Bottle bill would impose minimal costs

To the editor:

In response to your Saturday editorial, “Pass the bottle — and pay up”:

I think Assemblyman James Ohrenschall’s container deposit bill is an excellent idea that has merit, both from an environmental and revenue point of view. We’ve all seen the countless bottles and cans amid other trash that litters our highways, particularly in Southern Nevada. For me, it spoils the desert’s natural grandeur. And with all the cutbacks, the state could definitely use an additional revenue stream — even if the income realized would be mostly temporary.

As to the program’s costs to business, because similar programs have been in effect for more than a quarter of a century in Oregon and California, we’re not exactly reinventing the wheel here. In those states there’s only a minuscule cost to bottlers. In Oregon, only a fraction of a penny, largely “a promotional cost,” is borne by the big box retailers that count and recycle cans and bottles — and no cost is borne by smaller retailers, which don’t process returns.

As to the cost to consumers, because the program doesn’t generate substantial net revenues to the state, its overall cost to consumers, borne only by litterers and others who choose not to recycle, would be minimal. Interestingly, in Oregon, because of the inconvenience of returning these containers, a substantial amount of the cost is borne by tourists. The program is a great source of funding for church and school groups and is a constructive way for panhandlers to raise spare change.

In an era of increasingly expensive and scarce natural resources such as oil and aluminum, do we really want to continue to befoul our cities and natural environment with littered bottles and cans?

Jeffrey Shear

North Las Vegas

Housing blame

To the editor:

Barry Thalden (Saturday letter) seems to have missed the fact that the root cause of the housing crisis was created by those who lied about their income to get financed, or bought more house than they could afford under the terms of the purchase. Had none of the above happened, there would have been no housing bubble and no housing crisis.

It is the irresponsible behavior of these individuals that has created the worst recession since the 1930s. All that said, the banks were victims of their own stupidity and should never have been bailed out.

It also would appear that Mr. Thalden sympathizes with those who are frustrated with their bank for foreclosing on their home and that he condones the trashing of the properties. Let me pose this question: Because I lost a lot of money in the stock market during this recession, should I now be allowed to take out my frustration by trashing the properties of the corporations whose stock I lost money on?

John Eibs


Don’t owe anything

To the editor:

I read with interest John L. Smith’s Wednesday column on charitable giving. It is very nice that Elaine Wynn and other individuals and foundations give away millions every year. I would argue they would do much more good with that money if they would start a business and create jobs. But it is their money, and they can do whatever they choose with it, including not giving it away.

Where Mr. Smith strays from reality is, one, his assumption that a business is no different than an individual and, two, his belief that any business owes the people of Nevada any part of its profits other than the taxes it pays.

A big business is not an individual, but rather a collection of people who risk their money by investing in an enterprise. They hire people to run that enterprise and hope that they see a return on that investment. Except for taxes, how much they make or lose is no one else’s business.

No business should be expected to “give back” to the community in which they do business. A business sells a product or service in hopes of making a profit on that transaction. In return for that product or service, an individual or another business pays what they consider to be a fair amount. If the purchaser does not owe anything more to the business, why do people assume that the business owes something to the community?

A business is not this faceless entity that steals money from a community. A business is the stockholders who have a right to expect as much return on their investment as is legally possible. No one has any right to their money. No one.

Terry Ostlund

Las Vegas

Doesn’t care

To the editor:

What makes anyone think Gov. Brian Sandoval has any interest in public education in Nevada when he sends his own children to private schools and pushes for vouchers to ease his tuition pain?

Karen Egger


Throwing money away

To the editor:

In response to the Wednesday letter from Elizabeth Strehl, a local public schoolteacher:

During the late ’60s, I taught in the public school system for two years, then I spent four years in the ’90s back East on an 11-member Board of Education. The problem with the public school system is, plain and simple, the unions,

We will never have quality education in this country until we have competition and school choice, end of story.

As we have seen over the past 50 years, throwing more money at the schools with little or no accountability will never result in quality education.

State Sen. Michael Roberson has introduced legislation mandating that 65 percent of all dollars for education go directly into the classroom. I think that the percentage should be 75 percent, which will happen if the Republicans in this state gain control of the state Senate in 2012.

That is what is needed, not throwing more money into the schools and letting the unions keep control.

Robert B. Sulliman Jr.


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