This week in the Nevada legislature
Today is “Deadline Day” in Carson City — meaning bills not reported out of committee by today’s end will be officially “dead.” (Some exceptions, restrictions and limitations may apply.) As a result, this last week has been especially busy. In a Reno Gazette-Journal opinion piece, Randi Thompson points out some of the worst (and a few of the best) bills to come up for discussion so far. (Read more here) One especially bad bill sponsored by Democrats aims to permanently remove the modest increase (roughly $600,000) in funding that was scheduled for the Opportunity Scholarship program — a educational-choice program for low-income students. Although the bill is out of committee, however, this effort to limit scholarships for low-income families might be easier said than done. Such a move in this case may actually require a two-thirds vote in both chambers! (Read more here) There’ll be plenty of more developments on all these bills in coming weeks, so check out Nevada Policy’s online Legislative Bill Tracker to stay up to date!
Poverty and Free Markets
It’s worthwhile to take a step back every now and then, and look at human progress with a bit of perspective. In 1820, 94 percent of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty (less than $1.90 per day adjusted for purchasing power). By 1990 this figure had dropped to 34.8 percent. By 2015, it was a staggeringly low 9.6 percent! In other words, a mere two centuries of economic progress (and largely free markets) transformed the world from one of poverty and suffering, to a world where prosperity and wealth are increasingly widespread. (Read more)
Since the Supreme Court ruled that public sector unions are no longer allowed to charge non-members “agency fees,” roughly 210,000 public-sector workers have fully opted-out of financially supporting their unions. Put another way, that’s 210,000 public sector workers who were previously forced to support unions against their will. What’s interesting, however, is that overall public-sector union rates haven’t actually declined that much in that same time period. As Eric Boehm points out at Reason, “that’s exactly why the Janus case was so important for worker freedom. Individuals who choose to support a union can continue doing that, and those that do not want to fund union activities are no longer forced to do so. Far from being an outright attack on the right of workers to unionize — which is exactly what unions claimed the Janus case was — the Supreme Court’s decision allows all workers to do as they please.” (Read more)
Wisconsin saw a major political upset this week that many people might have missed. It was an upset because some of the “big players” in politics had essentially abandoned the conservative candidate, leaving most folks to believe the race was all but over. However, Wisconsin has an incredibly strong activist network for free-market advocates and organizations. The result was a grassroots movement that proved, with the right game plan, major wins are not always out of reach. (Read more)
Healthcare reform will, once again, be a major topic in the upcoming presidential primaries. As these conversations play out, it’s important to keep in mind how “socialized medicine” is working out for other nations. The United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS), for example, recently reported that thousands of elderly people in Britain are left to go blind because of the nation’s need to ration eye surgery. In fact, the majority of eye-treatment centers have policies that prohibit treatment on patients until their eyesight deteriorates beyond a certain point. Certainly, this isn’t what most Americans would consider “quality” treatment — right? (Read more)