a service of NPRI


December 1, 2005 
Vol. 1, No. 38
 

Also in this issue:

Jobs stay as schools shrink

The man who bought Elvis

Federal DOE could oust Yucca Mountain contractor

The education of Andy Grove

Valley growth propels 
hospital upgrades

Report blasts teacher 
hiring in city districts

Commentary:

Fumbling the Future

Bush deals with immigration

$500 gold and interest rates

The trade deficit: An 
Austrian perspective

Recent NPRI Commentaries

Who gets to 
put you in hock?

The pols have a new scheme to circumvent Nevada's constitutional debt limit.

Pseudo-Compassion
and the State

Genuine, effective compassion is beyond the capability of government


Predation
Fumbling the Future

The failure of the political class to deal with government over-spending means taxpayers need to take action.

By Dennis Schiffel

A recent Cato Institute publication noted that government spending at all levels “consumes 31 per cent of the nation’s economy.” Think about it: 31 per cent of national spending is determined by politicians. For a free-market economy this seems like a shocking figure. It suggests a huge amount of what economists call dead-weight economic loss and distorted economic incentives. Yet government spending continues to grow. According to the Tax Foundation and the National Taxpayers Union, federal outlays (spending) increased by over 30 percent between 2001 and 2005, far outpacing revenue growth. The annual federal budget deficit is large by historical standards as is the national debt. The trends in government spending, deficits and political intervention in the economy are troubling.

[continued]


Borders
Bush deals with immigration

By R. Emmett 
Tyrrell, Jr.
New York Sun

This week in a speech to border and customs agents in Tucson, Ariz., President Bush fastened the nation's attention on our immigration imbroglio. That should come as no surprise. Many Americans are very concerned about immigration policy. Nation of immigrants that we are, our appraisal of the problem has changed - once again.

During periods of the 19th century, the nation was ambivalent about immigration. A whole political party, the Know-Nothings, was against it in the 1850s. Toward the end of the century, when large groups of Irish and Italians were swarming in, the nation's older immigrants were against it.

[continued]


The Fed
$500 gold and interest rates

By Peter Schiff
Euro Pacific Capital

As the Fed continues its inflation campaign, most have yet to come to grips with the reality of America's uniquely precarious situation. In an act of prestidigitation that would impress Harry Houdini, the Fed is now attempting to make inflation disappear by no longer publishing data on the growth of M3, while mystifying the public with phony CPI statistics. However, the relentless rise in the price of gold is evidence that fewer people are being fooled by the Fed's slight of hand.

[continued]


Free markets
The trade deficit: An Austrian perspective

By Thorsten Polleit
Ludwig von 
Mises Institute

The US trade deficit is often viewed with alarm and has attracted considerable attention from both the public at large and policy makers. Much of the uneasiness about the US trade deficit can quite simply be attributed to the term "deficit" itself, which holds with it many underlying negative connotations. However, in answer to these concerns, one may take the perspective, drawing on the theories of Ludwig on Mises and Friedrich August von Hayek ...

[continued]


WHY BusinessNevada


Self-defense
Businesses can
impact Nevada’s
swing voters

Employees want to hear from their companies: How will public policy measures impact them?

By Steven Miller
BusinessNevada

Although many Nevada business people don’t know it, they easily constitute the most potentially powerful new political force in the Silver State.

That’s the message that Gregory Casey brought to Nevada this week.

Casey, a native Westerner and president of the Business-Industry Political Action Committee (BIPAC), spoke at the Nevada Manufacturing Association’s annual dinners Tuesday and Wednesday in Northern and Southern Nevada.

[continued]


Educrats
Jobs stay as 
schools shrink

Administrators fare better than teachers as districts cut back.

By Phillip Reese
Sacramento Bee

Enrollment drops, teachers leave, but administrators stay. 

That's the story at most of the 25 school districts with declining enrollment in the Sacramento region, according to a Bee analysis of state education data. 

Just eight of those districts reported to the state that they had cut administrators between the school years 1999-2000 and 2004-2005, even though the districts lost about 5,000 students during that period. 

Five of the 25 districts added administrators.

[continued]


Taking Care of Business
The man who bought Elvis

Investor Robert Sillerman is combining the King, American Idol, and other entertainment assets to build his next media conglomerate.

By Andy Serwer
Fortune

Elvis left the building 28 years ago, but as a pop icon he's still hot. Over half a million tourists from all over the world stream into the shrine called Graceland each year. 

When his record company rereleased Elvis singles to promote his latest greatest-hits compilation in 2002, 19 of them became top five hits in Britain. (A hip-hop-style remix of "A Little Less Conversation" was a No. 1 hit in more than two dozen countries, including the U.S.) 

And Elvis impersonators are still fixtures in everything from movies to corporate events.

[continued]


Yucca Wars
Federal DOE could oust 
Yucca Mountain contractor

By Tony Illia
LV Business Press

The U.S. Dept of Energy is returning to the drawing board on how to improve management of the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository, located 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas. And that upgrade could entail changing contractors. 

The joint venture of Bechtel SAIC, won the five-year, $3.1 billion site-management contract on Feb. 12, 2001 and that agreement expires in March. Industry sources say the DOE is planning to rebid the contract, adding that competing teams are now beginning to develop.

[continued]


Leadership
The education
of Andy Grove

A Harvard historian explains how Intel's legendary chief became the best model we have for leading a business in the 21st century.

By Richard S. Tedlow
Fortune

In 1991, an instructor at Stanford's Graduate School of Business presented his class with a case study. It went like this: A CEO was scheduled to address a major industry gathering, and he could give one of three speeches. The first would publicly commit his company to incorporating a sexy, sophisticated new technology in its products. The second speech would reaffirm the company's commitment to developing its existing technology. The third speech would do neither, leaving the decision to "the market." 

The stakes were enormous: A wrong decision could well ruin the business. What should the CEO do? The question was more than academic, because the CEO described in the case was also the man at the front of the classroom. Dr. Andrew S. Grove, like professor Indiana Jones, was better known for his exploits as "Andy," the famous leader of Intel Corp. But unlike Indy, Grove wasn't simply biding time here between adventures. His question was meant not just to challenge students' thinking but to advance his own. That big speech was three weeks away, and Grove had yet to make up his mind. He didn't know the answer.

[continued]


Healthcare
Valley growth propels 
hospital upgrades

By Michelle Swafford
InBusiness Las Vegas

Hospitals are expanding rapidly in the Las Vegas Valley. Two chief reasons are: Patients' need for additional beds and services and hospital operators' demand for profit. Patient and physician demand is a major reason why three hospitals have opened in the Las Vegas Valley in the past five years and several others are in various stages of completion.

[continued]


Child sacrifice
Report blasts teacher 
hiring in city districts

By Catherine Gewertz
Education Week

Contract provisions that force principals to hire teachers they don't want are hampering efforts to build a strong corps of teachers for urban schools, a report contends. 

In a study of collective-bargaining agreements in five large cities, the New Teacher Project calls for revising rules that allow senior teachers to take their pick of job openings, while novices are the first to be cut and can be "bumped" from their jobs by colleagues with more seniority.

[continued]


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