LETTERS: Prevailing wage bill a false question

To the editor:

The Las Vegas Review-Journal and most Republicans have long supported lower wages for teachers and other school support workers, to the long-term detriment of Nevada’s public school system and our children’s education. Now they have stooped to the level of setting up a false question of whether it is better to have higher wages for construction workers or more schools.

To do this, they have extended their effort not only to lower teachers’ salaries, but also those salaries of people who might work at constructing much-needed schools for our children. The argument, as put forth by columnist Glenn Cook (“Can Democrats compromise?” Feb. 22 Review-Journal), is that people should support Senate Bill 119 to lower wages to market rates, in order to allow more schools to be built for the same money.

It is just common sense that when you pay reasonable wages to a worker, you are more apt to get a person with the necessary training and experience to build something properly. Think of it this way: Would more poorly built schools that could be a hazard to our children be better than building fewer properly built schools that will last longer and provide a safer, cleaner and more comfortable experience for our children? I think not.

On the other hand, wouldn’t it be better to vote down SB 119 and raise the money needed to properly build and maintain our schools through traditional taxes, where a little bit comes from all, instead of all of it coming from a select few?



Bring on state lottery

To the editor:

We need extra money to repair the streets and roadways. Let’s either raise the taxes on casinos or have a state lottery.

I would prefer a lottery, and I think it would have less impact on casino profits than the casino owners might imagine. People who gamble in the casinos are not going to let a few dollars per week spent on lottery tickets cut into their gambling budget. And most lottery play would be by people who do not gamble in the casinos.

Today, lotteries are established in 44 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and have become a significant source of revenue. A Reuters report from 2011 noted that states pocketed $17.6 billion in profits in the 2009 fiscal year.

The people of Nevada, not the gambling industry, should decide whether we want a lottery. Let’s put it to a vote, and follow the will of the people.



Politicians and college

To the editor:

Rich Lowry’s commentary extols current Wisconsin governor and potential Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker’s lack of a college degree (“Politicians don’t need Harvard, Yale Degrees,” Feb. 22 Review-Journal). According to Mr. Lowry, Gov. Walker shares common ground with two-thirds of Americans.

I agree with the author’s contention that Ivy League universities’ graduates control too much of the governmental human resource ranks among politicians and high-ranking staffers. There appears to be a huge disconnect between an elitist government and its citizens. I will even concede America has its small percentage of extremely brilliant, gifted and successful individuals who either never went to college or completed a degree program.

But do you trust that such a person is well-versed and well-rounded enough to run the most powerful country in the world? I do not agree with Mr. Lowry’s contention that one should not have to have earned a college degree to minimally qualify to be our nation’s commander in chief. A college degree at least exhibits a graded level of discipline to pursue higher education. It is not the end-all and be-all of qualification for political leadership, but it should be considered a “get-in-line” ticket to be a political candidate for the highest elected position in this country.

Also, why Mr. Lowry would applaud the fact that two-thirds of Americans don’t have a college degree is a mystery to me. Ignorance in America is the greatest threat to our national security. As long as a group of lawyers is running the government and writing laws, using the media to sell its political accountability or lack thereof, we need educated citizens.

According to Wikipedia, Mr. Lowry attended the University of Virginia, where he studied English and history and was editor of the university’s conservative monthly magazine. After graduating, Mr. Lowry worked for Charles Krauthammer as a research assistant. In 1992, he joined the National Review and is now its editor. Would Mr. Lowry have even been considered for his first paid job if not for his college degree, body of research and publishable quality of writing? I think not.



Almanac and Obamacare

To the editor:

Question: What does the new version of the Almanac in the Review-Journal have in common with the Democrats’ Obamacare legislation? Answer: Regardless of the popularity, accuracy and ease of use of what previously worked well, the new version is going to be shoved down our throats anyway.

It looks as if the editor of the Review-Journal and Sen. Harry Reid have something in common after all.



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