(Geoffrey Lawrence) – I want to tell you what makes Nevada Policy Research Institute (NPRI) special to me.
About 15 years ago, the organization took a chance on a young man from the mid-Atlantic recently out of graduate school and with only a few years of experience working on state policy issues at the North Carolina legislature.
In the years that followed, this young man threw himself into the work and mission of creating limited, responsible government in Nevada and, along the way, found his home.
The journey took this young man through storms, wind and snow as he travelled to Carson City and back. Between these trips, the Silver State brought him a chance meeting with a beautiful and deeply intelligent young lady who would eventually become his wife.
In fact, they would get engaged on the snowy banks of Lake Tahoe hours after he testified in support of educational freedom in the state legislature. The young couple laughed and dreamed together, planted roots, and developed a great life under the Nevada sun.
They had children and named each after key symbols of their adopted home state – Carson and Sage.
Each in their own way, the couple worked all the while toward a freer and more prosperous Nevada, continually espousing the classically liberal ideals they held in common with each other and with the founders of the American republic.
For a time, opportunity would call the young man away from his role with Nevada Policy. You see, voters had resoundingly defeated an unpopular proposal for a business gross-receipts tax and, in the process, swept a new wave of lawmakers into office.
This opportunity transplanted the young family from Las Vegas to Carson City full time so the young man could steer the new legislative majority toward implementing the policy solutions he had drafted while at Nevada Policy.
Many of these solutions did become law, although not all officeholders were enthusiastic supporters of the free-market vision. A tax increase they passed led to many of these new lawmakers being swept quickly back out of office.
But, along the way, the young man found a new career by adding a set of accounting degrees to his economics background and accepting an appointment to oversee the state’s financial reporting.
More opportunity was created when the chief proponent of the tax increase retaliated against the young man’s principled opposition to it by writing the otherwise essential role of financial reporting oversight out of the state budget.
This allowed the young man to focus on the world beyond politics for a time and learn to deploy the entrepreneurial qualities he had always lauded through economic theory. He developed businesses, learned to take them public, and discovered firsthand the satisfaction to be gained from creating something out of nothing.
After several years of these entrepreneurial endeavors, the young man, now middle-aged, felt a longing for the passions he once developed at Nevada Policy and was delighted when the organization agreed to again make a role for him.
Of course, this is my story.
Beyond the battles over taxes, labor policy and education, there lies a story about a beautiful family that might not exist without Nevada Policy. Because of this organization, Nevada has become my home. My children play here. My wife and I hope for a state in which they can grow and prosper, and we each work toward that every day.
This story would not be possible without the support of our generous donors, and I want to personally thank every one of you for the role you’ve played in helping this story become reality. Thank you. It means the world.
Because of you, Home Means Nevada to me, my wife and our terrific children.
Mr. Lawrence is Director of Research at NPRI