Letters for April 7, 2011

Pay to play

Re “Nevada: We’ll pay you to exploit us” (View from the Fray, March 31):

In Deidre Pike’s recent column, “Nevada: We’ll pay you to exploit us,” she contends that financial incentives to get companies to come to Nevada would not work. Only raising taxes to spend on public education would do the trick and get businesses to open new operations here in Nevada.

I recently asked my friend, Kathleen Miller, a retired executive for the giant high tech company Intel, why Intel never opened a plant here in Nevada? Why, given our favorable tax structure, didn’t Intel, as Deidre suggests, jump on the opportunity to take advantage of our business friendly environment?

Kathleen told me that the last plant that she was involved in opening and managing was in Albuquerque, N.M. And the reason that they opened a plant there, which wound up employing more than 6,000 people, was due to a huge package of financial incentives that was offered to them. Nevada had nothing even close to offer.

Another reason Nevada was not chosen was the lack of and expense of water. (It takes a lot of water to produce those processors and other products that Intel makes.)

She said that Intel was also concerned about the possibility of union action in Nevada.

And the final and least important reason was lack of an educated work force. She said that people to fill the more highly skilled jobs were recruited from all over the country.

She emphasized that it was really all about the economics of the move. Intel could make its products cheaper in New Mexico than in Nevada, and this was primarily due to the financial incentives that Intel was offered. There is a 7.6 percent corporate income tax in New Mexico, but the incentives overcame this issue.

Any business large or small has only one reason to exist, and that is to make as much money as possible for the owners of that company. If that means accepting what really amounts to bribes to open up operations in a given area, then they will do it. It is all about money, nothing else.

Sure there will be benefits to the community, such as jobs for its citizens and taxes paid to support education and other government services if a company moves here, but that is not the reason a company will move here. The only reason to move here would be to make the most money for the least capital invested.

John Hunter

Let’s get real

Re “Stop giving away Nevada’s gold” (View from the Fray, Sept. 23):

Since being stationed here in 1975 at Nellis, I have seen and paid attention to Nevada’s lack of educational opportunities. I am a retired executive and now teach classes in math to high school students who are having a hard time passing the High School Proficiency Exam. So I can see both sides of this issue. Yes, the mining industry lies and fudges numbers to make them look like The White Knight. But let’s get real here. Doesn’t every organization do that? Even the Clark County School District shows numbers that are not bottom-line true. This is how it is and has been since that damned abacus was invented. People, if we are going to change Nevada and make this a land of opportunity for all rather than the selected few, we need to come together and ensure that what is told is the truth and the whole truth. And I know that this will never happen. So we will continue, and we will continue to be the best of the worst among the states in the Union. From our governor on down to city council members, we must insist and track issues. But this is a job no one, without obtaining some kind of agenda, will do.

Don Maher
Las Vegas

Keep walking

Re “Youth gone wild” (Feature story, March 24):

Thank you for your blunt and candid prose about the dismal truth of youth. Unfortunately, you are the minority in a world full of misguided and apathetic humans; adults and teens alike. May your path take you far, far away from the dull ignorance of our fate.

Monica Caldari
Tahoe City, Calif.

No tranquility

Re “Drug tests” (Feature story, July 8, 2010):

Salvia is pretty crazy. In my time I’ve experimented with some crazy substances so it wasn’t Earth-shattering for me. The first time I took it, I didn’t really know what to expect, and it almost felt like I took a circus balloon of nitric oxide. That’s the closest experience I could tie to it. I actually am obviously behind on the game because I just heard of Tranquility today and picked up two jars. I don’t know if they’ve changed the recipe since this came out, but I want my money back. Obviously, the amount that worked for he who wrote this article was enough. I used the full 500 mg and don’t feel much of anything. Eighty bucks down the drain. I’ve never used the synthetic pot, but my brother uses it, seeing as how his job drug tests, and he lives in Texas. I, however, live in the Denver metro area, and marijuana’s legal medically. For 25 bucks, you can get an eighth of some lower grade crondos. Therefore the prices have dropped a little all around, and I don’t really feel like overpaying for the fake thing. The main reason I’m writing is because the Tranquility sucks, and I was wondering if anyone else had a similar experience. I did try E a couple of times when I was younger (before 18, as much of my experimentation was) and much the same I didn’t seem to feel what everyone else did, so I never really messed with it at all. Your article was informative. Much appreciated.

Devin Sweet
Castle Rock, Colo.

Net gains

Re “Ensign vs. the internet” (News, March 31):

Dennis Myers seems to maintain a high level of accuracy in his description of net neutrality throughout the article, but he strayed in one particular place. He wrote, “His [Ensign’s] position would permit providers to start charging consumers for the speed they have come to enjoy. If Jane Doe can’t afford the same online speed that John Ensign can, she would just be out of luck.”

As long as I can remember, this has been the case, with multiple speed tiers from which a consumer could choose. However, this is not contrary to net neutrality, which is only concerned with potential discrimination among content from different sources, whether by slowdown or outright blocking. Net neutrality is not offended when an ISP caps the total bandwidth from all combined sources according to the consumer’s chosen usage model. I would even argue that this multi-tiered model is good for our society, assuming we want to move toward universal adoption. It still allows for a low-priced model suited to people who really need internet access but can’t afford the luxury of higher speeds. If ISPs can’t charge consumers extra for higher speeds or usage, the price of a “one size fits all” connection plan will be well above what today’s lowest-speed tier costs. That would end up harming low-income individuals. Net neutrality prevents companies like AT&T who own large portions of the internet infrastructure from extracting extra “toll fees” from content providers who don’t want their electronic bits slowed down or blocked as they cross the potential toll bridges to their final consumer destination. Without net neutrality, AT&T could potentially put a competitor like Skype out of business, or drive their costs through the roof, merely by imposing additional fees. These toll bridges should be avoided.

Gary Marks

Editor’s note: Sorry we were unclear. The speed issue we described refers to levels of speed within tiers. U.S. Sen. Al Franken described it as an effort by major communications corporations to create “high speed lanes” available to those who pay for higher speeds and then artificially “degrade” the speed of other lanes. In 2006, AT&T and Verizon tried unsuccessfully to create such a system. For more information see www.SpeedMatters.org.