The Nevada Piglet Book 2012
It's about who you know, not what you know.
That's the case in any society to the extent its resources are controlled by government. Necessarily, those resources are politicized and — rather than being allocated by individual choice in a free, competitive marketplace — they get doled out to those with political pull.
That's a central lesson of this biennium's Piglet Book.
Its stories were uncovered through hundreds of public-record requests and reviews of official documents by the Nevada Policy Research Institute.
Many of the stories reveal actions by government workers, politicians and others that are illegal. All are irresponsible or unethical. Most illustrate how politicians use public spending to build their own personal political machines, dispensing special advantages to those inside these machines.
While these stories are presented with a light touch, the reader should bear in mind that they detail substantial waste, fraud and abuse using tax dollars commandeered from every Nevada household.
The true expense here is not the money lost from government coffers. It's the money — and thus the possibilities — taken from private families.
It's in this light that the arrogance of government waste becomes most clear. Those who waste public resources or operate Nevada's political machinery to their own benefit do so at the direct expense of private families and individuals who labor hard to provide for their own needs.