Monday, August 8, 2011

Is All Really Well on The Good Ship Nevada?

According to some pundits, Brian Sandoval is "Teh Awesomest Gube... EVAH!" and Nevada's current economic woes have nothing to do with our unsustainable "growth begets growth" economic delusion model. Ever since the state budget agreement was cobbled together at the very last minute, we seem to have yet again forgotten why Nevada can't get out of this mess.

Or have we?

Nevada Resort Association lobbyist and Democratic power broker Billy Vassiliadis said “some semblance of a broad coalition” will come together in the next 60 days. Its goals will “depend on what the broadest number of people want to do. Poll after poll show the public doesn’t want to see more cuts in education,” he said. The coalition will have to figure out what people will support.

In the post-session disappointment of 2011, labor unions and many large-business leaders, particularly from gaming and mining, declared Nevada’s legislative system broken. Getting two-thirds of lawmakers in both the Assembly and Senate, as required under the state’s constitution, to raise taxes was simply too high a hurdle given Nevada’s fractious politics. [...]

Leaders from the AFL-CIO, the state’s largest union; the Nevada State Education Association, which represents teachers; and gaming and other industries have been meeting to discuss what would work, according to sources. Discussions have focused on a “margins tax” on businesses — a tax on adjusted gross business revenue — similar to what was proposed in 2011 by Democrats to replace the tax based on payroll.

So business and labor may actually join forces on some sort of progressive tax reform? Is this for real?

We'll see how this develops, or even if it holds up, but obviously something's happening. More and more Nevadans, even those who had been accustomed to embracing status quo, are now wondering if we can afford to continue living under it. Something's got to give. We need change.

So will we get it? That's what we need to make sure happens. Simply put, we can't afford NOT to. Without investment, our state will never grow and flourish. We invest in our schools, our roads, our parks, our buses, and our cities for a reason. When we invest in our public infrastructure, we will soon reap the rewards of a stronger and more stable economy. We don't get any of those rewards when we don't invest.

And this is why Nevada hasn't yet escaped the brutal cycle of extreme booms and extreme busts. We've been dangerously over-dependent on artificially fueled "growth" for far too long. We just can't afford to keep delaying action to invest in our state.

Despite what we've been hearing about the value of "austerity", reality is that austerity is the very last thing Nevada needs right now. People are out of work, jobs need to be created, and we need to invest in our economy and rebuild our state to do just that.

No comments:

Post a Comment