Week in Review
I’ll never forget the first time I met Maryanne Ingemanson.
It was about four years ago, and I was in Reno moderating an NPRI panel on the long-running property-tax fight at Lake Tahoe, about which Maryanne knew a thing or two.
She was a natural fit for the panel, given her leading role, as president of the Village League to Save Incline Assets, in the effort to seek justice on behalf of long-abused Tahoe-area taxpayers. Yet I still remember her humble response when we approached her about participating. “I’m not really sure what I’d have to offer,” she said.
The answer, as it turned out, was: quite a bit. And I don’t just mean to that panel discussion. She had a lot to offer, and indeed gave so much, as a mentor, a business leader, a philanthropist, and a soldier in the fight for individual freedom and accountable government.
There’s really no appropriate way to begin this week’s column other than to say: Thank you.
Last night, we at NPRI held our 22nd Anniversary Celebration at The Venetian | The Palazzo Las Vegas, and the event was a major success by all measures.
It was wonderful to see so many long-time friends and supporters of NPRI, who gathered to help us celebrate our recent successes and to recommit ourselves to the fight for our shared ideals.
This week, the Internet went down at NPRI’s Las Vegas office, leaving us without access to the online world for nearly two full days.
Has the Internet ever gone out at your office? If so, you know what it’s like. First, you try to go online to see if there’s a news story somewhere explaining what’s going on. When that fails, for the obvious reasons, you wander the hallways aimlessly for a half hour or so, and then finally go work from home.
But in this case, that half hour of wandering was not completely without value. It got me to thinking about my assumptions. I assume my Internet is going to work, but why should I?
I’ve always been a big fan of Hillsdale College.
The school’s core curriculum alone is enough reason to warrant admiration, with its grounding in Western culture and tradition and its focus on the principles of the American founding.
Beyond that, there’s the fact that Hillsdale doesn’t accept a single penny in government funding. Lots of institutions around the country can say the same — including NPRI — but that Hillsdale can say it makes the school unique among American colleges.
And finally, there’s a reason that’s a bit closer to home: Three members of our staff here at NPRI — Victor Joecks, Jared Carl and Tyler Walton — are Hillsdale graduates, and we’ve been well served by all of them.
A bit over a month ago, I used this space to highlight a wonderfully ironic development in the still-unfolding Obamacare saga: the defection of Teamsters chief James Hoffa and other national labor-union leaders from the ranks of the health-care law’s supporters.
At the time, I was careful to temper my enthusiasm. The about-face from Hoffa, et al., was most welcome, but it hardly represented some fundamental ideological shift on the part of Big Labor. It was simply a case of looking out for one’s own.
That said, something peculiar does seem to be going on in Unionland these days.
I still remember something Joe Becker said to me nearly three years ago. We’d just officially launched the Center for Justice and Constitutional Litigation here at NPRI and hired Joe as the Center’s director, and he was perfectly frank about what it was we were getting into.
“Beating the government,” Joe told me, “is hard.”
Is it ever.
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.