Thursday, June 17, 2010

When can we have both regulatory oversight, and still have economic growth?

I have been accused of being totally against regulatory oversight, and more of an anarchist. I respectfully disagree, when I have stated that I wished that we return to the regulatory levels of the year 2000. I am speaking in terms of fees and taxes; this would reduce regulatory additions that have been added this last decade. I believe that we need to relook at what was the intent, and what was the outcome of these additional oversights. For to just to continue to inject regulatory oversight without a review process, is by its nature unjust. Big Business often uses its ability to form regulation to its advantage, and help promote monopolistic pressures. Here in Nevada the Casino lobby's ability to promote a state wide smoking ban by being able to hide through its ability to place members on the cancer society’s and fund that ban, is unjust. By a selective nature of implementation the smoking ban allowed casinos to operate on a different level of rules that allowed them to monopolize the gaming market. Never mind it is illegal for personally benefit from the actions of a non profit, the large Las Vegas casinos broke IRS code.The knowledge of the connection between smoking and gambling is well known and documented. Any law that excludes one level of business activity at a lower level and allows for larger companies is unjust in any market place. While having harsher implementation at a lower level in the economy is wrong and unjust. You might think that I smoke; well you would be wrong in that assumption, I just can’t allow government to be used that way, especially in these hard economic times.

In Nevada, we used our free economic climate to separate ourselves from our neighboring states. Well for a good social cause we have allowed ourselves to be played. Our millennium scholarship for higher education funded by the cigarette settlement and taxes has been placed in jeopardy and are in real trouble in Nevada to fund higher education. We now have destroyed the 275 million that we used to get from the tax has generated by the slot routes in Nevada. And the monies that the slot routes used to share with local businesses have been wiped out. Just drive down your local street and see which businesses are closed and look for yourselves. Local stores, restaurants bars drug stores and supermarkets that used to derive monies from the games have seen that wiped out. Their abilities to pay power, rent, payroll has been destroyed. The one main difference that the local gaming business had over the Casino industry in Nevada was that it gave local business owners direct access to money generated by those games. The Casino Lobby used its power and influences to destroy a major part of the Nevada economy, and we allowed it to happen.

The issue is on the growth and application of much of this regulatory, tax and fee structure that came into being during this last decade. I believe that this growth came with it a big price tag, one our local economy cannot afford. I believe that Government grew with the same zeal that the private sector did, but right now in the economic situation that we now face we need to get off of businesses chest if we want jobs and the ability to have economic growth so we can all benefit. Now that reality has come to the private sector that has brought a new sense of frugality, our Government is slowly being dragged in that same direction. Our political leaders always use the heart strings of putting our teachers, police and fire on the front line to try to fight a budget crisis and attempt to gain any support to maintain our tax levels.

This attempt of our political leaders is misplaced, and leads to a public that distrusts is own government. We need services, but it has to be viewed on our ability to pay. And with this new economic condition that we are now living we have some serious choices ahead of us. Regulatory oversight needs to allow for business to grow; Right now we have departments using fees and regulatory oversight to shack down new projects, and are having a negative impact of future growth. How much can a business afford to have in say a new veterinary clinic, being built? If we add undue cost to that project the vet will have to have higher fees from everything from shots to a yearly check up. This would not make him or her competitive and thus make it harder to recoups the investment into the new building. I have a neighbor, who has owned multiple veterinary clinics in the area and is trying to build a new clinic in a new area. these charges is a hardship to that project, not only is his business plan being hurt, but the contractors that are waiting for the permits to be drawn are also being hurt playing this waiting game.

When regulatory oversight, fees and taxes become punitive in nature we have begun down a road that will bring economic stagnation, this practice needs to change.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Where are we now, and where are we going?

I believe it is time to reflect on the changes that have been placed upon us, by our state and federal government. We all share some culpability, but not complete culpability. For when we as average Nevadans were planning our day we did not see these events coming. We have a federal government that is pushing change, but is it the change we wanted and are the results of this change what we expected. The effects and cost of these changes on Nevada are still to be determined. I am a dinosaur, I believe as our founding fathers that the strength of our society comes from having the most power at the individual level and that a small government is all that is needed, when all individuals have the good of society at its best interest. How far from those ideals we have gone are alarming to me. To have so much power centralized at the federal level will lead to a tyrant, whether it is Obama or the next President. I do not care which party is in power, this is not the direction we need to go in.

The issue is that our government is losing its moral authority to govern, both the federal and the state. We have far too much policy and procedure that by its implementation slows down any chance of a recovery. We need to be lean and mean at the moment, we have to be able to adapt and Government does not lend itself to that end. Here in Nevada We have a government that is not helping those of us that still have the ability to grow us out of this funk, by placing added cost to potential projects. I have a neighbor who is a veterinarian, he is building a new clinic, and the permitting fees and regulations that are being placed on him are getting out of hand. How much do these government agents think he is going to pay for all these fees? No one will be able to have their dogs get their annual shots if he has to build these costs into his pricing. What are we doing here, are we working together or are we destroying our ability to grow again. I have another neighbor who owns land up in cold springs and he would like to build a C Store. Well the powers that be want over $150,000.00 for a traffic study, which is ridiculous. We are talking about Cold springs here, not the spagetti bowl. Now not only is he not going to build a C store he is really thinking about selling the land.

We seem to have a state government that still believes that we need to have this level of oversight, and that this oversight is justifiable. Well it is not. The times have changed, whether we wanted this or not. The reality is that we have to downsize if we are again going to be able to grow again. I believe this justifies my stance to revisit all levels of fees, regulations and taxes of 2000, and don’t tell me that we will not have the teachers, police or fire protection that we need. I believe that we had all those people employed at that time; I am going after all the middle management and new policies that have been put in during that bubble. We have more people in the state and if the rates remain the same we should have ample monies for teachers, police and fire.