Sunday, January 23, 2011

Hey, Brian. Where's the "Shared Sacrifice"?

There's a heartbreaking story in today's Sun about real people whose lives will become real hell. Highly recommended reading...

But unlike other sad stories that seem unsolvable, we can solve this one. It just involves giving Brian Sandoval a much needed reality check.

During the boom, Nevadans, from the executive suites of the Strip to the suburbs with their inflated home prices, were building tremendous wealth. There were fights about what to fund and who should pay, but as long as Reno and Las Vegas kept stretching into the desert, there were resources.

Now, the state is left with largely the same problems — in some cases they’re a little worse, in some cases a little better (see accompanying chart). Employment, hours worked, wages and wealth have all plummeted. This has created surging demand for services such as Medicaid and food stamps, as government’s ability to deal with the same old problems, let alone the new ones, is diminished.

Brian Sandoval's proposed solution to this is "shared sacrifice"... That is, we plebes do all the sacrificing while his ultra rich BFFs continue raping and pillaging Nevada taking advantage of Nevada's lack of taxes. Even though many have thought Sandoval would soon wake up and smell the coffee, it seems now he's going completely in the other direction and embracing the delusional insanity of "no new taxes" BS.

Elliott Parker, an economist at UNR, said both spending cuts and tax increases have a negative effect on a state’s gross domestic product during times of recession. But, in particular, a cut in existing government spending is the worse alternative.

“There’s a big difference between doing something in a recession and doing something in a boom,” he said. “When the economy is going great guns, you can cut the government sector and pretty easily make up the difference in the overall sector.” [...]

The experience of the past two years underscores why talk of bright futures must turn to how the state improves fundamental services such as education.

It’s hard to sell CEOs on a state when you can’t assure them that their children and their employees’ children will receive a good education.

“If we do not close educational attainment gaps, nothing else will attract business,” said Robert Lang, director of Brookings Mountain West, a public policy think tank at UNLV.

“At some point we are just going to have to invest in our own future and say it’s in all our best interests to spend the money,” said Jeremy Aguero, principal of the consulting firm Applied Analysis.

Will someone in Carson City please start believing them? They don't have to believe me. Just believe the experts who are now begging us to get real.

If Brian Sandoval is so serious about "shared sacrifice", why won't he ask his fully loaded multinational corporate buddies to pay their fair share so that people don't get kicked out of their homes, thrown out of school, and left all alone to suffer in "Third World Nevada"? I know we can do better. We have to do better. We don't have any other choice, so go tell Brian that.

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