This week, the Internet went down at NPRI’s Las Vegas office, leaving us without access to the online world for nearly two full days.
Has the Internet ever gone out at your office? If so, you know what it’s like. First, you try to go online to see if there’s a news story somewhere explaining what’s going on. When that fails, for the obvious reasons, you wander the hallways aimlessly for a half hour or so, and then finally go work from home.
But in this case, that half hour of wandering was not completely without value. It got me to thinking about my assumptions. I assume my Internet is going to work, but why should I?
I’ve always been a big fan of Hillsdale College.
The school’s core curriculum alone is enough reason to warrant admiration, with its grounding in Western culture and tradition and its focus on the principles of the American founding.
Beyond that, there’s the fact that Hillsdale doesn’t accept a single penny in government funding. Lots of institutions around the country can say the same — including NPRI — but that Hillsdale can say it makes the school unique among American colleges.
And finally, there’s a reason that’s a bit closer to home: Three members of our staff here at NPRI — Victor Joecks, Jared Carl and Tyler Walton — are Hillsdale graduates, and we’ve been well served by all of them.
A bit over a month ago, I used this space to highlight a wonderfully ironic development in the still-unfolding Obamacare saga: the defection of Teamsters chief James Hoffa and other national labor-union leaders from the ranks of the health-care law’s supporters.
At the time, I was careful to temper my enthusiasm. The about-face from Hoffa, et al., was most welcome, but it hardly represented some fundamental ideological shift on the part of Big Labor. It was simply a case of looking out for one’s own.
That said, something peculiar does seem to be going on in Unionland these days.
I still remember something Joe Becker said to me nearly three years ago. We’d just officially launched the Center for Justice and Constitutional Litigation here at NPRI and hired Joe as the Center’s director, and he was perfectly frank about what it was we were getting into.
“Beating the government,” Joe told me, “is hard.”
Is it ever.
As the president of a non-profit, I know what it’s like to rely on the generosity and support of others to be able to carry out the organization’s mission. And I can’t say enough about how much I appreciate your support for the Nevada Policy Research Institute and our efforts to make the Silver State a freer and better place to live.
As much as I believe in NPRI’s mission, however, I always keep in mind that there are so many other causes that are worthy of support. Of course, not all of them have to do with public policy. But it’s good to remember that there are lots of ways to help strengthen our community that go beyond tax rates and education reforms.
The “more cops” tax debate is back in the news this week. The latest, reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal, is that the Clark County Commission has opted to postpone its vote on whether to approve an increase in the county’s sales-tax rate, new revenues from which would go to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
This past Wednesday, renowned economist Milton Friedman would have been 101 years old, and NPRI joined more than one hundred organizations around the country in celebrating Friedman’s birthday and legacy. We did so by hosting education reformer Dr. Ben Chavis for a policy luncheon, and he gave a hilarious yet enlightening talk about his experience turning a failing charter school into the most challenging high school in America, as ranked by the Washington Post.
Want to know when you’re making a difference? When politicians, like liberal Clark County Commissioner Tom Collins, start attacking you with tweets like this.
In the run-up to the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, then-House speaker Nancy Pelosi famously said that “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”
Congress did, of course, pass the bill. President Obama signed it into law on March 23, 2010. And, as Pelosi promised, we are indeed finding out what’s in it.
Then again, even before the bill was passed, “what’s in it” — or at least, the most important elements of “what’s in it” — was already painfully obvious to those who opposed the bill or warned that it constituted disastrous health-care policy. While many of the dirty details had not yet come to light, it was clear that the bill increased intrusion by the federal government into the health-care market, with the predictable consequences including new taxes on businesses, higher premiums for individuals and further strains on federal and state budgets.
We’ve made significant progress in our pursuit of justice for Pastor Victor Fuentes and the Solid Rock Church.
As you know, NPRI’s lawsuit, filed by our Center for Justice and Constitutional Litigation, seeks restoration of the church’s baptismal and recreational waters, declaratory and injunctive relief, takings compensation, and restitution from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for negligent actions by the agency that resulted in more than $86,000 in flood damage to the church’s property.