Nevada slipping in its embrace of freedom

Nevada ranking 12th in the nation in terms of economic and personal freedom, according to the Cato Institute, is not too shabby, until you notice that we’ve fallen from No. 5 in 2000.

Having legalized gambling and county-option legalized prostitution probably helps in the personal freedom category, but we’ve been marked down for continually raising taxes.

Cato did falsely credit the state Supreme Court for some of this. “Nevada’s fiscal policy has worsened over time, a fact that might have something to do with a 2003 Nevada Supreme Court decision setting aside part of the state constitution, which required a supermajority for tax increases,” the Cato piece reports, neglecting to notice that the court repudiated that Guinn v. Legislature decision three years later.

Despite that oversight in blame laying, Cato notes that state-level taxes have risen from a low of 4.9 percent of personal income in 2009 to about 5.9 percent today. Local taxes have also risen. Also government debt is well above average and rising. That is probably due to the unfunded liability for the public employee pension fund.

We lose points in the area of education, Cato notes, “Nevada was one of the worst states for educational freedom. Private schools are tightly regulated, facing mandatory state approval, mandatory teacher licensing, and detailed private school curriculum control. However, our index does not take account of the educational savings account plan passed in 2015, which in 2014 would have raised its educational freedom score to average.”

Cato also attributes Nevada’s higher than average police spending on our socio-economic model instead of the strong local unions.

44 comments on “Nevada slipping in its embrace of freedom

  1. Steve says:

    PERS invests in the stock market….over any given 15 year period, market investments have gone up and many have grown significantly. Social Security should be like PERS and invest in the stock market.
    Why would we consider PERS to have an unfunded liability when it is invested for the future, just like our 401k’s and IRA’s?
    I know investment accounts are returning about 10%, on average since inception.
    That beats the crap out of Social Security and is a good thing for PERS…so why aim at an organization who does what many of us on the right say would be good for Social Security?

  2. Those investments can’t keep up with the defined benefits.

  3. Steve says:

    OK, that makes sense.
    I have a goal for my accounts and so far, even with the job changes, I am on track.
    I was referring to my own accounts when I mentioned the 10% return on average.
    PERS claims their investments will keep up…maybe the answer is to remove the public guarantee behind those defined benefits? That would treat PERS the same as everyone else…go on Social Security if your investments fail?
    After all, that was the original, stated purpose, for Social Security, right?

  4. Steve says:

    Oh, forgot. Going on Social Security means public employees would have to pay into that system, something they don’t do now.

  5. My investments took a big hit right before I got retired.

  6. Steve says:

    A CVS manager in Bullhead City and I talked (back in my Kodak days). He was 62 at the time and told me it depended on what the market was doing for him to make the decision to retire.
    He retired just a few years ago.

    Having the option to keep working through a down market cycle is paramount.

  7. Rincon says:

    Unless of course, the down cycle occurs after you retire.

  8. Steve says:

    Shows how little you understand, Rincon.

    When ready to retire you sell the riskier investments and put money into stable ones.

    It’s not rocket science and the market always fluctuates.

    Since it’s inception the Dow Jones industrials have trended in one direction, up. And this growth has easily beaten inflation.

    When my grandmother passed she was worth 4,000,000 the crash came and wiped out 50% of that during the time it took to distribute her estate.
    As a result the cost basis of the money became half what it would have been. The market, of course, came back and all the estate money became worth what it was again and more.
    Since then we have experienced it several times but not as many as my grandmother did in her lifetime. She lived on her stocks since the middle 1970’s.
    I now have two generations of family who have and are, showing me the reality in this.

    Managing money is not hard but if it confuses you, I recommend Edward Jones financial Advisors. They do what my family has done for generations now, slow and steady with patience and goals.

  9. Rincon says:

    If all you have to do is pick stable investments, then “having the option to keep working through a down cycle” is not “paramount”.

    Can you give some examples of your “stable investments”? And just how much in assets does, say a 70 year old need to insure that he can live out his life in reasonable comfort? And, assuming you want to eliminate social security, what do you propose to do with the inevitably huge number of retirees who fail to save or who invest unwisely, especially after dementia begins?

  10. Steve says:

    Typically stable are municipal, utility and government bonds. These also don’t grow like stocks do. They don’t exhibit the volatility of stocks.
    Typically, investing in stock is for the less risk averse investor. In my families case, most have enough to ride out the waves of stock and most of us are all stock.
    Except my brother who is a federal employee who also is building a retitement. He will have the federal retirement which is also invested in the stick market. Funny, federal employee retirement relies on the market, but you peeps keep insisting all the plebes keep putting money in a system absolutely guaranteed to pay out LESS than is paid in.

    You guys make great money managers… long as its someone else’s money you are losing.

  11. Steve says:

    Additionally, you make a whole shitload of assumptions….you know what that does for your argument, or don’t you?

    I never said I want to eliminate Social security.
    Nor has anyone proposed cutting off anyone currently in, or substantially paid into, the system. Though a gradual change is warranted. Back to the original, stated, purpose. A safety net for “retirees who fail to save or who invest unwisely”

    As for goals, that depends on one’s situation. In my case we will own our house so enough to make monthly mortgage payments is not in the equation. This is the largest expense in retirement so my goals aren’t the standard “million dollars” the pros all tell us. I know several people who retired nicely on about 600,000 in investments and they also manage their own money so they make their investments last longer by growing them within their risk tolerance.

    There are things things called “long term care insurance” for those who think they might suffer from unforeseen debilitating ailments. It’s not included in Medicare so get with AARP when you reach the age and decide if you think it would be a good thing. Funny, the countries that offer this coverage are the USA, UK and Canada….both the UK and Canada have nationalized healthcare….but don’t cover this….


  12. Steve says:

    Winning isn’t the goal of discussion.
    Honest discussion takes real effort when others are always trying to change the topic to things they can argue and keep from being faced with ideas and solutions outside their boxed in echo chambers.

    In the face of the irreversibility of climate change, no matter what the cause.
    Here’s another in the solutions already mentioned in adapting to reality. Adding to the Carbon Engineering solution for scrubbing Co2 and turning it back into hydrocarbon energy in the form of fuels we already use.
    Not only does it answer the growing populations need for fresh food, it will also make colonizing the Moon and Mars more probable. Coupled with scrubbing Co2 and turning it back into fuels the adaptation picture becomes ever more clearly the most viable course of action.

    Coming to a city block near you soon;

    Reality is successful species adapt. Mitigation species disappear.

  13. Rincon says:

    As I had stated, my assumption was that you advocated eliminating or drastically reducing Social Security. I am quite happy to see that this assumption was false. We mostly agree. I do want to point out though, that good investing is not a simple matter

    Treasury and municipal bonds yield about 2% today, meaning that someone who wants to earn a modest $20,000 without affecting their principal would need a million dollars in assets and the value of that $20,000 would likely drop with time assuming modest inflation. If they eat into their principal of course, they must bet on how long they will live and pray that they don’t live to be 100 or more. Of course, if inflation rises greatly, then these “safe” investments suddenly wouldn’t be safe anymore.

    I suppose we’ve beaten the global warming issue to death, but I do want to point out that, as you would refuse to act on the issue until some scientist can come up with an exact figure as to how much of today’s warming is man made, I am amazed that you advocate adaptation when there are no reliable figures of any kind as to the cost. Why the double standard?

    I also assume you are aware that CO2 cannot be turned into hydrocarbons without putting in the same amount of energy that production of the CO2 released in the first place. Where will this cheap energy come from?

  14. Rincon says:

    Be sure to add in this cost of $180 million. The residents of Shishmaref, Alaska voted to relocate their village due to erosion from rising sea levels. The only thing that’s unclear is who pays. With mitigation, the people causing the problem pay for fixing the problem. With adaptation, it appears that the victims will pay. This doesn’t apply to you though, since you feel that we should engage in no prevention until someone can come up with an exact figure – which is essentially an impossible task. Of course, you demand no evidence of any kind at all for the converse argument. Go figure.

  15. Steve says:

    “This doesn’t apply to you though, since you feel that we should engage in no prevention until someone can come up with an exact figure”

    I would be happy with a consensus on SOME figure. There isn’t any and you haven’t shown otherwise.

    “|which is essentially an impossible task.” Based the lack scientific of attempts? Nice argument, if they don’t try then you get assume all kinds of BS.

    What converse argument? My statements are clear and pointed. I also clearly show there are ways to adapt and they DO NOT make the “victims” pay, unlike your love for mitigation, one item of which means covering over endless miles of land with solar panels making EVERYONE pay more…


  16. Rincon says:

    I have to say that you are indeed reliable.

    Saying that the warming is 8 times faster than any since the Ice Age isn’t a figure, so apparently, you aren’t equipped to do the calculating that would provide you with a robust and obvious, although necessarily imprecise one. Hint: try a minimum of 3/4 to 7/8.

    Of course an exact figure is close to impossible! Only children and idiots think that Science with a capital S is capable of answering any and all questions with precision. Do you really think the weatherman can predict the precise weather a week from today? Your demands are those of ignorance.

    Your statements are clear and pointed all right. They just aren’t related to the questions I pose.

  17. Steve says:

    You continue to change my statement. It is clear Science and Scientists can determine with absolute accuracy the precise year human activity is required in the models to explain the change in climate.
    Yet they still “can’t” come up with as much a ballpark figure for the proportion of human activity forcing the change…I see….but you still interpret and “calculate” based on your interpretation….
    you so funny.

    Further, as you have seen from NPR, this change is set to last a minimum of 200 years if not irreversible. No matter what humans do…even if the species was to die off entirely, the climate will continue to change as predicted. All that and you still want me to swallow “mitigation”.

    My pointed and clear statements based on these scientific facts as found in NPR, NOAA and NASA reports, make your claims for “mitigation” a politically driven joke at best. If humanity follows you guys, it is as true as you also say, doom and death are on the way.

    Adapting to the change, no matter what the cause, is the only answer. Scrubbing Co2 from the atmosphere and using the carbon to make hydrocarbon fuels ( Farming indoors and re-sequestering a portion of the carbon scrubbed will solve the issue…but, it would be a good bit of info to have in determining the amount of carbon that needs to be re-sequestered…and there you have it. Right back to a that proportion issue you so want to claim is impossible to figure in the face of all the other precise “settled” science.


  18. Rincon says:

    “It is clear Science and Scientists can determine with absolute accuracy the precise year human activity is required in the models to explain the change in climate.” Sarcasm perhaps? Which model and what would be the point since the models disagree? There is uncertainty. Deal with it – and not by telling us to put our heads in the sand.

    “Further, as you have seen from NPR, this change is set to last a minimum of 200 years if not irreversible. No matter what humans do…even if the species was to die off entirely, the climate will continue to change as predicted.” You’re implicitly claiming that none of the CO2 we emit from now on will have any effect as if another cigarette (and another and another) in a smoke filled room makes no difference. How can I take you seriously when you say things like that?

    “If humanity follows you guys, it is as true as you also say, doom and death are on the way.” Said with no evidence of any kind to back it up.

    “Adapting to the change..,” Once again, absolutely zero evidence that this approach is anywhere near cost effective. Why should anyone believe you?

  19. Steve says:

    When all else fails, read the reports; again, without attempting to interpret them into another meaning altogether.

    As for adapting being a better and far clearer answer, not only does it PAY for itself, “mitigation” or “cheap mitigation” as you so love to say, are showing themselves to be a losing effort worldwide.

    Don’t believe me (as usual) then show us how NASA is lying.

  20. Rincon says:

    You still refuse to answer my questions and speak in the vaguest of generalities with no evidence whatsoever to support your position. Other than that, it’s been quite an engaging conversation.

  21. Steve says:

    Wow, Rincon says NASA lies.

    And here, all along, I thought it was conservatives who wore the tin foil hats.

    That link not only answers you. It blows you out of the water, mitigation HA! At best it’s a feel good attempt at masking people stop thinking about reality. In your case it might have worked.

  22. Steve says:

    Sorry for the “as” fat finger there.

  23. Rincon says:

    There is nothing in the NASA article that blows anything out of the water. As a matter of fact, it supports the so called establishment view of global warming. It’s unreasonable for a person of normal intelligence to see the messages that you appear to be seeing in your links. Although it’s possible that you’re experiencing some cognitive difficulties, I think it’s more likely that you’re just being obstreperous. No point in pursuing this any further.

  24. Steve says:

    Haven’t I made myself clear enough yet? Climate is changing, I do not claim otherwise.

    NASA supports adapting. In fact NASA says it is necessary.

    Funny how you completely miss it.

  25. Rincon says:

    NASA supports mitigation. They clearly call it a two pronged approach. Funny how you completely miss it.
    Adaptation will be necessary. I never said anything to the contrary. Where we disagree is that you completely eschew preventive efforts.

  26. Steve says:

    You called adaptation “passive” and claimed it would “cost” all the “victims”

    Fun watching you spin and twist, almost as good as The Donald, this time.

  27. Patrick says:


    Please help me out here; I’m having difficult ins understand the part that says NASA “supports” adaptation as a possible solution to climate change.

    I see the part that says:

    “..its role is not to set climate policy or prescribe particular responses or solutions to climate change…”

    And I see the part where a “two pronged approach” has been identified as the path being taken, but I’m missing the part that says, in spite of it NOT being NASAs role to proscribe solutions, that it is instead actually doing to opposite and supporting a response (adaptation). Help me out will ya?

  28. Steve says:

    Patrick demonstrates the skill of “selectively” “interpreting” written words to elucidate a false meaning for the sake of being contrary.

  29. Steve says:

    In case that was to cryptic for you all, what it says is Patrick can’t argue the clearly written science in the NASA link, so he decided to try and turn it into an argument over policy and politics.

    In Patrick’s sham world, the science takes a back seat to policy. At least when it appears he can benefit from the tactic.

  30. Rincon says:

    Steve, it’s very unfortunate that you choose to write only in vague generalities that provide no support for your position. Patrick is indeed correct that NASA doesn’t really support adaptation; rather, it is resigned to the fact that adaptation will be necessary. There’s a big difference.

    “You called adaptation “passive” and claimed it would “cost” all the “victims” Of course! I said only that adaptation will be necessary. That does not exclude it being passive nor does it speak towards the cost to the victims in any way. You appear to be the one spinning and twisting.

    As for the appropriateness of NASA prescribing policy, it is irrelevant to the points presented here. You were the one who presented NASA as a source. If you choose to withdraw it, just say so, but discrediting your own source also discredits your original point.

  31. Steve says:

    No you didn’t you said mitigation is the way…I could go back and look but you are now spinning your own words Rincon.
    As for generalities, every link you guys have tried has only proven my statements. Then you try to say I write generalities, when I post links clearly backing my opinions.

    It’s Patrick trying to make this about policy, not me.

    And now you come right out and say it, NASA is discredited.

    You simply cannot see the forest.

  32. Patrick says:


    As you clearly read the NASA article, and could see that it stated it’s mission as one of being a “data provider” and not a prescriber of solutions, and not once, in the entire article referenced, did the word “support” appear, your position is consistent.

  33. Steve says:

    Patrick doubles down, trying to change the point.

    I say they support my opinions with clearly written science…meanwhile you guys want science to take a back seat to policy!

    At least, when that tactic servers your purpose.

    When you are wrong, change the subject!


  34. Rincon says:

    First, you say, “And now you come right out and say it, NASA is discredited.” (which I clearly did not) as if you believe it to be the case. Then, you say,” I say they support my opinions with clearly written science…” So do you feel NASA is discredited or not?

  35. Steve says:

    You and Patrick love deflection.

    I have been abundantly clear. Multiple times.

    You guys have now latched onto policy in a desperate effort to justify your spin.

    You actually think you have turned the tables by making policy more important than science!

    It truly is to laugh.

  36. Rincon says:

    You accuse us of deflection, yet refuse to answer my question above, as is your habit. Sorry Steve. I’m fresh out of patience. You win again.

  37. Rincon says:

    Instead of simply answering the question, you make a puzzle which I really don’t have the time or patience to solve. I clicked on your links and for me, they are inoperative. Even if they were working, I would have to hunt through a bunch of posts for each link trying to guess which statement you’re referring to. The question was, “Do do you feel NASA is discredited or not?”. Why is a yes or no answer too hard for you to muster? Because you like playing rhetorical games rather than searching for truth.

  38. Steve says:

    Each one works fin for me. They take you to each comment where you posed a question to me, on this thread.
    If you rest your cursor over the date and time a comment is made you will find WordPress assigns it a number. That number is the last set of digits in each of the links I listed.

  39. Steve says:

    You asked 4 questions on this thread alone….Rhetoric or not? More likely, deflection, that’s how questions like these are usually used.

  40. Rincon says:

    You still don’t seem to be able to say yes or no.

  41. Steve says:

    To what?

    You ask a lot of questions

  42. Rincon says:

    And they mostly go unanswered for some strange reason.

  43. Steve says:

    A rhetorical nature is a strong driver for unanswered questions.

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