D. Dowd Muska

Recent Work

Spare the Rods

The Free-Market Alternative to the Yucca Mountain Repository

November 1, 2001

There are many alternatives to burying used fuel from commercial reactors beneath Yucca Mountain. 

Bak tu skul in th Silvur Stayt

Facing the Facts About How -- and why -- Government Education Fails Nevada's Students

August 17, 2001

Few students are happy to return to school after summer vacation, but Nevada students unlucky enough to attend one of the state’s many failing government schools have especially good reason to feel upset: Despite well-meaning “reforms” and massive infusions of additional funding, the Silver State’s government-education system continues to demonstrate little real ability to perform its basic mission.

Say It Ain’t So: Stadium Subsidies in Nevada

Why Taxpayers Should Not Fund Baseball in the Silver State

July 18, 2001

Politicians, developers and sports fans in Las Vegas and Reno are pushing to build new baseball stadiums in their cities. Earlier this month the Las Vegas City Council chose the Southwest Sports Group, a Dallas-based firm, to lead “redevelopment” efforts for a 61-acre parcel of land downtown. The company has plans for a publicly funded stadium for the Las Vegas 51s, the city’s Triple A team. In Reno, the city council will soon decide whether to pursue a publicly funded stadium for one of two California clubs looking to relocate to the Truckee Meadows: the Visalia Oaks (Single A) or Tacoma Rainiers (Triple A). As is the case in cities throughout America, Nevada’s pro-stadium voices are extolling the economic benefits of publicly funded sports complexes. But there is substantial evidence that the economic impact of stadiums is exaggerated. Herewith, a look at the reasons why Nevada taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize baseball stadiums.

More Money Won’t Fix Nevada’s Education Deficit

January 15, 2001

During the 2001 legislative session, the Silver State’s lawmakers are unlikely to approve the Nevada State Education Association teacher union’s proposal for a business-profits tax. But the near-universal opposition to the union’s plan is ironic, since few—if any—legislators disagree with the justification offered for the new tax: the “need” to spend more money on Nevada’s government schools. Last week, Senator Ray Rawson, a member of the Legislature’s Education Committee, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal: “To get schools that are above average, you have to pay above average.” In December, the Las Vegas Sun’s Jon Ralston wrote of Governor Guinn’s “obvious desire to increase education funding.” It appears that the notion that schools will improve through increased funding is firmly rooted in Nevada. Sadly, it’s perhaps the most persistent myth in American public policy, a falsehood which does great damage to the cause of meaningful education reform. Herewith, a brief overview of the conclusive proof that no link exists between increased spending and increased student achievement.

Railroading Taxpayers

December 1, 2000

The train purchased by Amtrak to reestablish connection between Las Vegas and Los Angeles is finally in service. There’s only one problem: It’s serving the residents of Seattle and Vancouver. The plan to link Las Vegas to Los Angeles with a Talgo train is behind schedule, and Amtrak has allowed its Seattle-to-Vancouver route to borrow the vehicle. Yet despite this latest Amtrak failure, many officials from Southern Nevada’s public and private sectors continue to believe that taxpayers should fund the costs of connecting Southern Nevada and Southern California by rail. Herewith, a look at how Amtrak fleeces taxpayers, and an overview of the problems with a much-hyped “superspeed” train that might be built between Las Vegas and Los Angeles.