Parlez-Vous Français, Nevada?
Nevada's unemployment rate has now reached 9.1 percent. Nevada's unemployment rate is now higher than that of France, a country known for stupid economic policies like the 35-hour work week and unemployment benefits so generous that it makes almost no sense to ever go find a new job again. France still has serious unemployment problems—those 25 and under face unemployment rates that exceed 20 percent while youthful immigrants face unemployment that reaches upwards of 50 percent—but overall unemployment in France is now 7.9 percent.
So what is Nevada's plan to fix unemployment? If the rumors are true, our policy leaders don't seem to care about those without a job.
The rumors up at the capitol suggest there is talk of tripling the state's Modified Business Tax (MBT), a tax on the total payroll of each company in the state. That means the tax would jump to over 1.8 percent of total payroll for non-financial companies. There is also some serious talk in other circles of adding a corporate income tax—including a gross receipts tax that takes money away from companies regardless of their ability to make a profit.
Nothing says "let's screw the unemployed" like discouraging companies from moving here and creating jobs while also punishing companies already here. The MBT is a cruel and regressive tax—it punishes companies for every person they hire and for every dollar extra they pay each employee.
If you want to have high unemployment and low wages, raising this tax is a sure-fire way to reach that goal.
A gross receipts tax is just as cruel to employees, but this tax hurts "mom and pop" shops and grocery stores the most.
It is simply unbelievable that the people up in Carson City would consider higher taxes a solution to the state's modest revenue declines. After all, a decrease of 0.9 percent over the last budget's total is not a crisis.
But what is our leaders' goal now that this state is worse off than France? Descend into complete emulation of California?