a service of NPRI


September 1, 2005 
Vol. 1, No. 28
 

Recent NPRI Commentaries

Dead and
Not Knowing It

Nevada's tax-financed universities are based on a paradigm that no longer represents reality.

On Ratchets
Taxeaters love to rant about the TABOR "ratchet." But they've got a much more insidious one of their own.

Wishing Upon a Superstar
The Clark County School District chronically fails in its mission because it is a government monopoly, protected from market forces.


Small Business
Northwest Strike Signals Union Change

By William F.
Buckley, Jr.
Universal Press Syndicate

The story of the union striking against Northwest Airlines is very big, because buried in it there is something that looks like a change in the intellectual soul of the nation.

For generations it has been widely accepted that when one union goes on strike, members of other unions should express their corporate sympathy by refusing to cross the picket line. Restraints on collegial striking as highest priority were here and there imposed by Congress and the courts. And it was the chief executive — President Ronald Reagan — who in 1981 fired the air-traffic controllers who struck illegally, barring them from reemployment. But mostly the attitude has been that if a picket line is set up, all conscientious people are supposed to observe it, never mind any examination of the issues being fought over.

Three examples come to mind. The first involved Eleanor Roosevelt, who one evening stopped short of entering a theater that was being picketed, announcing that she would not cross a picket line "under any circumstance." That statement gave rise to the nearest thing to the inescapably rationalist reply in modern polemics, which was a call for volunteers to picket round-the-clock all the exits from Hyde Park.

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Animal rites
Radical descent into madness

By Thomas Bray
The New York Sun

If you're looking for a good scare, go see this summer's version of the "Blair Witch Project," the documentary titled "Grizzly Man."

It's not fiction dressed up to look like a documentary. It's a documentary that seems almost fictional - the story of Timothy Treadwell, a self-appointed protector of grizzlies who spent 13 seasons in Alaska's Katmai wilderness filming the creatures. He produces some amazing photography, but in the end, one of the bears kills and eats him, as well as his girlfriend.

Though the attack is captured on the audio portion of his videocam - the lens cap was found still on the camera - we are spared hearing the screams and snapping bones. But the horror is still almost unbearable, in part because his film so clearly shows the implacable ferocity and power of the bears. The narrator, Werner Herzog, early and often refers to the "murder" that is to come. He also interviews the coroner, who gives a graphic description of the bloody wreckage that is recovered from the killer bear's stomach.

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WHY BusinessNevada


The Law
Attorney General
dinged by LCB

By Steven Miller
BusinessNevada

Nevada’s Legislative Counsel Bureau said in effect this week that Attorney General Brian Sandoval is wrong on the law in his efforts to block a major tax refund to a Southern California company.

Several Nevada firms may be due even larger tax refunds, if the Nevada Tax Commission precedent stands.

BN's first report on this issue, on July 22

Tax commission says closed hearings are nothing new LV Sun

SCE: Nevada can't sue to avoid payment
LV Sun

Responding to a request from State Senator Randolph J. Townsend, R-Reno, the LCB produced a seven-page legal opinion. It upholds the authority of the Nevada Tax Commission—notwithstanding the state's open meeting law—to deliberate and vote in closed meetings when a taxpayer has invoked his statutory confidentiality privileges.

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Death Tax
How will Harry Reid
treat your heirs?

Advocates of permanently repealing the federal death tax say they are within two votes of success, and Nevada’s senior U.S. Senator, Harry Reid, could make the difference.

On Tuesday, September 6, the U.S. Senate will reconvene. A vote to stop the filibuster being conducted by liberal Democrats is scheduled to take place then or later in the week.

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Vegas
Nevada's fertile valley

By James K. Glassman
The American Enterprise

In 1972, architects Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown wrote a book called Learning from Las Vegas, which celebrated the gambling capital’s architecture. Designers and builders, the authors insisted, should respond to the tastes and desires of “common” folks, as the architects of Las Vegas had.

Learning from Las Vegas created a scandal. In a typical commentary from a cultural journal, the Ohio Review described the book as “dangerous,” and warned that it “inverts the ideas that many have based their professional lives upon. It threatens those things that we use to distinguish the difference between us, the cultured, and them, the vulgar.”

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Taxes
Jude Wanniski, 1936-2005

Editor’s note: Early in his career, famed economist Jude Wanniski was a political reporter and columnist for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Today the R-J on published an extensive retrospective on Wanniski’s time with the paper in the 1970s, while George Gilder, in the Wall Street Journal, bid his friend goodbye.

By George Gilder
The Wall Street Journal

As Jude Wanniski knew, and expounded, "Economies are driven not by the dollars in people's pockets but by the ideas in their heads." By that measure, the U.S. economy still rides high on Jude's ideas and Jude -- who for many years wrote editorials on economics for this newspaper -- ranks high on the lists of the world's richest men. As a prime legatee of this wealth, I find it grows ever faster with the passing years. As countries from Russia to New Zealand follow the lead of his low-tax vision, I cherish more and more my winnings and my memories of him.

Continued at: WSJ.com - Commentary: Jude Wanniski, 1936-2005* This article will be available to non-subscribers of the Online Journal for up to seven days after it is e-mailed.


The Law
Local law firms face
out-of-state rivals

By Valerie Miller
LV Business Press

Out-of-state law firms are moving into Southern Nevada, increasing the competition for lucrative clients and top-notch lawyers, cutting into the clubby atmosphere of the local legal community.

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Gas Prices
Pain at the pump

By Kevin Rademacher
InBusiness Las Vegas

Three months ago, Las Vegas real estate agent Jason Delk traded in his Nissan Altima for a four-door pickup truck.

How to create
a shortage

Ludwig von Mises Institute

Upset over the run-up in gas prices? Don't look for answers from the political types.

The reason was utilitarian. He needed more room for house-hunting families to stretch out, and he often finds himself hauling trash out of homes to make them more salable.

"In my world, I would love to have a more efficient car, but it just doesn't make sense," Delk said last week.

Since that automotive upgrade, however, gasoline prices have been on the move. On June 14, AAA Nevada said the average Las Vegas price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was $2.27. By Aug. 16, that price has jumped to $2.62.

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Health Care
Doctor wait times worsen

By Michelle Swafford
InBusiness Las Vegas

Need a heart, skin or knee checkup -- take a number.

Specialist shortages are a big problem in the Las Vegas Valley and nationally, which can lead to long waits for doctors' appointments.

Compounding the Las Vegas Valley problem is a steady influx of new residents looking for doctors, many of whom are in high demand.

At the end of 2003, when the most recent data became available, Nevada ranked No. 47 out of 50 states and Washington, D.C., with 172 physicians per 100,000 residents, according to the American Medical Association.

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Life Lessons
Three stories from Steve Jobs

In Silicon Valley they’re still e-mailing around and posting on websites the text of the commencement address that Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered at Stanford in June. It tells the inside story of three traumatic events in Jobs’ life -- dropping out of college, getting fired from Apple Computer and coming down with pancreatic cancer.

from the Stanford Report

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories. 

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