(Fred Weinberg/The Penny Press) – I, personally, have no idea of CBS News Correspondent Scott Pelley’s politics, but a piece he did last March for 60 Minutes, repeated last month, should certainly make Clark County’s $168,000 firefighters and the pro-union clowns in the Nevada Legislature cringe were they to connect the dots.
Imagine being an 11-year-old girl living in a motel room because her parents—who formerly made about $80,000 a year detailing expensive cars—lost their jobs, their house, and didn’t want to allow homeless shelters to split the family up.
Kind of puts the Clark County employee unions into perspective.
Kind of puts SEIU into perspective.
Kind of puts those clowns in the Wisconsin Legislature who were so busy protecting their patron saint union leaders into perspective.
And it certainly puts the clowns here in Nevada who want to raise taxes on people like that girl’s parents so that they can raise spending on our own state employee unions into perspective as well.
It is really a simple message.
Suckling at the public teat only works for the sucklers.
The unemployed people in this state who just want a job—any job—not so much.
It happens that this particular story was being told from Seminole County, Florida. It could have been Las Vegas, or Reno just as easily. Or Madison, Wisconsin, or Gary Indiana, to put an exclamation point on what the union-protectors in those state legislatures have been up to the past six months.
I’m not trying to imply that every public employee is overpaid or doesn’t earn what they get paid.
But, for the most part, it is hard to justify a $168,000-a-year firefighter when privately employed people lose their jobs every day and would gladly train for that job for about $100,000 a year less.
Every job has a real functional value.
In the private sector, when a business can no longer justify what an employee is being paid, due to the changes in technology, or just a simple market downturn, that employee is, worst case, out of a job or, best case, takes a pay and/or benefits cut to keep a job.
I can tell you, in no uncertain terms, that in our own business, the past two years have been difficult and many hard decisions have been made.
Why should state, county, and municipal entities be any different?
I know that I’ve written variations of this editorial before.
What passes for intelligentsia in Carson City—and their supporters in certain sectors of the service industry (gaming) want the state to have a “broad-based” tax structure.
Decoded, that means that the gaming industry feels put upon. And they want the mining industry to feel some pain along with the creators of most of Nevada’s jobs, small business.
They have some willing partners in the ranks of Democrats who like to howl about how well gold mining companies are doing and how they should pay more.
It’s all nonsense.
The fact is that most of big gaming is a victim of its own hubris.
If you were to run through the executive suite at MGM firing a shotgun, you might never hit anyone who knows how to shoot craps.
You might put a pellet or two into a real estate mogul, trying to unload overpriced condos on the strip. You might hit a shopping center titan, trying to lease high-end space in a half-empty mall on the strip.
But actual gaming executives?
There aren’t that many left.
A fair solution would have been to take away their right to buy politicians.
But, instead, they gather in their finely appointed offices and plot their campaign contributions to politicians who will further their march to the Holy Grail—make everybody else pay more than they must pay.
All the while, a state and a county job, for the most part, has pay and benefits well above their own rank and file workers—because, after all, they must still run a business, unlike the state and county.
It wouldn’t hurt any of those people to watch that 60 Minutes piece with an eye towards cutting state spending so we can attract more jobs to the state and people like that 11 year old girl’s parents can get those jobs.
No “broad-based” tax structure” can accomplish that. Only a government which isn’t, as Ronald Reagan once said, part of the problem.