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A MODEST PROPOSAL

In the “blind pigs finding truffles” department, a letter-writer I presume to be a unionized guard in the government youth propaganda camps has actually come up with a proposal that could solve Nevada’s state budget problems — and done it in little more than 100 words!

“I love Governor Gibbon’s suggestion that collective bargaining should be suspended for public employees so their salaries can be cut during this economic down turn,” the government youth warden writes. “Collective bargaining has been the cause of suppressing public school teacher salaries for the past three decades.”

(For the record, Nevada government-school salaries rank near the middle of the 50 states, though if they were tied to student performance they SHOULD sit near the bottom.)

“When the economy here in Vegas was booming, teachers were given a pitiable increase in salary in comparison to the increase in cost of living and there was nothing they could do about it but accept the handout,” whines the letter-writer, who is paid more than the average Nevadan to work less than 10 months a year in air-conditioned comfort, in a job of his own choosing.

“Teachers are prohibited from striking because their salaries are negotiated under collective bargaining,” the teacher notes. “If the Governor can eliminate collective bargaining, teachers will be given the green light to strike. What this state needs more than anything is a kick in the pants in regard to educational funding. I for one, cannot wait for that day.”

Needless to say, the times I find myself in full agreement with such a government propaganda drone are minimal. But in this case: Bingo!

To learn just how such a teacher strike could solve Nevada’s budget problem, simply Google “Ronald Reagan 1981 air traffic controllers’ strike.”

As a matter of fact, this plan is so promising I would urge the Nevada state Legislature — about to convene in special session to trim $1 billion from the state budget — ($880 million to meet the current shortfall, plus another $100 million to allow for a 10 percent across-the-board tax cut because they “care so much about the little guy” … right?) to enact a provision into law that — should the teachers strike — replacement workers shall be offered pay scales 25 percent lower than those that currently prevail, with a 401(k) option but no tax-funded pensions or benefits, and that NO preference for those jobs shall be given to any applicant because he or she has an “Education” degree.

Mind you, this solution pales in comparison with simply doing what the state Constitution requires — reducing state school funding by more than 90 percent by financing only a single tax-supported school in each county, with admission limited through competitive exam.

But it would be a good start.

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