Thankful you live in low-tax Nevada? Not so fast, chief

Tell me again why Nevada needs to increase state spending by $1.3 billion and increase taxes to pay for it.

We’re just not taxed enough, our Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval insists, along with a majority of the state Senate, including all but four Republicans.

The Tax Foundation has come out with its 2015 Tax Freedom Day stats, and it turns out Nevada’s tax burden in federal, state and local taxes as a percent of total income ranks 26th in the nation — right in the middle. That means it takes Nevadans until April 20 this year — 110 days into the year — to start earning money we can keep, instead of paying taxes. Nationally, Tax Freedom Day is April 24.

“Americans will pay $3.3 trillion in federal taxes and $1.5 trillion in state and local taxes, for a total bill of more than $4.8 trillion, or 31 percent of the nation’s income,” the Tax Foundation calculates, noting that the tax burden in 1900 was 5.9 percent of income.

Americans will spend more on taxes in this year than on food, clothing, and housing combined. If federal borrowing were included it would take another 14 days to cover the government tab.


83 comments on “Thankful you live in low-tax Nevada? Not so fast, chief

  1. Patrick says:

    Nevadans, at large, pay far too much of their income in taxes, all for the sake of allowing the few in Nevada, to pay for too little.

    And this is what those on the far right have fought for, for years, and that is why it is the way it is.

  2. Winston Smith says:

    Who is this that are paying too little?! Get your torches and pitchforks, laddies, and meet me in the town square!

  3. Vernon Clayson says:

    How does this correlate with the welfare rolls?

  4. Patrick says:

    Paying too little? Let’s start with the biggest industry in the state, and move on to the second biggest.

    Both casinos and mines have paid far too little, for far too long. While casinos have paid around or less than a 6% tax since gaming was legalized in Nevada, and mines have paid even less, both industries have taken hundreds of billions of dollars out of the state, all the while contributing very little back.

    It is in fact, the plutocratic stranglehold that these two industries have had on the legislature in this state, that has forced it to try and come up with ridiculous “solutions” to the states revenue issues, lik for example the margins tax or the latest versions of regressive taxes.

    You want to know why “average” Nevadans have to work so long, and so…”hard” to pay their taxes? Look no further than the fact that the two largest industries in the state, have made sure that this is how it should be, while they reap hundreds of billions of dollars to take to Canada and China and further enrich themselves.

  5. It has nothing to do with who pays taxes or how much. The problem is all the spending on things that don’t work.

  6. Patrick says:

    But “how much is spent” always has some connection to whether, or how things work Tom. If i needed to drive across country, in my car that got 30 miles a gallon, but only spent enough money on gas to get it halfway, how much sense does it make to blame the car for not getting all the way across the country?

    Since most of the money the state spends, is spent on education, blaming the educational system, for failing to get us where we “want” it to take us, all the while pointing to the fact that we spend “lots” of money leads to two possible conclusions; we’re not spending enough, or we’re wasting some (most) of the money we’re spending.

    The question is how do we know which one it is? It might be, that we’re trying to get all the way across the country without enough gas. That’s how I see it.

  7. Athos says:

    “we spend “lots” of money leads to two possible conclusions; we’re not spending enough, or we’re wasting some (most) of the money we’re spending.

    The question is how do we know which one it is? It might be, that we’re trying to get all the way across the country without enough gas. That’s how I see it.”

    Maybe you should pull your head out of your rectum, Patrick (didn’t you used to spell it with a little “p”?) and use the brains God gave geese to select your second conclusion.

    And of course, you left out other viable conclusions namely: Someone’s stealing that money (oh the shock!!) and funds are being misappropriated by the government unions in charge of operations. When there’s billion$ involved, and no serious oversight OR accountability, humans have a habit of taking advantage.

    Just check out the 7-11s in Baltimore! (Urban renewal, anyone?)

  8. bc says:

    Interesting to hear this talk of high taxes in NV when you have no income taxes, relatively low property taxes and average sales taxes. For all you say about casinos and mines not paying enough (define enough), I believe that if you change the numbers to average amount that citizens of the state pay vs. other states I believe that you will find yourselves as relatively low taxed. A good percentage of what the state and local governments take in comes from out of state visitors in gaming and sales taxes. Come to IL where an average house is 7k per year in property taxes, nice houses can run 15-20k, flat income tax of about 3.5% and for those who smoke, cigarettes are near $10 per pack. And you cannot forget the red light cameras on every corner that will send you a $100 ticket if you don’t come to a complete stop behind the line when turning right on a red or if you just miss the yellow going through the intersection. And they have shortened the yellow to the bare minimum just to help you out.,

    When I left Nevada I certainly did notice that the cost of taxes and cost of living went up.

  9. Nevada has taxes on insurance premiums and other “hidden” dings.

  10. Illinois is hardly comparable. It is No. 43.

  11. bc says:

    That is the point don’t you think? Illinois is near the worst end of the scale and Nevada is at the middle, and I think if you looked at what the good folks that call Nevada home actually pay they would be even farther to the better end of the scale. For all the talk of sky high taxes, the taxes that the good people of Nevada actually pay themselves are fairly low compared to much of the country

    As far as hidden dings, I am sure that IL has just as many, if not more. And the state still cannot pay its bills.

  12. Patrick says:

    bc the pont is that if the 2 largest industries in Nevada had tax rates comparable to the rates other states impose, not only would Nevada have had no reason to enact higher taxes and “fees” on “average” Nevadans, the fact that other states have significantly higher rates of taxation on those same 2 industries in their own jurisdictions demonstrates that the industries here have been dealt with stupidly by the legislators in the state for years.

    If you have a valuable resource; like say legalized gaming or huge gold/silver reserves, the “value” those resources have for the state should be reflected in the rates of taxation imposed on the industries that take advantage of those resources; you wouldn’t sell your own home for less than market value would you? Well then why should the state sell it’s “assets” like gaming licenses or mineral wealth for less than their market value?

    Makes no sense, but that is exactly what Nevada has done since it became a state and the residents have all suffered.

  13. bc says:

    Patrick, if you want to raise the tax rates for mining and gaming, then you need to provide the justifications. For mining, what are the tax rates charged by other states, and when you make your comparisons be sure that you remember the local taxes paid by the mines. Mining is an extremely capital intensive business, I don’t believe you will see the income you think and when, not if, the price of gold and silver drops again so go your revenues. Basing your tax revenues on an extraction industry is always iffy long term.

    For gaming, I assume that you are talking about New Jersey. Seems like the boardwalk is half boarded up these days. I don’t know the cause but the tax rates of NJ would make it hard for any business to make it.

    You can fiddle around the margins a bit with gaming or mining taxes, but the state seriously needs to decide what they want to do with education. A teacher in Clark County starts at about 35k and with a masters degree mid career tops in the mid 50s, up north it is a bit higher. Most industries start people with a bachelors degree quite a bit higher than that and have a much better future earnings potential. Money is not everything and people go into teaching because they want to teach and work with kids, but you can be certain that a lot of very intelligent people who really want to teach and who you want to work with your children look at the numbers and say they cannot afford to do it or they will teach but go somewhere else where they can afford it.

    You can ask the administration about central office costs and other general admin costs; when I had kids in CCSD it amazed me to have a principal and an assistant principal in the elementary school they attended. In all of the districts my children attended around the country there was only a principal in elementary school. Educators sometimes get into empire building.

    I would agree that simply throwing money at the CCSD is not the answer but I do think the state needs to consider what they spend on education.

  14. Patrick says:

    bc: No I was not referring to New Jersey or it’s significantly higher gaming taxes, I was referring to other jurisdictions that casinos like Wynn and MGM (among others) FIGHT to be included in even though those jurisdictions are charging up to 25% of daily gross revenues, (Massachusetts) or New Orleans (50% of revenues) not including other taxes and fees.

    Nevada has been getting screwed for years because of the stupidity of its legislators and it’s residents are suffering.

  15. Steve says:

    Trouble with those arguments is Nevada’s one big consumer industry is gaming. Squeezing it to death leaves the state with nothing to fall back on.
    Massachusetts has tons on embedded and deeply rooted industry that would be extremely difficult to uproot and they pay the taxes because the taxes are just enough less than moving the business away would be.

    If the state of Nevada had such deeply rooted and diverse business then those arguments would be valid but moot because the taxes on gaming would be similar to what is seen in places like Massachusetts!

    Chicken/egg, Patrick.

  16. bc says:

    you want to start with 50 percent of gross revenues then move on from there? In what reality is it ok to take 50 percent of gross revenues as taxes from a business and then look for more? If you are looking at that for the mines you will close most of them and a whole lot of people will be out of work and towns will dry up and blow away up north.

    For gaming you have to convince the 80 percent of the country that is not next to Vegas, not to mention the rest of the world, that there is a reason to travel all that distance with no hope of winning anything. At least for those on the east coast the travel is short and there are other reasons to visit New Orleans besides gambling.

    Remember that the boardwalk is half boarded up, there is a reason for that and they are in the middle of the most populated part of the country. Don’t think that it cannot happen in Vegas because it can.

  17. Patrick says:


    Since gaming companies fought for the privilege of gaining access to New Orleans with its 50% of revenue tax, and for the privilege of gaining access to Massachusetts with it’s 25% gross revenue tax, along with other states with comparable tax rates on gaming revenue! the “market” has been set. And Nevadans are therefore “selling” it’s privileges for far less than market value. This is a big mistake, and this mistake has cost Nevada and Nevadans much for more than 100 years. It is this fact, that has resulted in Nevada having some of the poorest public services n the country, along with higher than necessary taxes on average citizens than would otherwise have been possible.

    And, from a competitive standpoint, Las Vegas casinos have benefited by these low tax rates and have built an infrastructure that is second to none in the world, and has allowed the billionaires this states policies have created, to take their billions outside the state to compete against this state and it’s citizens.

    And, as relates to the mineral wealth that this state was blessed with, a resource far superior to the oil wealth in Alaska which actually pays it’s citizens merely for being citizens, this state has instead decided to allow the mostly foreign mining companies to effectively rape the state, paying a pittance for the raping, and take the finite non-renewable resource riches back to their home countries, leaving the citizens of this state with the costs of cleaning up the toxic wastes left by those companies.

    It is an absurdity and an embarrassment to the citizens and governance of this state.

  18. Steve says:

    Patrick, you refuse to see the forest…stop letting the trees get in the way.

    Gaming (tourism) is Nevada’s only anchor industry. That is the reason it cannot be taxed like it is in those other states.

    Chicken/Egg we don’t have enough varied business here to play off the revenue sources.

  19. And what are we getting in return for all that government spending? Lousy schools, long DMV lines, an IRS that will not answer the phone, prisons that kill inmates, riots in the streets, corrupt politicians, tax breaks for billionaires, crowded courts, favoritism.

  20. Patrick says:

    I disagree Steve and until someone proves that raising Nevada’s taxes on gaming will inevitably result in the Wynn, or other casinos, closing, and therefore abandoning the billion dollar palaces they’ve built, and giving up the hundreds of millions of dollars they reap as profits each year, I will persist.

    I am not suggesting that Nevada necessarily needs, or should, increase gaming taxes to the levels imposed on those companies by other states, however I am suggesting that the increasing the current rates are both justified, and would not result in any damage to the states primary industry as far as it’s sustainability is concerned.

  21. nyp says:

    Gee, if you want the IRS to answer your phone calls, perhaps you shouldn’t be cutting the IRS’s budget by 20%.

    BTW: the DMV where I live works pretty well. No complaints, although I feel sorry for what the DMV personnel have to put up with.

  22. Steve says:

    NVDMV has a process for texting your phone…it works really well. Keeps your place in line and their employees are handling it nicely.
    I had to get a new smog to swap a plate (I wanted to keep my blue field plate) and the person told me to come back a see him,,,he took care of me immediately after the person at his station. I was in and out (TWICE) in less than an hour.

    Patrick… that is better…raising the rates for existing business can be done if done carefully. With a conservative look at what and how much.

    Kinda like what is (finally) happening in Carson City…it took a conservative takeover to get taxes to the table and even passed the senate….yet you continue to complain…for some reason.

  23. Patrick says:

    Steve those taxes that the “conservative” Senate are exactly the wrong kind of taxes; the regressive kind. That resulted precisely because the legislature has been entirely co-opted by gaming and mining companies.

    Enacting, or increases taxes on a regressive basis like that passed b the conservatives is dumb. On that, Tom and I will agree, even if we have different reasons why.

  24. Steve says:

    A margins tax on gross receipts proposed by Democrats and the Teachers union is good but a margins tax based on gross receipts proposed by Republicans is bad.

    Patrick, you are helplessly blind.

  25. Patrick says:

    Steve I know you hate when others make up position for you, and it am sure that you wouldn’t want to be a hypocrite, so unless you have some quote from me supporting the Democrats Margin Tax idea, I suggest you revisit that last comment.

    And since you won’t, allow me here to just say it was a bad idea, which was yet another bad tax idea FORCED on this state because legislators on both sides of the spectrum have been corrupted by the two major industries and cannot do what this state so desperately needs done; increasing the taxes on those two industries.

  26. Steve says:

    Democrat and liberal ideas are bad too?

    We agree.

  27. Patrick says:

    You’ve demonstrated very little (or no) integrity Steve. And your constant whining about people putting words in your mouth apparently doesn’t stop you from doing it without remorse, which makes you the hypocrite I suspected you are.

  28. Steve says:

    ……”allow me here to just say it was a bad idea, which was yet another bad tax idea FORCED on this state because legislators on both sides of the spectrum”……..


  29. Barbara says:

    I firmly believe that all the personal wealth in the state could be given to CCSD and our children would be no better off academically than they are now. My daughter is a junior and until structural reforms are made to the system, nothing will improve. It does not matter who pays what percentage of taxes. What ails our educational system cannot be cured by all the money in the state. We should have learned this with the tax increases in 2003. The result of this infusion of cash was lower test scores, and increase in the dropout rate, and ever more pleas for yet more money.

  30. Patrick says:

    Believing that money would make a difference in educational achievement will come as a great surprise to the wealthiest Americans (and every other citizen of every other country in the world) who make sure that their children are educated at the most expensive institutions in the country, and the world.

    Imagine how happy these thrifty, wealthy, individuals will be to learn that their expenditures each year may be stemmed, because they have now discovered that instead of sending their offspring to $50,000.00 per year private high schools in this country, that their children will receive no worse education at institutions that cost…perhaps nothing, or at worst, no more than citizens pay for their children to attend public high schools in this country.

    Think of the further great achievements they may now attain with that additional knowledge (and extra cash in hand)

  31. You can’t compare the service you get from the private sector (no matter the price) with anything provided by government.

  32. Steve says:

    Quality of product is not comparable…price for product, on the other hand, is.

  33. Patrick says:


    Just spent 30 minutes on phone with time Warner Cable trying to order boxing match; never was able to get through. Did manage to renew my registration last week though, in about 15 minutes.

    Lots of examples of the government providing far superior services and products, at much lower cost, than any private business; Hoover Dam is an example we all know and love. I also wonder how the U.S. Army cooks felt in Iraq, when they watched contracted cooks from Halliburton and Charlye “earn” 10 times what they were being paid all the while those private companies were charging for meals they never served. The list is endless really but this all started with the idea that the average citizens in this state are paying more in taxes than they ought to. We agree on that, although I’m sure we disagree as to the solution.

    And Steve your comments lack substance.

  34. Steve says:

    Coming from you….hypocrite, that is a complement.

    The big fight was delayed by a pay per view issue….your “example” lacks “substance”

    Typing out your ass seems to be your way of life, Patrick.

  35. Winston Smith says:

    I’m sure we can go back and forth for a week comparing government performance to private performance, with anecdotal proofs of either side. But we should be able to agree that the situation of an average child in a public school is not comparable to the child of a wealthy family that is willing to spend the large amounts that some private schools charge. That family is going to do all they can to ensure their investment pays off, besides the innate advantages their child already has.

    Unfortunately, many parents of public-schooled children have neither the ability nor inclination to ensure their offspring do their best in school, and most students are simply not particularly self-motivated. I don’t see that that has changed much in the almost 40 years since I was in public school.

    Of course, I could bring up cultural/racial differences, but some freak out at the mere thought.

  36. Steve says:

    And none of those anecdotal examples Patrick linked to are $50,000 a year….even Patrick cannot support Patrick’s words.

  37. Patrick says:

    Steve you probably don’t understand much, if anything, of what you read or say, and that makes communication difficult but suffice it to say that the TUITION charges cited within the article I posted, do NOT account for other fees associated with those schools, including books and, depending on circumstances, boarding.

    And Winston I agree we could go on for days discussing examples of the public sector exceeding the private sector (and obviously vis versa) in producing quality services and products but that wouldn’t get us far. But the point is that money will ALWAYS make the difference and what it always comes down to is how much must be spent and whether people are willing to do what it takes to obtain the money then spend it.

  38. Steve says:


    IS cherry picking.

  39. Patrick says:

    Again Steve it is clear that your ability to understand what I say, much less what you say, is interfering with our communication. Had you opened the link I provided (or been able to read and understand it if you did) the headline would have informed you of the number of private schools discussed.

    Here’s the headline:

    “The 25 Most Expensive Private High Schools in America”
    ByTony OwusuFollow | 06/19/14 – 10:08 AM EDT

    And, since my original post stated that the “wealthiest Americans” send their children to the most expensive schools in the country, a follow-up post containing the cost of those “most expensive schools” seems particularly apt don’t you think?

    Or don’t you think?

  40. Anonymous says:

    My daughter attended private school through the 8th grade. She is attending a public magnet program now. When she switched to public school, we found she was about two years ahead academically. Unfortunately, I could not afford tuition at a private high school. My observations from this experience:

    1. Beginning in 3rd grade, my daughter was taught that her performance in school was her responsibility. I remember asking to see her homework. She told me Mrs. Anderson said that her homework was her responsibility, so I wouldn’t need to check it any longer. She was very adamant that only she was to be held accountable, and there was no need for a homework check. I had to tell her I wasn’t checking her work, but wanted to make sure the school was worth the money I was spending and to do that, it was necessary for me to see what she was being taught.

    2 There were no staff development days. The only time my daughter was not in class learning was official holidays. Instruction started on the first day of school – not a week or 10 days into the school year.

    3. Children who were not grasping the material being taught were expected to stay after school for one on one tutoring. Standards and expectations were set at the beginning of the year and were not altered.

    4. Homework (when given) was a review of concepts already presented – not new material. Normal homework could be completed within an hour – there was no busy work assigned. As she progressed through the grades, homework assignments became more oriented toward research, writing projects, additional reading. Public speaking through recitation of poems, passages from plays, books, or speeches was emphasized. Tests were never multiple choice. She was expected to “explain, discuss, compare and contrast, justify, list the causes and outcomes ..”.

    5. Discipline was maintained both with the children and teachers. One time when she was in 5th grade, I arrived shortly after 4:00 to pick her up. Normally, all the kids would be in the cafeteria, reading and doing homework. On this day, only one child, Adam, was there as was the principal and headmaster. The principal told me I would find my daughter on the playground. I later learned that Adam had to be told twice to “line up” when recess was over, and then on returning to the classroom, had been disrespectful to the teacher. The teacher had told him to do something (my daughter was not clear exactly what was said) but Adam had responded, “yeah, whatever, just go ahead.” The teacher then told him to get out a particular book, and again Adam responded with a smart remark and just set in his chair “glaring” at the teacher. The teacher went on with the class, and at the end of the day, all the kids who were not immediately being picked up went to the cafeteria. Adams was kept in the cafeteria, and the other kids were told to go to the playground. The headmaster was on a cell phone talking to Adam’s father when I arrived.

    The next day, I asked my daughter how Adam was doing. She said, “Oh, he’s not allowed at school any more. He thought he could do as he wanted because his parents are rich, but he won’t be coming back to class.” I asked her what the kids thought about that, and she said, “We’re glad he’s not in class. He really didn’t respect anyone, and now we don’t have to put up with him.”

    The public school system does not impose individual accountability on the child or parent, wastes time, does not have clear academic standards but lowers them to keep from failing kids, and does not impose discipline in the classroom. Public school teachers are not supported by the administration to maintain discipline or high standards. I would venture to say that Adam’s father was the real problem with Adam.

    Money is not the solution. I am told teachers at private schools are normally paid less than public school teachers, but choose private schools because they actually get to maintain discipline and maintain high academic standards. Attending school is a privilege and both parents and kids need to recognize this fact.

  41. Well said, anon.

  42. Barbara says:

    Oops. Didn’t realize my name wasn’t attached.

  43. nyp says:

    Funny that “money is not the solution.” Tuition at the top private schools is b/w 30k-50k annually. Guess all those rich guys are too stupid to realize that their money is being thrown away.

  44. Steve says:

    Wrong, Nyp….The national average private school tuition is approximately $10,008 per year.

    We know Patrick is trying spin. But that claim is simply ridiculous in face of the facts.

    I posted this link a day ago:

  45. nyp says:

    Yup You can drop your money into just any private school. But if you want your kid to to to the really good schools, you have to shell out really big bucks for the first-class education. Harvard-Westlake is about $35k. Thacher School is $53k. Phillips Exeter is about $45k. Dalton is $38k.
    That is where the 1% try to send their kids. If there is no relationship between academic quality and money, I wonder why those guys are willing to spend so much

  46. Barbara says:

    I wish you would stop the discussion about private school tuition. It has nothing to do with the quality of education – public or private. Adam and his father had no financial challenges, and yet he could not adhere to basic civic responsibility to respect others as well as oneself. Money is not the missing ingredient. Accountability, discipline, and high academic standards are not dependent on how much money is being spent.

    When I was shopping for a private school for my daughter, I called one institution to set an appointment. Before I was given an appointment, I was asked personal information concerning my profession. I provided the requested information, and then I asked about the annual cost. The clerk responded, “If you have to ask, this is probably not the school for your daughter.” I responded, “Notwithstanding your opinion, I want to know the cost.” When she told me the cost, I responded that I was prepared to spend that amount and more if necessary. However, price very often has nothing to do with quality, and given her attitude I would look elsewhere before have to settle for a less than optimal educational experience for my daughter.

    You are making the same mistake. Price, no matter how high, does not translate into quality.

  47. Patrick says:


    I was called out earlier for using an anecdotal story to demonstrate a point and while I appreciate your personal experience it really doesn’t support your ultimate conclusion about money making no difference. In fact, even your experience points to how beneficial additional spending is; teachers have smaller classes, and are able to handle students individual needs rather than having to deal with large classes resulting out of a desire to keep costs down.

    The point stands; in this world, if you want something that’s better, you got to pay more money for it.

    The truth is, people don’t want to pay more, and only care about the success or failure of public schools as a means by which they can call for paying less.

  48. Steve says:

    Patrick,,,Anonymous is Barbara….re read what she wrote and learn how to interview potential institutions.

  49. nyp says:

    Conservatism teaches one to respect price signaling as the ultimate determinant of value. Question the compensation levels of modern-day CEOs? The value of their services is determined by how much their corporations are willing to give them. Think the minimum wage should be high enough so that a full-time employee should not earn below the poverty level? Their value is determined by what the market is willing to pay them, no more and no less. The price mechanism, we are told, is the only sure means of measuring value.

    Except education. When it come to education, the invisible hand doesn’t exist. Price has no correlation to value. The fact that rich guys are willing to pay upwards of $50k annually for private schools for their little darlings proves only that rich businessmen have no idea of how to make rational economic decisions. The fact that people move into neighborhoods that have the highest per-pupil expenditure apparently means nothing. In this one area of life the price mechanism appears to be completely irrelevant.

  50. Patrick says:


    And remember that the amounts ACTUALLY spent, by the most expensive private schools n the country, to educate the children of the 1%’ers does NOT cover the costs of educating those children. The multi-hundred million dollar endowments created for those schools, by the donations of the wealthiest, are used to make up the difference.

    The day this country devotes in excess of $50,000 per public high school student and FAILS to improve those students performance, is the day I will listen with earnest to those that claim “money makes no difference.”

    But not before.

  51. Steve says:

    You guys are trying hard to make this about 1%’rs when private schools are available to many more people who are willing to do their research and shop for the best they can afford.

  52. Athos says:

    And therein lies the true problem with more money to public institutions that are supposedly used for teaching our youth. Willie Sutton was once asked “Why do you rob banks?” His reply? “That’s where the money is!” (fact check that for me, will ya, petey?)

    It’s the same problem with all government controlled institutions. No accountability. And when we’re talking $2+Billion a year for CCSD, what’s a little bit here, or a little bit there?

    Check out our neighbors in Cali. THIS is why there can never be enough money given to a public sector school!

  53. Barbara says:

    nyp – price signaling is only valid when you have a free market without government distortions.

    Patrick – In private school, my daughters 5th grade class had 25 kids. Currently in public school, her classes range in size between 25 and 30 kids except for her English class which has 13 kids. Class size has little to do with the quality of education in and of itself.

    Many of the parents complained when the 5th grade was not split into two classes. The Headmaster explained that he could not find a teacher that met his expectations, so he could not form a 2nd 5th grade class. Also, the reputation of the 5th grade teacher was such that most parents wanted their kid kept in this class and not transferred to a new teacher even if the class size would be smaller.

    Of the 25 kids, all but 2 or 3 had been at this school since 1st grade. As such they had been taught individual responsibility and accountability and discipline since a very early age. This is what made the difference and allowed for a quality educational experience even though the class size was larger than normal for this private school.

    After school tutoring was not provided free of charge. Parents were expected to spend the time bringing their kids up to the standards or pay for a tutor to do so if they were not able to provide the needed instruction themselves. Teachers would work with the students in class, but ultimately if the kid was not performing up to the standards, it was the parents responsibility to take whatever action was needed. I never saw anyone leave the school because of academic performance. If a kid left, it was usually due to discipline or money considerations. Some left because their parents did not want their kid receiving Cs and Ds on a report card when they could go to public school and be an A student.

    No one has yet made the case that more money will translate into instilling accountability, discipline, and high academic standards.

  54. Patrick says:


    Again,while I appreciate your personal experience, it still is simply that; yours.

    And one of m favorite saying is “a man (or woman) convinced against his will is of the same opinion still” so I’m not, and I don’t expect anyone else here will either, convince you to take a contrary position regarding schools.

    However I would ask you to consider other subjects and your take on how paying more affects your decision about whether you would believe the product or service is superior.

    As an example I suggest that the maker of Ferarri, and their customers, believe that paying more gets them a superior automobile. In fact, I venture to say that Ferarri would argue that it would be impossible to manufacture such a superior vehicle if they were forced to rely on inferior quality products, or employees and that these “inputs” are therefore critical to the production of the superior vehicle. Perhaps a run of mill Hyundai is a good enough car for most people, but few, if any, would argue that there is no difference between the cost of the “inputs” of a Ferarri that would lead to Ferarri universally being considered a better car.

    The above is true with regard to any product or service; better quality costs more. So the question is, on what basis can people argue that education is immune to these universal laws?

  55. Cost of public schools is not the same as price. There is no real competition.

  56. Barbara says:

    People are not required to pay for a Ferrari and are free to buy any car they wish. To attract customers, Ferrari’s has to deliver what people want – quality, If they do not deliver, people will not pay and the company will cease to exist.

    The same cannot be said for public schools. As Thomas says, there is no alternative for most people and therefore public education has no reason to improve. If there is no competition, money cannot create a foundation for improvement.

  57. nyp says:

    That’s nonsense. People save up their money and move all the time to more expensive neighborhoods or communities where schools are better funded and the per-pupil expenditures are higher. Of course, that perpetuates a downwards economic cycle in the poorer school district, but that is another story.

    As I said, it is simply remarkable that to conservatives money is the sine qua non marker of value in every area except public education. Could it possibly be that that is because they don’t want to spend more of their money on providing a decent education for other people’s children?

  58. Steve says:

    “where schools are better funded and the per-pupil expenditures are higher”
    Not the true reason they move. In my own case the funding was good in the town where we lived but the school sucked.
    So my parents found a private school for me and began looking for better public school options.
    Turned out they found a larger town (the largest town in the country as a matter of fact) and they moved there to get me in that school system.
    The per pupil spending there was lower than the town the moved from. The staff and programs were better because the town worked well with the parents to make the schools better.


  59. Barbara says:

    NYP: I have found conservatives to be very generous with their own money. It is other people’s money that we have a problem spending. If money was the answer, why are all the big cities controlled for years by Democrats bankrupt or close to bankruptcy?

  60. Nyp says:

    “all the big cities controlled for years by Democrats [are] bankrupt or close to bankruptcy”?
    New York? Boston? LA? Houston? San Francisco? Dallas? Minneapolis? Atlanta? Denver ?

  61. Patrick says:


    The relevant question is whether Ferarri would be able to produce that car, that people are willing to pay such high prices for, IF they Ferarri was forced to use inferior materials to produce the vehicle, and inferior engineers to design the car, and inferior workers to produce the car.

    Ferarri relies on the best of the best, knowing that if they did not, that people would not continue to buy the car for the prices that they charged.

    Similar to public schools where…inferior inputs are required to be used because of the limitations put on those schools by the public.

    But those same members of the public, who vigorously oppose any increase in monies being spent toward public education, are same members that point to any failings; i.e. any failure to attain the identical legal of performance “achieved” by students that attend the schools that the wealthiest Americans pay top dollar to send their children to.

    It would be akin to a Hyundai buyer complaining that his vehicle was not comparable to a Ferarri because the leather seats were of inferior quality and that he has a right to expect exactly the same car….for some reason.

  62. Barbara says:

    What are the inferior inputs that are required to be used because of limitations put on those schools by the public?

  63. Patrick says:


    The only way to answer the question is to compare the inputs from the public schools and the best private schools.

    I can again cite the list of the best/most expensive private schools in the country and allow you to review their inputs including their facilities, programs, teaching faculties, etc. and then compare them to the public schools in this county if you need, or you could simply click on the links to the best/most expensive private schools in the country above that I previously cited and do you own comparison.

    Here’s one for you so you won’t have to go all the way back up above:

    Doesn’t remind me of any public school here in Las Vegas, but maybe you had a different experience?

    And although this article is a few years old, information contained within it does show how poorly Las Vegas students are treated when it comes to facilities, at least for the poorest ones.

    And a quote from the article:

    “Other findings in the report confirmed what West Las Vegas residents have been saying for years — that “students enrolled in Prime Six schools perform well below the District average on math and reading tests,” and that “[t]eachers at Prime Six schools average less years of experience than the District average.” According to study data, 48 percent have less than three years experience in the district.”

    You won’t find this “input” inferiority at Roxbury Latin I assure you.

  64. Barbara says:

    How about this “inferior input” that CCSD has to contend with:

    From the CCSD website:

    “Most enticing for teachers new to the profession, Nevada is one of the few states that still offers a “30 years and out” retirement plan. This means that if you begin working at age 25, you can retire at age 55 with 75% of your average highest salary. Compare that with most other states, which have mandatory retirement ages of 60, 62, or 65 no matter how many years of service the employee completes, and require significant contributions on the part of the employee.

    In the CCSD, our starting teacher salary is $34,684. (For information related to licensed salary click here.) In another district, the starting salary might be higher; however, in CCSD, nearly all your entire retirement contribution is paid by us—a value equaling almost 25% of your base salary. Plus, you won’t pay anything into Social Security because of the top-flight state retirement system. This means you take home a greater percent of your paycheck than in other states/districts, where your paycheck could be reduced by 5% to 15% (or more), plus the Social Security reduction.”

    I don’t know of any private school that offers such a pension to its teachers, and they all have to pay into a bankrupt social security system. What Clark County teacher would want to replace this “inferior input” with a traditional 40lK?

  65. nyp says:

    “A bankrupt Social Security system.”

  66. Athos says:

    Are you in denial of the financial status of Social Security, petey?

  67. Patrick says:

    Can someone explain to me, if I owned a printing press (legally) along with enough ink and paper to print as many hundred dollar bills as I wanted/needed, how I could ever be bankrupt?

  68. Athos says:

    Google “wehrmacht republic inflation”. Or would you like to buy a $100 Trillion Zimbabwean bill?

  69. nyp says:

    Ah, yes. We are back to “disastrous, Weimar-style inflation is just around the corner, in America.” Just you wait. I know it’s about to happen.

  70. Patrick says:

    “In the long run, we’re all dead”

  71. Barbara says:

    What is your definition of bankrupt? Check your most recent SSN statement of benefits. In very tiny print you will find the following statement:

    “The law governing benefits may change because, by 2033, the payroll taxes collected will be enough to pay only 77 percent of scheduled benefits.” What they are not saying is that a couple of years ago, SS began paying out more than it was collecting in payroll taxes and the drop dead date keeps being moved forward.

    Not being able to pay someone what you promised them in my world constitutes bankruptcy. Of course in Patrick’s world the government could just print more money and everyone would get what was promised. Why do you think the Fed wants to see 2 percent inflation? Cheaper money makes debts easier to pay. Of course, disability and medicare are in worse shape than social security, so we won’t have to wait until 2033 to know the answer. All three are paying out more than is being taken in and are therefore bankrupt. The government can and will continue to make up this shortfall through various means, but eventually, the law will have to be changed.

    I imagine a combination of tax hikes, means testing, raising the cap, etc will extend the ponzi scheme until perhaps all 40lKs, pensions, IRAs, are rolled into one huge government 401K type plan. I don’t think the government can keep its hands of the trillion or so that is setting in private pensions and investment accounts forever.

    The government can print money as long as the dollar is used as a reserve currency. What it cannot control is where that money goes, hence the current bubble in stocks and bonds. Remember I predicted a recession by fall and Nyp could hardly contain his ridicule, quoting all the economists touting robust growth. Of course the anemic 1st quarter GDP was only due to bad weather and I’m sure a robust economy is just around the quarter. The only thing that will keep us out of a recession is the oil patch and I don’t see Saudia Arabia allowing $75 or higher oil.

  72. nyp says:

    “A ponzi scheme.”
    “A recession by next fall”

  73. Athos says:

    “A recession by next fall” times up perfectly for when the Yuan is added to the SDRs. Should be an interesting fall, wouldn’t you say, petey?

  74. Athos says:

    And yes, SS is the perfect definition of a Ponzi scheme.

  75. nyp says:

    As it apparently has been since 1935.

  76. Athos says:

    Finally a true statement from petey!

    How’s that feel?

  77. Patrick says:


    Using your definition of bankrupt then makes any statement about the Social Security system in this country being bankrupt is wrong; I sure hope you share that with the poster who insists to the contrary.

    And we all make predictions about the economy, and I suppose time will tell whether you were right or wrong. My prediction is that you will be wrong.

  78. Nyp says:

    Pretty amazing that a Ponzi scheme can keep going for a hundred years.

  79. Steve says:

    80 years, nyp. And the boomers are going to breaks its back and expose its weakness.

  80. Athos says:

    “Pretty amazing that a Ponzi scheme can keep going for a hundred years.” Actually, it’s not all that amazing. It does show how governments can impose their will on the uninformed populace, to the benefit of the elite, and the detriment of everyone else.

    And of course, it takes a special kind of hope and change idiot to be in place as President to allow the IMF to place the Yuan in the SDR basket. (what da ya think, petey? October of this year sound right to you?) Heard he’s going back to Community Organizing when he’s done in the WH.

    It’s been a long time coming and Zerø is just the latest stooge in undermining the sovereignty of the USA. And you fellas (who’s name begins with “p”) can parse all you want, but math is still math (unless it’s Mann’s Hockey Stick Hooey), and you just can’t argue with math.

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