Jim Clark: Nevada’s future, post 2015 legislative session
June 9, 2015
As of my deadline, Gov. Sandoval and members of the Nevada legislature are frantically trying to hammer together the most important parts of their agendas before adjournment, which must take place by 1 a.m., Tuesday, June 2.
The problem is many players have different agendas. By the time you read this, the differences will either have been settled or we will be in a special session.
It was interesting at this tense time to review political pundits' comments this weekend in Northern Nevada's largest daily newspaper.
The editorial board unanimously praised Gov. Sandoval for his vision for education in Nevada and for fighting the good fight to raise revenues to fund his vision.
Pundit Jon Ralston wrote a column largely agreeing, characterizing the legislative session as "historic" in terms of education reforms and (he hopes) the money to pay for them.
Ralston has a point. Since 1998, Nevada has had Republican governors and at least one branch of the legislature controlled by Democrats.
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It's difficult to craft a meaningful agenda when legislation is subject to being killed at the whim of a committee chair, Republican or Democrat, who owes fealty to interests opposed to reform.
Ralston attributed this year's progress to the GOP "red wave" election that finally put Republicans in charge of the state house and the governor's mansion.
He couldn't resist slamming the GOP legislators who will not vote for a tax increase saying: "they have made a mockery of the process"; "trivialize(d) (it) because they are fundamentally unserious people who have treated the Legislature (sic) as if it is a high school, full of mindless cliques, nasty rivalries and coarse behavior."
Such childish name-calling is bound to get backs up and poison any compromise.
The final legislative chapter is still being written so liberal columnist Cory Farley chose: "Conservative viewpoints completely inscrutable" as the subject for his Sunday column.
He cited a new field of study examining how the country is drifting into incompatible political camps instead of pursuing a common goal and what makes conservatives and liberals see things differently.
Specifically he referred to a University of Nebraska study that found conservatives have a "negativity bias", are "afraid", "fearful" and "resistant to change … even when change is warranted."
Regrettably, he did not identify the "study" so readers have to take Farley's word for it. He went on to try to illustrate his point by reciting excerpts of a televised conversation between two conservatives discussing the 99 percent of poor who have refrigerators, 81 percent have microwaves, 73 percent have cars, 54 percent have cellphones, etc., etc.
Farley then "refuted" the remarks by claiming these items are necessities in modern life.
Farley and his fellow liberals don't even make an effort to get it. What conservatives object to is that when liberals employ government to cure all ills they perceive in society taxpayers bear the cost of the handouts as well as the cost of government bureaucracies established to dole things out.
Moreover, public largesse is self-defeating. The poor have been with us for millennia and generous government give away programs have not changed that one whit.
Indeed, many family-oriented and religious cultures voluntarily tithe to tend to the less fortunate but when the man from government steps in to "help" everyone the voluntary spirit gets crushed.
African American Economist Thomas Sowell recently recommended books for college graduates whose exposure has been limited to the far left views of academia.
He recommends "Life at the Bottom" by Theodore Dalrymple, "about low-income whites in England living lives remarkably similar to those of blacks in American Ghettos."
Sowell states: "It (therefore) cannot be dismissed as racism, the way American promoters of the welfare state evade responsibility for the social disasters they have created."
Sounds like just the book for Mr. Farley.
Jim Clark is president of Republican Advocates. He has served on the Washoe County and Nevada State GOP Central Committees. He can be reached at email@example.com.