Week in Review
I’ve written quite a bit lately about the many problems plaguing the Obamacare rollout, and I’ve focused for the most part on the national picture — the disastrous launch of Healthcare.gov, the millions of individual-market insurance plans being canceled, the woefully unsound economic theory upon which the law rests, etc.
So I thought this week I’d take a look at how the situation is playing out right here in Nevada.
I wish I hadn’t.
As NPRI’s own Steve Miller reported earlier this week at our news website NevadaJournal.com, the ill effects of the health-care law are actually more pronounced here in Nevada than anywhere else in the country.
I get ribbed a lot for being from Massachusetts, what with the state’s famed affinity for big government, high taxes and liberal politicians.
But I’ve always been quick to defend my home turf, and to point out that what the Bay State has to offer isn’t all bad. There’s the rich history, the amazing seafood, the breathtaking foliage in the fall.
And, of course, the Boston Red Sox.
Liberals view government as the solution to society's problems.
“If only we spent more on education...” “Government needs more control to stop those greedy businessmen and women.” “We need government intervention to fix our housing problems.”
If someone in society has a problem, inconvenience or even a perceived slight, liberals have a solution: government. Just give liberals more control, funded by more of your money, and they will plan out your life better than you can. “We can't trust you to save for retirement, so let's force everyone into Social Security. No, it's not a Ponzi scheme. It's a government program structured like a Ponzi scheme, which is totally different.”
And there is no program liberals have touted more heavily in recent years than Obamacare.
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.