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We don’t need your ‘essential services’

To the editor:

Well, lawmakers are back in Carson City for a special session of the “silly season” — supposedly to solve the budget crisis. But I ask: What budget crisis?

After years of a hyperventilated economy, fueled by low interest rates and credit cards, the bubble burst. We are not back to normal. While most people are trying to live within their means, our governments are swimming in red ink. A word of advice: The party is over.

What we will get is the usual parade of bleeding hearts and empire builders, sending out press release to prove their pet projects are “essential services.” Already, the Review-Journal has printed articles which argue essentially that the state parks and Nevada State College are vital for the survival of mankind.

I think I represent a majority of citizens when I ask: What “essential services” have I received lately?

Years ago, I visited Valley of Fire. Paid the entrance fee, enjoyed myself. I don’t need a second trip. I have visited Red Rock; too crowded.

When my kids went to college, there were no scholarships for a B-plus average.

When I need a doctor, I don’t go to UMC for the free stuff. I have never ridden in a government subsidized ambulance.

My house has never burned down, nor have the police ever kicked in the front door. I have never been thrown in the drunk tank nor suffered a drug overdose. I am a dinosaur and as such, I don’t need your “essential services.”
Heck, in the past 50 years, my only criminal activity was to call a bankruptcy judge a “brothel madam”. For this breach of political correctness, I have paid a stiffer penalty than former mortgage executive Joe Milanowski has paid for stealing $80 million. Our “essential service,” the judicial system, is more concerned about policing political correctness than prosecuting criminals.

Stealing $80 million is grand larceny. But Nevada’s Mortgage Lending Division failed to uncover it in four consecutive audits. And when the crime became public (April 2006), the attorney general’s office ignored it. Ain’t it amazing: When you need those “essential services,” they fail miserably. And, being dedicated public servants, nobody is responsible. But somehow, they all deserve an annual cost of living raise.

Again I ask: What “essential services” have I received lately?

CURTIS F. CLARK

BOULDER CITY

Name only

To the editor:

I had done some research on the constitutional language regarding the decennial census and had already decided the only question I would answer was the number and names of those residing in my home.

Thanks to Walter Williams’ recent column about the Constitution and my obligation regarding the census, I was convinced my decision was right.

The government has no right to know what my race is, my electricity expenses, how many times I have been married or whether I have a refrigerator. Enough social engineering and intrusion. We have a responsibility to know our rights.

SHIRLEE YUNKER

LAS VEGAS

No bargain

To the editor:

In 1959, Wisconsin became the first state to enact compulsory public-sector bargaining legislation. Three years later, President John F. Kennedy, through executive order, established Employee-Management Cooperation in the Federal Service. Government’s theory was that “employee participation in the implementation of personnel policies affecting them contributes to effective conduct of public business.” This was the door opener for collective bargaining.

Did anyone in government know or suspect that in fewer than 50 years federal employees would, on average, make more than $100,000 per year, have secure jobs with a guaranteed magnificent pension starting near age 50?

Circa 1969, Nevada recognized the right of local and county public-sector employes to unionize and negotiate for wages and benefits. Who would have thought that in 40 years government workers would be the highest paid in the state. We could ask the same question of California, New York, New Jersey, Illinois and other states where elected officials bargained their way to bankruptcy.

Why are elected officials a failure when it comes to bargaining with public employee unions? Is it because of the symbiotic relationship among officials, bureaucrats and rank and file? After all, they are co-workers. Is it because unions occupy both sides of a negotiating table? They donate to and help elect their bosses and they repay the union with more pay and benefits. And the beat goes on.

Do they pay their employees more than they are worth because government does not have the ability to determine their market value? Or is it because there is no bottom-line discipline in government? But then again, how can there be a bottom line when they are negotiating with other people’s money and have no incentive to hold down costs? And let’s not forget the hard-to-see pension packages that come at a later time when they become somebody else’s problem.

Make no mistake, we have been conned and hustled by government Bernie Madoffs. And it’s not over. In Congress, the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act, sponsored by Rep, Dale Kildee, D-Mich., seeks to mandate unionism and collective bargaining in state and local public safety departments.

As bleak as the future looks, there is hope. The state of North Carolina has declared public-sector union contracts to be void. And a U.S. District Court upheld the constitutionality of the law.

To end this nightmare, we need one elected official to speak out and call for a repeal of the law that established collective bargaining for public-sector employees. Who will it be?

EDWARD R. DUFFY

LAS VEGAS

Fair share

To the editor:

In his Wednesday commentary, Tim Crowley, president of the Nevada Mining Association, touts the amount of taxes paid by the industry to the state but leaves out the amount of profits earned. Give us the full picture Mr. Crowley so we can determine if the mining industry is paying it’s fair share.

James Cooper

Las Vegas

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