‘Reading Rainbow’ Not Just About Books: One-Time Children’s Show Teaches About Free Markets

Ask people in today’s workforce about “Reading Rainbow” and they’re likely to have either been viewers themselves or raised children who reaped its educative benefits. For over a quarter century, the publicly funded television show worked to instill a love of reading within countless children, but in 2009, the show was abruptly canceled by PBS.… [More...]

Alternative Energy Projects: Who Pays for These Boondoggles?

Not only do these taxpayer-funded projects fail to produce jobs, but the bottom line is that alternative energy is expensive energy.

Work is almost completed on the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project, located near Tonopah. The developers had received a $737 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy, so if the project fails like Solyndra did, taxpayers will be on the hook for all that money. Even if we don’t have to ultimately make… [More...]

A Key Definition in the Margin-Tax Scheme Would Have Catastrophic Impact

Much ado has been made, and will continue to be made, about what is the most important question on Nevada’s 2014 ballot. But one critical aspect of the state teacher union’s proposal to enact a business margin tax has gone virtually unnoticed: the definition of an “affiliated group.” For the non-accountant, this might sound like… [More...]

Why Teachers are Leaving the Teachers Union

It’s easy to lump individuals together in a group based on one specific characteristic. How many people have been cut off in traffic by someone with a California license plate, and then blasted those “California drivers”? Generalizations are especially prevalent in politics. Who’s heard that rural Nevada is conservative, but Las Vegas is liberal? Or… [More...]

Celebrating the Constitution: The Long-Term Benefits of its Short-Term Inefficiencies

In all of life, actions have both short-term and long-term consequences — and often those outcomes stand in stark contrast to each other. If your three-year-old child is screaming for you to buy him a toy at the store, the quickest way to quiet him is to get the toy. But your actions will have… [More...]

Why Government Shouldn’t Pick Winners and Losers: City Council Considering Plan to Subsidize Private Arena Developer

Imagine watching an NBA game. With the Los Angeles Lakers leading the Boston Celtics 95 to 82 in the fourth quarter, the referees stop the game and award the Celtics 15 of the Lakers’ points and make the score 97 to 80 with the Celtics now leading. That would be outrageous and unjust, wouldn’t it?… [More...]

The Left’s New Agenda: Minimum Wage Hikes and Unemployment Benefits Aren’t the Key to Prosperity

Capitalism did not create poverty—it inherited it,” observed individualist philosopher Ayn Rand. Over the past centuries, capitalism has eradicated the previous conditions of widespread famine and starvation and has elevated the living standards of the poor to a level previously unheard of, even for kings. Today, even low-income Americans commonly enjoy cell phones, automobiles, a… [More...]

Industry Focus: Education

The Nevada education system has overcome a multitude of hurdles in recent years. Even so, the system still has a long way to go.

From kindergarten to college graduation, Nevada’s education system has overcome a multitude of hurdles in recent years. Even so, the system still has a long way to go. Coming together to discuss issues Nevada faces in regards to education, a combination of business leaders, economic development resources and leaders in education recently met at the… [More...]

Taxpayers Lose Big: Lawmakers Impose New Burdens

Nevada Gov. Sandoval and legislators passed numerous tax increases while pretending that they didn’t raise taxes.

Three years ago, both Brian Sandoval and Rory Reid ran for governor on a “no new taxes” platform. Last year, voters in five Nevada counties rejected six efforts to raise taxes — even though Barack Obama was at the top of the ticket, driving liberal voter turnout. Given the clear will of the voters throughout… [More...]

Can Hollywood be ‘Caged’ in Nevada? Film-tax credit drew big-name supporters, but has shaky track record

The Nevada film-tax credit is essentially a financial bribe from Silver State taxpayers for film producers to shoot movies in Nevada.

He began: “My name is Nicolas Cage, and I am an American filmmaker.” On May 7th of this year, Cage appeared before a legislative committee to ask it to implement a film-tax credit in the State of Nevada. He argued that the lack of these tax credits was the only thing holding back a deluge… [More...]

Commentary: Want America’s best teachers?

Pay the exceptionally effective exceptionally well. Academic achievement, secondary school graduation and college entrance rates are alarmingly low in Nevada. And required remediation, for those few who do go to college, is dismayingly high. These conditions place Nevada at the bottom of national and international education measures. While pockets of promise exist among charter schools… [More...]

31 Percent of Nevada Workers Want to Leave Their Unions

Union Restrictions Make it Difficult for Members to Opt Out Have you ever been trapped? Maybe you were stuck in traffic without A/C on a blistering summer day. Maybe an elevator door took three beats too long to open. Maybe you squeezed into clothes that were just a bit too tight and constricted your movements. Being… [More...]

Transparent Nevada: Nevada’s Collective Bargaining Laws Enable Government Employees to Live High at Taxpayers’ Expense

Last year, Governor Brian Sandoval made $181,586.49 in total compensation. How many government employees in Nevada made more than the governor? One hundred, five hundred … maybe a thousand? No, nope and not even close. Over 2,000 government employees in Nevada made more in total compensation than the governor in 2012. Those employees include, a… [More...]

Let’s Quit Killing Jobs in the Silver State: Legislators Should Remove Obstacles to Job Creation

Nevada’s unemployment rate has lingered at unacceptably high, double-digit rates for nearly four years. That uncomfortable statistic — reflecting deep human costs inflicted on many Nevada families — has led the state’s political class to make much ado about promoting “economic development.” During the 2011 legislative session, for example, lawmakers created a new “state framework”… [More...]

Taxpayers Don’t Prevail: Nevada’s prevailing wage law benefits narrow groups at public expense

Imagine you’re a plumber living in Mesquite. For most jobs, you’d probably earn as much as a plumber living in nearby St. George, Utah — $19.67 per hour, on average, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor. If you can get work on a public works project financed by Clark County or the… [More...]

What the Obamacare Decision Means for State Policymakers: Court gives states the option of financing congressional scheme

Few decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court have captured the public interest as did its June opinion in NFIB v. Sebelius. This long-anticipated ruling was widely perceived as the final judicial test for one of the most controversial acts of Congress in decades: the Affordable Care Act (ACA), popularly known as Obamacare. The challenge centered… [More...]

Prevailing Wage Laws: Time to End This Corrupt System

Lyle Brennan

Nevada’s so-called “prevailing wage” laws cost taxpayers millions of dollars each year – many of these dollars go into union coffers instead of to workers. Once you know the facts about it, you’ll be as outraged as I am that this politically motivated system has been allowed to continue. Prevailing wage laws require contractors who… [More...]

Inflated Salaries Revealed: More than 1,000 government employees made over $200,000 in total compensation in 2011

Nevada Free Market Watch

Pop quiz time. Who made more in base pay in 2011: Gov. Brian Sandoval — at $143,426.25 — or the parks director for the City of Reno? Who made more in base pay in 2011: Any of Clark County’s 15 top-paid senior attorneys or Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, who earned $140,389.37? Finally, who made more… [More...]

Education Outlook: Weathering the Storm

Nevada's Education Outlook

Against a persistent backdrop of brutal budget cuts, shrinking revenues and heightened expectations, K-12 educators in Nevada continue to explore and implement innovative solutions to the challenges they face in the state’s schools. [More...]

Hiding Behind Opaque Numbers: Nevada PERS Accounting Practices are Concealing Taxpayers’ Real Liabilities

Nothing pleases a politician more than the ability to promise lavish benefits to important constituencies without having to pay for them. Nevada lawmakers long ago found a vote-buying cash cow of this nature in the state’s Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS). PERS manages a defined-benefits pension system that operates much differently from the retirement funds… [More...]