Week in Review
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.
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.
Here at NPRI, we’re all about solutions, and boy, have I got one for you today.
I think we should increase the minimum wage to $1,500 an hour.
I thought of this after reading about President Obama’s push to increase the minimum wage to more than $10 an hour, and then seeing a study touted by liberal groups here in Nevada calling for Silver State policymakers to go even further and set the minimum hourly wage at $15.
You know things aren’t going well for you as a president when the debate between your supporters and detractors isn’t over whether you’re a success or a failure, but over the reasons why you’ve failed.
Many of President Obama’s staunchest defenders have been shell-shocked by the still-unfolding disaster that is the (un)Affordable Care Act, and the honesty some of them have shown in acknowledging that disaster is commendable. But what’s striking is how many of them have insisted on chalking it up to either a botched rollout owing to a few technological glitches, or even a mere failure of public relations. A Nov. 3 column by the Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne captured both sentiments. After imploring the law’s defenders to focus their attention on “simplifying and fixing the Web site,” Dionne then lamented that the administration “has never adequately defended the law.” Yes, because what Obamacare really needed was one more speech from the president.
Last year at Thanksgiving, I shared a great piece I’d read about the true story behind that special holiday. I received an enormous amount of positive feedback on it, and so I thought that this year, I’d simply publish last year’s column once again. Enjoy…
I’ve always thought of Thanksgiving as the quintessentially American holiday, bringing together so many of the things — faith, food, football, family and friends — that make living in this country so wonderful, and so worthy of deep appreciation.
But one of my very favorite things to do at this time of year is to revisit the story of the very first Thanksgiving.
Long-time followers of NPRI will be familiar with the evolution of Nevada Journal, the Institute’s news-reporting operation. Launched as a hard-copy magazine in 1996, Nevada Journal went dormant in 2001 before we finally resuscitated it as an online publication in 2009.
While its format has changed, Nevada Journal’s purpose has not. It exists to provide high-quality reporting on issues that often get overlooked by the traditional media. In recent years, we’ve brought many such stories to light, including the dubious financial practices of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, statewide problems with property-tax assessment practices, and the “double dipping” by former Assembly speaker John Oceguera as both a legislator and a North Las Vegas firefighter.
And now, I’d like to share with you another new development with Nevada Journal that will make us even more effective at fulfilling its mission.
I’ll be boarding a plane to return to Las Vegas in just a few hours, after wrapping up a week-long trip to Reno — and boy, what a week it’s been.
My schedule has been filled just about every hour this week, with meetings, phone calls, some work on a few exciting projects we’ve got cooking, a couple of speeches — and, of course, the “Thanksgiving Thank You” event we held at NPRI’s Reno office on Tuesday.
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.