In case you missed it...

 

Fiscal health

States’ fiscal health is an important economic indicator, as it affects all taxpayers. A new report released by the Mercatus Center ranks all states according to their fiscal condition. Nevada ranked 14th among the states for overall fiscal health: a solid ranking. However, Nevada’s trust fund solvency — which measures how much debt a state has —ranked the Silver State among the lowest in country, at 45th. Those unfunded pension liabilities are equal to 54 percent of state personal income. In other words, Nevada’s looming unfunded pension liabilities constitute the primary long-term financial risk hanging over the state economy. (Read more)

 

Transparency

In a recent records request to Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP), TransparentCalifornia.com came across unusual data. One particular retiree receives a $363,000 annual pension — an amount at 300 percent of the final salary — which seemed much too high to be the regular, annual amount. This data obviously needing some note to indicating its unusual nature. In an attempt to provide the most accurate data, TransparentCalifornia.com proceeded to ask DWP if they would like a clarifying note to be added prior to the data’s release. DWP responded, “No ... the information is correct.” And so the data was released. Embarrassed at public disclosure, DWP then issued a press release claiming the data release by TransparentCalifornia.com was “extremely misleading and incomplete.” DWP’s release also got NPRI’s name wrong. (Read More)

 

CCSD

Money doesn’t solve everything. And throwing more money into a failing system has proven incapable of fixing CCSD’s budget shortfalls. Education spending for CCSD has regularly increased far faster than enrollment growth for many years and every year the school district still complains that it doesn’t get enough. “The Clark County School District has more money now than it’s ever had before. It has budgeted $2.78 billion for the upcoming school year in its general and special education funds,” notes Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist Victor Joecks. School Board Trustee Kevin Child says a forensic audit is needed to “know where we’re at and then we can know where to cut.” The findings of the audit might just reveal what taxpayers have known all along: As Joecks writes, “[CCSD] has a money problem. But it’s not a revenue problem. It’s a spending problem.” (Read More)

 

Economics

What can the story of three men fishing on an island teach us about economics? Plenty. How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes, by Peter D. Schiff shares the mechanics of a nation’s economy with a simple fish story. “The book is also an allegory of decisions governments made when they got into monetary trouble throughout history – not just what happened in American history.” The book describes how one particularly entrepreneurial man’s decision to build a simple fish catcher — to free him of the daily task of catching one fish per day — change the economics of the island forever. (Read More)

 

Occupational Licensing

Should three D.C. teenagers be punished for entrepreneurship? U.S. Park Police on Washington D.C.’s national mall seemed to believe so. This week three teens were handcuffed and detained for selling water bottles to thirsty sightseers. The teens committed the “crime” of selling without a government license. They were later released to their parents without any charges. For the teens to obtain all the necessary permits and licenses, they would have to pay almost $2,000 and then be put on a waiting list with other eager venders. “It is reasonable that people should comply with the law,” writes Washington Examiner columnist Anthony Bradley, “but the question is whether the law is reasonable. Is it reasonable to require teens to have a vending permit?” (Read More)

 

Education

“If you build a better way to teach a subject, why doesn’t the world beat a path to your door?” Andrew Coulson’s School Inc. explores this perplexing educational reality in his three-part video series produced by Free to Choose Media. These documentaries explore the history of the educational establishment and how it impedes the growth of good schools, why excellent schools in American have not “scaled up,” and the success of for-profit school around the world. (Read More)

 


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