To the editor:
The Wednesday article purporting to show that Nevadans prefer tax increases to service cuts is the classic false dichotomy, and the poll results are deeply flawed and effectively useless.
The poll, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies for the Retail Association of Nevada, showed that when given a choice between a tax increase and cuts to education and health care, 52 percent of respondents chose more taxes and 37 percent favored cuts.
Instead, let’s pose the following question: Let’s leave education and health care services alone. Now, would you prefer (A) a tax increase to pay for gold-plated pensions and Cadillac health care for public-sector employees, or (B) not increasing taxes and reducing out-of-control pensions and health care costs for public bureaucrats, or eliminating pensions altogether in favor of 401(k)-style defined contribution plans?
I think the majority of citizens would wholeheartedly endorse savings through the elimination of out-of-control pensions in the public sector that have no moral justification.
Cell phones bad
To the editor:
Every day it seems that there is something new that cell phones are able to do. It’s also true that each day the problems that come with owning a cell phone increase.
First, it was simply inattentive driving because you were talking and driving at the same time. Then it was texting and driving, increasing the inattentiveness and contributing to more accidents. Now, not only do kids use them to cheat on tests in school, they use them to send nude photos back and forth. Sexting is the latest rage.
Yet I hear no talk of taking away cell phones or limiting their use in schools. Schools are for the education of our kids, and they’re not doing a good job of it, either. Add cell phone use and these kids don’t learn anything but how to waste time.
If you want to throw money at education, then buy some cell phone disruption devices and use them in the schools. If parents are so worried about staying in touch with their kids, how come they have no idea what they’re doing with their phones?
I’m waiting for the people who let this genie out of the bottle — the cell phone companies — to be blamed for all the ills they cause and for the lawsuits to begin. After all, most of the apps that cause inattentive driving are their fault. How about it? Can I sue your phone company if you were texting or using your phone in any way when you hit my car and killed my loved ones?
I’m waiting for the personal injury attorneys to start lining up. That would be fair.
Facts and figures
To the editor:
In response to the Sunday op-ed, “Let’s not turn everyday heroes into villains”:
I appreciate Vishnu Subramaniam of AFSCME Local 4041, which represents state workers, defending state employees. I just wish he would use accurate information.
The article stated: “Myth #3: State workers are overpaid and earn more than private-sector employees.” Mr. Subramaniam went on to debunk this myth with a reference to the Economic Policy Institute.
I checked out that website and found no study referring to Nevada workers. There were studies regarding Wisconsin and Indiana, and a nationwide study that compared education levels in different occupations.
In our state, however, according to www.nevadaworkforce.com, the average Nevada private employee made $41,125 in 2009. The average government employee made $53,224.
“Overpaid” is subjective, but dollars are dollars. If we are to debunk myths, let us start with correct data.
To the editor:
I am a firm believer that no public employees of any village, town, city, county or state or the federal government should be unionized — that includes fire departments and police departments.
Public-sector unions by their very nature are parasitic and feed off their host (the taxpayers) — and eventually kill it.
Public-sector unions and private-sector unions are two different animals. Government negotiators mostly settle on the union terms and then increase taxes to cover the expense. If a private company negotiator gives in to the union, the company has to raise the price of its products. If company officials price themselves out of the market, they either go bankrupt, out of business or both.
The only way that we’re ever going improve the educational system in this country is to stop throwing money at it and get rid of the teachers unions and get the federal government out of the schools. In the 1970s, President Jimmy Carter formed the Department of Education and made it a Cabinet position. Education in this country has gone downhill ever since.