Week in Review
As the president of a non-profit, I know what it’s like to rely on the generosity and support of others to be able to carry out the organization’s mission. And I can’t say enough about how much I appreciate your support for the Nevada Policy Research Institute and our efforts to make the Silver State a freer and better place to live.
As much as I believe in NPRI’s mission, however, I always keep in mind that there are so many other causes that are worthy of support. Of course, not all of them have to do with public policy. But it’s good to remember that there are lots of ways to help strengthen our community that go beyond tax rates and education reforms.
The “more cops” tax debate is back in the news this week. The latest, reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal, is that the Clark County Commission has opted to postpone its vote on whether to approve an increase in the county’s sales-tax rate, new revenues from which would go to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
This past Wednesday, renowned economist Milton Friedman would have been 101 years old, and NPRI joined more than one hundred organizations around the country in celebrating Friedman’s birthday and legacy. We did so by hosting education reformer Dr. Ben Chavis for a policy luncheon, and he gave a hilarious yet enlightening talk about his experience turning a failing charter school into the most challenging high school in America, as ranked by the Washington Post.
Want to know when you’re making a difference? When politicians, like liberal Clark County Commissioner Tom Collins, start attacking you with tweets like this.
In the run-up to the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, then-House speaker Nancy Pelosi famously said that “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”
Congress did, of course, pass the bill. President Obama signed it into law on March 23, 2010. And, as Pelosi promised, we are indeed finding out what’s in it.
Then again, even before the bill was passed, “what’s in it” — or at least, the most important elements of “what’s in it” — was already painfully obvious to those who opposed the bill or warned that it constituted disastrous health-care policy. While many of the dirty details had not yet come to light, it was clear that the bill increased intrusion by the federal government into the health-care market, with the predictable consequences including new taxes on businesses, higher premiums for individuals and further strains on federal and state budgets.
As followers of NPRI’s work know, we’ve devoted considerable effort in recent weeks to publicizing the fact that Nevada teachers have the option to leave their union if they wish to do so.
Regrettably, their chance to do so is limited. The timeframe and requirements for leaving the union vary slightly by county, but in just about all cases, this year’s window closes this coming Monday, July 15.
There are those moments in life that put everything into perspective. It can be a wedding, the death of a loved one, or even a good friend moving away. These moments serve as reminders of what’s really important. And for me, they are reminders of why I do what I do.
Do you have any friends in Nevada who are teachers? What are they doing right now?
Well, if they’re like most teachers, they’re resting and recovering from a long school year, with work-related thoughts far from their minds.
And that’s exactly what the teachers union is counting on. That’s because Nevada teachers are able to opt out of union membership — but only by submitting written notice between July 1 and 15. Union officials know that many teachers aren’t interested in spending between $600 and $773 a year to subsidize a union boss taking home over $625,000 a year or seeing the union spend their money on million-dollar political donations.
With the legislative session behind us, we political and news junkies are feeling a bit of a void in our lives. (And if you think like I do, you’re probably also feeling a little nauseous over the results.)
But fear not, for I have the perfect solution: Find a good book. Books are engaging, they’re easily portable and, unlike the stuff you peruse online, the government hasn’t yet figured out how to spy on you while you read them … I don’t think.
Now, my suggestion would be that you pick up something on the lighter side — a good action thriller, perhaps — and take a break from the political and policy debates that so often consume your mind. But if you find yourself still needing that political/policy fix, there’s no shortage of superb choices for you to turn to this summer.
With that, here are my top five summer-reading recommendations for bookworms of a conservative/libertarian persuasion.