a service of NPRI

October 17, 2005 
Vol. 1, No. 33

Also in this issue:

'Creative' sector seen
as key to future growth

Louisiana wages rise after Davis-Bacon suspension

Taking the pulse
of healthcare

CityCenter in line
to be top power user

NEA members: No choice

The most famous artist
you've never heard of


Game theory,
economics, and war

The industrial welfare state
is bankrupt

Something’s catching in Washington

The vampire economy: Italy, Germany, and the U.S.

The Long War
Why we see what we see in Carson City.

If you notice, foes of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) idea never claim it is ineffective at restraining budget growth.

In other words, the critics—in their quiet unanimity regarding TABOR’s efficacy—virtually admit why they don’t like TABOR: It’s successful at restraining government expansion.

Yet, the fact is, government can grow under TABOR. All that’s required is that 1) the voters be asked about government-expansion proposals and then 2), the voters agree.

So what the foes of taxpayer protection really are confessing, in their hostility to anything remotely like TABOR, is their hostility to the idea of voters, rather than themselves, having final say on schemes to expand those same voters’ taxes.


The Nobels
Game theory, economics, and war

By Michael Kinsley
Washington Post

So you're  standing at the edge of a cliff, chained by the ankle to someone else. You'll be released, and one of you will get a large prize, as soon as the other gives in. How do you persuade the other guy to give in, when the only method at your disposal - threatening to push him off the cliff - would doom you both?


The future
The industrial welfare state is bankrupt

By Thomas Bray
Detroit News

Around Detroit, the bankruptcy last weekend of giant auto parts maker Delphi Corp. is being seen as a precursor of what's in store for the American auto industry as a whole. More fundamentally it confirms the bankruptcy of the industrial welfare state.

The powers of denial being what they are, of course, it may be some time before our politicians, unions and even many corporate leaders catch up to that fact. Exhibit A was the knee-jerk rant issued by Governor Jennifer Granholm of Michigan, who pronounced herself "angry" at Delphi, and then went on to blame the usual catalogue of left-wing villains: "globalization," "outsourcing," "upper management," "lack of support from Washington for the industries that made our country great" and "so-called free trade."


Something’s catching in Washington

By Holman W.
Jenkins, Jr.
Wall Street Journal

Be afraid. Be somewhat, slightly afraid.

Last week's panic over bird flu skipped right past the current fashion of intelligent design. Senate Major Leader Bill Frist minced no words in blaming natural selection for the impending deadly human contagion...

[continued] This article will be available to non-subscribers of the Online Journal for up to seven days after it is e-mailed

Political economy
The vampire economy: Italy, Germany, and the U.S.

By Jeffrey Herbener
Ludwig von
Mises Institute

What is the link between fascism and socialism? They are stages on a continuum of economic control, one that begins in intervention in the free market, moves toward regimentation and greater rigidity, marches toward socialism as failures increase, and ends in dictatorship.


WHY BusinessNevada

Why the fight over
the Metro contract?

All the looters aren't in New Orleans

By Steven Miller

For years, when confronted with bullying, taunting, extortion-demanding government-employee unions, Clark County commissioners have diligently followed the Monte Python strategy.

“Run away! Run away!” these would-be knights cry, as they flee the field of battle.

That they thus deliver county taxpayers into the hands of looters has not been their primary concern. Instead, for these professional politicians the relevant factor has been that rude remarks from some union boss might imperil their re-election.

Recall just two years ago, when commissioners again dodged their fiduciary obligations to citizens and gave county workers a 30-percent-plus salary increase for the next four years.

Las Vegas Chamber letter to officials

Chamber's recommended
police contract
talking points

So, given this long record of wimpishness, plus the possibly political blood-letting in store for them, why have Clark commissioners now suddenly, seemingly, gotten religion? Specifically, why are six of the seven commissioners now so fiercely opposed to Sheriff Bill Young’s proposed new contract with Metro cops that they’re willing, they say, to bounce Commissioner Tom Collins (a union rubber stamp) off of the Metropolitan Police Committee on Fiscal Affairs?


Local economies
'Creative' sector seen
as key to future growth

By Kevin Rademacher

While grabbing a cup of coffee in the back of the room, Somer Hollingsworth was beaming. The president of the Nevada Development Authority quickly surveyed the crowd gathered in the UNLV Foundation's meeting room, noting the presence of university leaders, developers, gaming executives, bankers and business owners. "I love it," he said, "love it."

The limits of using policy
to create 'cool'

By Chris Fiscelli
Reason Foundation


Hollingsworth then scrambled back to his table, returning to the series of projects that made up the Las Vegas Creative Economy Forum. The event revolved around the creative class theory popularized by economist Richard Florida. That theory pushes the idea that economic growth is driven by creative people who set up shop in diverse and tolerant areas.


Louisiana wages rise after Davis-Bacon suspension

AGC: Claims by unions turn out wrong

By Ned Randolph
Baton Rouge Advocate

Despite reports that Louisiana workers are having to compete against out-of-state workers for lower wages, a contractors association says that wages are in fact rising around the state because of the demand for workers in the New Orleans area.

At issue is whether the Bush administration's order on Sept. 8 suspending the Davis-Bacon Act has depressed local wages.


Taking the pulse
of healthcare

A look at employer-sponsored health benefits

By Jennifer Rachel Baumer
Nevada Business Journal

OFFERING a healthcare plan can mean the difference between getting the employees you want and not getting them. “It’s very important for employers to have a healthcare plan to offer potential employees,” said Ty Windfeldt, marketing director for Hometown Health, a not-for-profit division of Washoe Health System. “With the unemployment rate so low, employers are really competing for high-quality employees, and one way to compete is by having a health plan.”


Real Estate
CityCenter in line
to be top power user

By Tony Illia
LV Business Press

MGM Mirage's mammoth new Strip development, Project CityCenter, will not only be the state's largest megaresort, it will also be its largest energy user. The $5 billion complex of hotels, residences, shops and casinos will require enough electricity to power 91,000 homes.


NEA members: No choice

Internal survey shows members are mostly conservative, say they had no choice in joining

Washington Times

Is the National Education Association worried that it is out of touch? Not as much as it should be. At its annual meeting, the union presented some new internal survey results that show the NEA wants to sell itself better to the 2.7 million teachers and education professionals who make up its membership.

It's no surprise to education insiders, but half of the NEA's membership self-identify as political conservatives. According to its survey results, 50 percent of members call themselves conservatives, while only 40 percent call themselves liberals. That's a problem for a lobbying powerhouse like the NEA which espouses down-the-line liberal positions in exchange for bigger budgets and political favors.


The most famous artist
you've never heard of

Stephen Hannock's landscapes have become highly prized by an elite clientele. So how come you've never heard of him?

By Andy Serwer

One Sunday morning last April, a somber, well-turned-out crowd of 100 or so gathered in Manhattan's Madison Square Park for a memorial service. It was a sunny day, and in an adjacent playground dads with laughing kids barely glanced up at the ceremony, except perhaps to notice a teary 4-year-old girl holding the hand of a handsome, stoic man.

Hannock's work at New York's Kohn Gallery

After some opening remarks someone with a guitar got up and began to sing. It was obviously a tribute to the deceased, and at first no one outside the group paid any attention. But wait a minute—wasn't that voice familiar? The dads strayed from their kids and moved closer to listen. It was Sting, singing "Fields of Gold"....


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