April 23, 2019
23 Apr 2019

Political Update – April 23, 2019

 

Jamie Dimon’s Timely Warning 

A CEO finally speaks up to tell the truth about the shared misery of socialism.

Andy Kessler
The Wall Street Journal

April 21, 2019

Socialism is now woker than a two-for-one Che Guevara T-shirt sale, with Bernie Sanders leading the Democrats’ presidential primary polls and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez dominating the party’s imagination. 

In a rare calling-out of this bogosity, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon warned shareholders this month that “socialism inevitably produces stagnation, corruption and often worse.” He was echoing Winston Churchill’s observation that socialism allows for “the equal sharing of misery.” Why is it only capable of generating misery?

Because under socialism, politics rather than productivity drives employment. Technological innovation is suppressed. Long ago, an Israeli explained to me that under socialism—Israel’s economic system until 1985—you would always hire two workers to do the job of one.

Of course, there is a spectrum of socialism. The textbook definition is government ownership of the means of production, as in the communist-run Soviet Union or Cuba, or the state-owned factories of China today. But socialism can also mean “owning” an industry by burying it in regulation (see education, Medicare, the overregulated auto industries and so on).

Socialists are modern-day Luddites, destroyers of technology to preserve jobs. Article 4 of the current postal-workers’ union (sweetheart) contract states that “any new job or jobs created by technological or mechanization changes shall be offered to present employees capable of being trained to perform the new or changed job.” It’s one reason, even with automation, we still have 500,000 postal workers when the right number is zero. Similarly, Detroit was slow to use robots. It’s only recently that United Auto Workers union contracts did away with job guarantees.

Workers at the Port of Oakland went on strike to protest the use of RFID tags on shipping containers because it would kill lucrative clipboard-toting jobs. Productivity be damned.

And that phantasmagoria, the Green New Deal? It’s a productivity pallbearer, with its federal job guarantees and a new mechanism to support those “unwilling to work.” Where do I sign up for that?

*NEW*

Quote of
the week

 


Quote:

“Socialism is about maximizing power, not maximizing profits. Government doesn’t make profits, has no incentive to show profits, wouldn’t know a profit if it hit it in the head. Inside government there are no markets or price mechanisms to act as a divining rod finding hidden productivity. Socialism handcuffs Adam Smith’s invisible hand.” Andy Kessler,
The Wall Street Journal 

EDITORIAL: Bad ideas abound in Carson City

Las Vegas Review-Journal

April 20, 2019

There are oodles of bad proposals still floating around Carson City, as lawmakers advance legislation through various deadlines. Some of the more destructive bills — allowing collective bargaining for state employees, gutting Read by 3 or throwing a shroud of secrecy over government pension payouts, for example — will continue to garner attention. But dozens of lower-profile measures would also be detrimental to the state and deserve to be euthanized.

Keystone’s Mission:

To recruit, support and advocate for candidates for public office who support private sector job creation, low taxation, a responsible regulatory environment, and effective delivery of essential state services.

Keystone’s Mission:

• To focus on candidate support on state legislative races and the governor’s office.
• To oppose any form of corporate income taxes or other business taxes that discourage capital investment and therefore job creation.
• Support limiting Nevada state government spending to the rate of population growth.

P.O. Box 93596 | Las Vegas, NV 89193-3596

To ensure that you continue receiving email updates,

please add Info@KeystoneNevada.com to your address book or safe list.
Click here to unsubscribe 
Having trouble viewing this e-mail? View it in your browser

April 16, 2019
16 Apr 2019

Political Update – April 16, 2019

 

Nevadans get low return on taxpayer investments, study finds 

Michael Carroll
Watchdog.org

April 10, 2019

Nevada ranked in the bottom 10 on a new national study that examined whether residents of individual states are getting a good return on their tax revenues in the form of decent public services.

The study titled “States with the Best & Worst Taxpayer ROI” by the website WalletHub found that Nevada ranked 43rd in the quality of its public services, which includes public education, health, public safety, economy, and infrastructure and pollution. And in terms of whether Nevadans are getting an adequate return on their investment of state and local tax funds, the Silver State ranked 45th, suggesting that taxpayer funds per capita are not providing a lot of bang for the buck compared to other states.

For some public policy experts, the results were not surprising.

“One of the key takeaways from this study is that the amount of taxes spent isn’t nearly as important as how that money is spent,” Michael Schaus, communications director of the Nevada Policy Research Institute, said in an email.

For too long, Nevada lawmakers have depended too much on government solutions instead of allowing the private sector to take a bigger role in helping to address societal issues, according to Schaus.

“Nevada lawmakers have long held the belief that, in many cases, government can do things better than the private sector,” he said. “From education to energy to economic development, Nevada taxpayers are constantly funding failed central planning boondoggles thought up by government insiders and lobbyists.”

Specifically, Schaus pointed to what he called the state’s abysmal public education system and the state’s reluctance to allow alternatives to traditional public school settings.

“At the end of the day, we should be reminded that the private sector – where individuals risk their own money on projects and ventures – is where there will be higher return on investment, precisely because there are no taxpayer-funded bailouts for wasteful spending or poor investments,” he said.

*NEW*

Quote of
the week

 


Quote:

“Nevada’s low taxpayer ROI is a direct result of the high taxes its residents pay, almost $4,000 per capita, without benefiting from quality government services.” Jill Gonzalez,
WalletHub Analyst 

Drive to $12 per hour: Minimum wage increase eyed by Nevada lawmakers

John Sadler
Las Vegas Sun

April 11, 2019

…Paul Moradkhan, vice president of government affairs for the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber conducted an internal survey that showed members said a minimum wage increase would hurt their business and could lead to reactions such as decreased hours for employees or increased costs for goods.

Laura Nowlan, executive director of the Nevada Hispanic Business Group, bemoaned the measure as further regulations on small businesses.

“We are, as small-business owners, the heartbeat of America, and so then as legislators making the decisions, you need to understand that if we are the heartbeat of America, the more regulations, fine and restrictions that you put out there for us, the harder it makes it for us to be able to help our economy,” she said.

Keystone’s Mission:

To recruit, support and advocate for candidates for public office who support private sector job creation, low taxation, a responsible regulatory environment, and effective delivery of essential state services.

Keystone’s Mission:

• To focus on candidate support on state legislative races and the governor’s office.
• To oppose any form of corporate income taxes or other business taxes that discourage capital investment and therefore job creation.
• Support limiting Nevada state government spending to the rate of population growth.

P.O. Box 93596 | Las Vegas, NV 89193-3596

To ensure that you continue receiving email updates,

please add Info@KeystoneNevada.com to your address book or safe list.
Click here to unsubscribe 
Having trouble viewing this e-mail? View it in your browser

April 9, 2019
09 Apr 2019

Political Update – April 9, 2019

EDITORIAL: Proposal could create PERS death spiral 

Las Vegas Review-Journal

April 6, 2019

Despite all the problems with its Public Employees’ Retirement System, Nevada has consistently done one thing right. It has re-evaluated and adjusted contribution rates every two years as needed. Unfortunately, that could be changing.

Assembly Bill 415, sponsored the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, would evaluate PERS contribution rates every six years instead of every two. That doesn’t sound like a big shift, but the implications would be far reaching.

PERS is a defined-benefit program. That means retirees receive their pensions based on a formula, not investment returns. Factors include years of service, highest salary over three years and cost-of-living adjustments. These pensions are supposed to be funded fully by employer and employee contributions and investment returns.

It hasn’t worked out that way. PERS doesn’t know how much it will need to pay out in future years, so it makes numerous assumptions about things such as mortality, inflation and investment returns. Making a small error today can lead to PERS not having enough money to cover future retirement payouts.

This matters because the government is backing these pensions. If PERS doesn’t have enough money saved, taxpayers are on the hook — and for far more than the original amount. That’s because money that should have been invested previously, but wasn’t, couldn’t generate income. Those returns are supposed to pay for 80 percent of pension costs.

Given this, it’s vital that pension contribution rates increase soon after the need is identified. PERS has a decadeslong record of underestimating how much it needs to fulfill its obligations. When PERS started in 1948, the total contribution rate was 5 percent on an employee’s first $400 in wages. Today, combined contribution rates are 28 percent for regular employees and 40.5 percent for police and fire employees. On July 1, those rates will increase to 29.25 percent and 42.5 percent, respectively.

That increase is going to cost government agencies more and decrease government employee pay. When politicians have to spend money on pensions, they have less money for more high-profile items, such as raises for teachers. Paying pension contributions is the fiscal equivalent of taking your medicine. No one likes to do it, but it’s better than the alternative.

*NEW*

Quote of
the week


Quote:

“This matters because the government is backing these pensions. If PERS doesn’t have enough money saved, taxpayers are on the hook — and for far more than the original amount.”

Las Vegas Review-Journal
April 6, 2019

Nevada eyes collective bargaining for state workers

Ryan Tarinelli
Associated Press
Nevada Appeal

April 4, 2019

For decades, enacting collective bargaining for state workers has remained an elusive goal of supportive Nevada lawmakers. But Democrats this session appear poised to make it a reality, with strong majorities in both legislative chambers and the first Democratic governor in two decades.

“It’s an inequality that needs to be corrected and it’s long overdue,” said Harry Schiffman, a worker advocate and electrician at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

A state Senate bill that would give certain state workers the right to collectively bargain will face its first legislative panel Thursday in Carson City.

Keystone’s Mission:

To recruit, support and advocate for candidates for public office who support private sector job creation, low taxation, a responsible regulatory environment, and effective delivery of essential state services.

Keystone’s Mission:

• To focus on candidate support on state legislative races and the governor’s office.
• To oppose any form of corporate income taxes or other business taxes that discourage capital investment and therefore job creation.
• Support limiting Nevada state government spending to the rate of population growth.

P.O. Box 93596 | Las Vegas, NV 89193-3596

To ensure that you continue receiving email updates,

please add Info@KeystoneNevada.com to your address book or safe list.
Click here to unsubscribe 
Having trouble viewing this e-mail? View it in your browser

April 2, 2019
02 Apr 2019

Political Update – April 2, 2019

 

Senate Democrats seek 150 percent pay hike 

Victor Joecks
Las Vegas Review-Journal

March 26, 2019

A proposal to create annual legislative sessions would also increase lawmaker pay by 150 percent. Don’t expect supporters to highlight that part.

For decades, some Nevada politicians have tried to establish annual legislative sessions. The latest effort, Senate Joint Resolution 5, is scheduled for a hearing on Wednesday afternoon. Nevada’s constitution limits the Legislature to a single 120-day regular session every two years. Nevada, Texas, Montana and North Dakota are the four states with biennial legislative sessions.

That’s not the only thing the constitution limits. It says politicians can receive pay for only the first 60 days of a regular session. They currently make around $150 a day. Over 60 days, that’s $9,000. They also collect $142 in per diem throughout the whole session. Most politicians have to pay for lodging in Carson City and travel expenses, which means they can’t just pocket that money. The combined total tops $26,000 for four months.

Most legislators don’t like working and not getting paid, which is understandable. But it’s politically dangerous to advocate paying yourself more.

Under the guise of creating annual session, SJR5 would do exactly that. The proposed constitutional amendment would create a 90-day legislative session each odd-numbered year and a 60-day session every even-numbered year. It would also eliminate the constitutional prohibition on paying legislators for more than 60 days during a regular session.

If passed, the Legislature would go from meeting 120 days to 150 days every two years. Politicians, however, would go from being paid for 60 days to 150 days every two years. That would be a 150 percent pay hike. It could be even more. The amendment says legislators shall receive compensation “at regular intervals determined by law.” As a constitutional amendment, SJR5 would have to pass the Legislature this session and in 2021. Voters would get the final say in 2022.

SJR5 isn’t a fringe effort, either. It’s sponsored by 10 of the 13 members of the Senate Democratic caucus. Many of those senators are in safe districts, but not all of them. Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro, D-Las Vegas, is a sponsor and up for election next year. It’s going to be hard to beat the sitting majority leader, but she’s handed her GOP opponent a potent political attack. She won by just 2 percentage points in 2016. Sen. Marilyn Dondero Loop, D-Las Vegas, who won by 3 percent last year, is also a co-sponsor. Republicans should bring this issue up if she runs for re-election in 2022.

*NEW*

Quote of
the week

 


Quote:

“If legislators don’t want to work without pay, there’s already a solution available. Cut back on the number of bills each lawmaker can propose, finish the work in 60 days and adjourn.”

Victor Joecks
Las Vegas Review-Journal
March 26, 2019

EDITORIAL: Rising pensions costs are crippling school districts

Las Vegas Review-Journal

March 31, 2019

Nevada isn’t the only state in which rising pension costs are pinching school district budgets.

California’s districts are struggling to deal with per-pupil pension costs that have doubled in just four years. That’s according to a new report by the nonprofit EdSource.

In 2013-14, California’s average pension contributions per student was $506. That shot up to $1,020 last year — and it’s heading higher. In 2014, the combined contribution rate for California school districts was 21.5 percent of teacher pay. Last year it was 33.8 percent. In 2022-23, it will have soared to 40 percent. As those numbers go up, the amount available for everything else goes down.

Keystone’s Mission:

To recruit, support and advocate for candidates for public office who support private sector job creation, low taxation, a responsible regulatory environment, and effective delivery of essential state services.

Keystone’s Mission:

• To focus on candidate support on state legislative races and the governor’s office.
• To oppose any form of corporate income taxes or other business taxes that discourage capital investment and therefore job creation.
• Support limiting Nevada state government spending to the rate of population growth.

P.O. Box 93596 | Las Vegas, NV 89193-3596

To ensure that you continue receiving email updates,

please add Info@KeystoneNevada.com to your address book or safe list.
Click here to unsubscribe 
Having trouble viewing this e-mail? View it in your browser