Ralph Heller

Recent Work

Public Employment: A Privilege or an Entitlement?

March 3, 1999

Last month marked the 206th anniversary of the first presidential cabinet meeting. It was on February 25, 1793 that President Washington summoned to his home the department heads of his government for a meeting. What has happened to colonial dreams of independence and democracy can be measured by how much of government today is beyond reach, even beyond the control of elected officials. While there are 66 words in the Lord’s Prayer, 286 words in Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and 1,322 words in the Declaration of Independence, there are 26,911 words in the current federal regulation governing the sale of cabbage. This is what inevitably happens when the "hired hands" are given the keys to power. While most citizens have little difficulty understanding the Lord's Prayer or the Gettysburg Address, only a reckless fool would risk going into the wholesale cabbage business without a small army of lawyers and accountants at his side.

Growth is Down, Cloudy Days Ahead

December 30, 1998

Governor-elect Kenny Guinn had not yet started his Christmas shopping when he had announced that without a budget cutback of at least 3.8 percent from the budget adopted in 1997 state government would be coming up $120 million short. What increasingly astonished Nevadans are witnessing—especially in northern Nevada—is a dramatic California/Nevada role reversal. Both population and the economy of California are looking healthy again after some years of relative stagnation, while northern Nevada’s population and economy are doing little more than standing still.

Is Nevada really a high-tax state?

February 19, 1997

Debate over taxes in the 1997 Nevada Legislature brought forth the claim once again that the "per capita tax burden" in Nevada is unusually high by national standards, but is this true? In response to many inquiries, here are the facts.