and view pictures from yesterday and our Reno open house in November. I hope you enjoy them.

Total Records: 76

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