a service of NPRI

September 22, 2005 
Vol. 1, No. 31

Also in this issue:

Insurers gamble on
new drug coverage

Adelson, Clear Channel
expected to announce deal

Court hears dispute between Vegas school district unions

Lessons of the storm

'The only lifeline
was the Wal-Mart'

For FedEx, it was
time to deliver


We're all in the same bloat

Hurricane George is heading straight for your portfolio

Not liberating, after all

Free-market solution
for Medicaid

Recent NPRI Commentaries

The Significance

There's a new antidote in the constitutional medicine chest

Infantile Adult Syndrome
We subsidize pathology, then wonder why we get more of it

Dead and Not
Knowing It, Part 2

Dead and Not
Knowing It, Part 1

Nevada's tax-financed universities are based on a paradigm that no longer represents reality.

Big Government
We're all in the same bloat

Republicans have abandoned small government. Why shouldn't voters abandon them?

By Brendan Miniter
Opinion Journal

"After 11 years of Republican majority, we pared it down pretty good. I am ready to declare ongoing victory. It is still a process."--House Majority Leader Tom DeLay on the federal budget

In the presidential campaign last year, Democrats were said to be counting on some misfortune--terrorists attacking on American soil, the Iraq War taking a turn for the worse, the economy going south--to help them beat George W. Bush. That didn't happen, of course. But now disaster has struck, and it's becoming increasingly clear that Democrats are better off for it. In ripping through the Gulf Coast, Hurricane Katrina has peeled back the lid on Republican rule and many Americans aren't happy with what they see. This isn't about a slow response anymore. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is on the ground, troops have restored order, and the water in New Orleans has long since begun to recede.


The Economy
Hurricane George is heading straight for your portfolio

By Peter Schiff
Euro Pacific Capital

As if the damage from Hurricane Katrina was not bad enough, Hurricane George Bush has been gathering strength over the Potomac, and is now a category five monster headed straight for your portfolio (other than the part consisting of non-U.S. dollar denominated investments that is.)

Likening his planned $200+ billion boondoggle to the “Marshal Plan” after the Second World War, Bush is ignoring a simple, but enormous distinction. In 1945, we had the savings necessary to tackle the World's problems; in 2005 we do not have adequate savings to pay for our own.

In my recent commentary “Nothing Saved for a Rainy Day,” I pointed out that Americans, who have indulged their every whim while the sun shinned, have saved nothing for a “rainy” day. As a result, Hurricane Katrina struck ...


Not liberating, after all

How did feminists end up in bed with Hugh Hefner?

By Wendy Shalit
Opinion Journal

Ariel Levy attended Wesleyan University in the 1990s, and she doesn't feel the better for it. It was a place where "group sex, to say nothing of casual sex, was de rigueur." It was a place where they had "coed showers, on principle." When Ms. Levy suggested to a department head that it would be nice to have at least one course in the traditional literary canon, she was dismissed with icy contempt. Yet elsewhere on campus a professor of the humanities taught a course on pornography featuring, um, detailed textual analysis.

It was all supposed to be so liberating....


The MediMess
Free-market solution for Medicaid

By Mallory Factor
Free Enterprise Fund

While conservatives are winning most of today’s economic policy debates, in the long run runaway big government is still slated to flatten us all.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, under current law, federal spending as a percentage of gross domestic product will soar to 34% by 2050, from 20% of GDP, where it has been for the last 50 years. 


WHY BusinessNevada

wins a convert

The prospect of a Colorado-style Taxpayers Bill of Rights is eliciting hysteria again

By Steven Miller

In 2002, when Nevada doctors said an Assembly attempt at tort-reform legislation contained too many loopholes, Majority Leader Barbara Buckley called a press conference and lambasted the bill’s critics as “fearmongers.”

Lately, however, Buckley has decided that explicit fear-mongering—inciting of fear and apprehension—is precisely what she wants to do.

In a recent interview with Alliance, the quarterly newsletter of the Nevada Faculty Alliance, a labor union for Nevada higher ed faculty members, Buckley told readers they should be “scared to death” of any effort to place a Taxpayers Bill of Rights on the 2006 election ballot.


Insurers gamble on
new drug coverage

By Michelle Swafford

Managed-care companies and insurers are gearing up for big business opportunities when seniors gain prescription drug coverage next year through Medicare.

Sierra Health Services and PacifiCare Health Systems are the main players in Nevada's Medicare business right now, but that is likely to change when Part D prescription drug plans are offered later this year. Major insurers and managed-care companies want a piece of the Medicare pie because of its profit potential in covering 42 million Americans.

The federal government has pledged to subsidize companies that offer drug plans so they cannot lose too much money. On the flipside, Medicare will take its cut if the company earns too much Medicare profit.


Adelson, Clear Channel expected to announce deal

By David McKee
LV Business Press

On Friday, according to a well-placed source, Las Vegas Sands, owner of the The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino, will announce an alliance with the Clear Channel entertainment empire.

It will be an augmentation of Sands' campaign for one of two casino licenses currently being put up for bid in Singapore. The Singapore government has said it will submit requests for proposals from Sands and its competitors at the end of September.

Sands spokesman Ron Reese was traveling and unavailable for comment and Clear Channel representative Ray Young said his company would be making no announcement of its own.


Court hears dispute
between Vegas school
district unions

ESEA tries to block choice by employees it shorted in $6 million-plus unpaid medical bill scandal

Associated Press

CARSON CITY, Nev. -- A lawyer for the union that represents non-teaching workers in Las Vegas-area schools asked the Nevada Supreme Court on Wednesday to block an election to determine if the Teamsters Union should represent the workers.

Michael Dyer, representing the Educational Support Employees Association, argued that state law blocks a union trying to replace an existing union from having an election unless it can produce membership cards from more than half the potential members.


American Enterprise
Lessons of the storm

Hurricane Katrina brought out the worst
in Washington and the best in business

By Justin Fox

As the residents of shattered Gulf Coast towns like Biloxi, Miss., and Gretna, La., began returning home or crawling from the wreckage in the days after Hurricane Katrina hit, many found their way to the big concrete box with the battered orange sign. Home Depot stores were among the first to reopen in the storm’s wake, offering rebuilding supplies plus the even more precious commodities of electricity and normalcy.

That was no accident. Home Depot had started mobilizing four days before Katrina slammed into the coast. Two days before landfall, maintenance teams battened down stores in the hurricane’s projected path, while electrical generators and hundreds of extra workers were moved into place along both sides of it. At the company’s hurricane center in Atlanta, staff from different divisions—maintenance, HR, logistics—worked 18 hours a day to cut through logjams and get things where they needed to be.


American Enterprise
'The only lifeline
was the Wal-Mart'

The world's biggest company flexed its massive distribution muscle to deliver vital supplies to victims of Katrina. Inside an operation that could teach FEMA a thing or two

By Devin Leonard

Jessica Lewis couldn't believe her eyes. Her entire community—Waveland, Miss., a Gulf Coast resort town of 7,000—had been laid waste by the storm, and Lewis, co-manager of the local Wal-Mart, was assessing the damage to her store. The fortresslike big box on Highway 90 still stood. But Katrina's floodwaters had surged through the entrance, knocking over refrigerators full of frozen pizza, shelves of back-to-school items, racks of lingerie. Trudging through nearly two feet of water in the fading light, Lewis thought, How are we ever going to clean up this mess?

That quickly became the least of Lewis's worries. As the sun set on Waveland, a nightmarish scene unfolded on Highway 90. She saw neighbors wandering around with bloody feet because they had fled their homes with no shoes. Some wore only underwear. "It broke my heart to see them like this," Lewis recalls. "These were my kid's teachers. Some of them were my teachers. They were the parents of the kids on my kids' sports teams. They were my neighbors. They were my customers.""


American Enterprise
For FedEx, it was time to deliver

Years of coping with calamity have taught the huge shipper to improvise. That came in handy when the big storm hit.

By Ellen Florian Kratz

Watching TV in Memphis, Mike Mitchell didn't get it. Day after day, the FedEx Express senior technical advisor heard reporters describe how desperately New Orleans rescuers needed communications. Nobody seemed able to fix the problem.

Finally, on the Thursday after Katrina hit, Mitchell spied a way to help: an aerial shot of a 54-story building near the convention center showed the intact base for a FedEx radio antenna, part of a system he had visited in 2004 on a maintenance check. That led him to hope that part of the installation had survived. We have spare parts here in Memphis, he thought. If we could just get a generator to the roof and radios to the rescuers, they'd have a way of talking to one another. Mitchell shot an e-mail to his boss the next day. It made its way up the ranks. FedEx called FEMA. FEMA called the 82nd Air-borne Division. They all liked the idea.


Subscribe to BUSINESSNevada

Know a colleague who’d be interested? Forward BUSINESSNevada!

Receiving BUSINESSNevada
via your trade association?
Click here and get it DIRECT!