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Nevada’s 79th Legislative Session:

Property taxes, minimum wage hikes, labor union handouts, renewable energy mandates, attacks on transparency and plenty of other bad ideas are making their way through Nevada’s legislature. The worst-of-the-worst are listed on NPRI’s Taxpayer Guide, and it’s easy to see a pattern: Politicians are anxious to find new ways to spend your money. Unfortunately, until lawmakers adjourn in early June, this relentless grab for taxpayer wallets is unlikely to stop. (Read more)

 

Minimum wage:

As Nevada legislators mull the possibility of raising the minimum wage, they should first look to our west and witness the real-world impacts of such increases. After raising the minimum wage in San Diego, local restaurant workers — a workforce especially sensitive to fluctuations in minimum wage — are finding it ever more difficult to find and keep a job. Restaurateurs have been raising menu prices and laying off workers across the board, just to keep already-thin profit margins in the black. For low-wage San Diego residents, it’s becoming increasingly clear that rather than getting a pay raise, they’re getting stuck with a higher cost of living and even fewer job opportunities. (Read more)

 

Education:

Nevada lawmakers are looking at ways to reduce, if not eliminate, the role of standardized tests in teacher evaluations. Democratic Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson said he’s always been “troubled” that the performance of teachers is gauged by how well the students they teach perform, when tested on what they’ve learned. If Frierson and his allies are successful, it would mark a sharp reversal from 2011 reforms that began including students performance in teacher evaluations. Governor Sandoval has said he’s open to potential changes. (Read more)

 

Over-regulation:

The video of a man being violently pulled off an overbooked United Airlines flight went viral this week. Kevin Williams, in the National Review, points out that the unpleasant episode has further fueled the general public’s disdain for the air-travel industry in general. And it’s easy to see why: Like banks, health-insurance companies and cable providers, airlines have steadily grown less and less responsive to the needs of its customers. As Williams puts it, “The managers act as though the business were organized for their benefit rather than for the customers, and that attitude seeps down to front-line workers.” So what, exactly, is causing this? (Read more)

 

Cronyism:

This week Tesla Motors saw its stock price climb to more than that of General Motors. It was an impressive milestone for the electric car manufacturer, which sold just under 80,000 cars last year. (By comparison, GM sold 80,000 Chevy Silverados in a mere eight weeks.) Clearly, plenty of investors believe in the future profitability and success of Tesla. Of course, this raises an important public policy question: If Tesla’s future looks so bright, why must it depend so heavily on taxpayer-funded subsidies for its very survival? (Read more)

 


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