Eating cake and having it too

Patrick Gibbons

The Las Vegas Sun recently reported on a Brookings Institution study that claims Nevada and other western states are becoming the new heartland of America. The rapid growth of our region, the report claims, will require Nevada and her neighbors to work together, and with the federal government, to address our newfound growing pains such as water and power shortages, congested transportation, and sprawl.

While I'm always impressed with the depth of research done by the center-left Brookings Institution, its conclusions sometimes leave a lot to be desired. In this case, its conclusion is downright ironic.

Nevada has been put in this precarious situation precisely because of government subsidization. It is government assistance (federal and regional highways, energy grids, water projects) that has subsidized our sprawl, congested roads, over-population, environmental damage, pollution, water shortages and energy consumption.

More government assistance will only encourage more of the same problems we are already experiencing.

Nevada needs private solutions for our water, energy and transportation problems. Private solutions will not only be quicker to meet current demands than the government, they will also make sure prices control growth in a more sustainable way.

You can't eat your cake and have it, too, just as Nevada can't have both government solutions and sustainable growth.