Letters for June 13, 2013
Re: “Crappy Tax System” (Cover story, RN&R, May 23):
Dennis Myers missed a point. He forgot to mention the fact that the casinos lobbied for and received a lower tax rate than the residents of Nevada. The residents always paid a lower tax rate than casinos; the visitors paid to come here and the casinos passed that extra tax onto the state. Now, the casinos pay a lower tax rate than citizens.
Every week for over a year, your graph of what’s happening in “Nightclubs” has continually ignored information about Jub Jub’s Thirst Parlor. Except (for some reason) the ‘Open Mic’ on Mondays. I have asked the owners about this and they claim that they have sent the weekly information dutifully. To make matters worse, they have paid for advertising of upcoming shows, and still nothing in the graph. I have also been told that the owners have inquired about this situation several times. There is a great show this Friday—Sit Kitty Sit from San Francisco. May I ask why Jub Jub’s is not put into the graph?
Editor’s note: That information wasn’t uploaded to our website. We build our newsprint nightclub grid from events that have been posted to our website by promoters, venue owners or performers. It’s free to register and list events, which can be done here: www.newsreview.com/reno. For more information, contact Kelley Lang, our calendar editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Re “Lights! Camera! Tax breaks!” (Liberty Belle, RN&R, June 6):
I agree with “Anonymous” as to the net return to the states that give tax breaks to movie studios. Many states long ago took to granting tax breaks to many out of state businesses in order to lure those businesses into their states and municipalities. Frankly, this is one of the worst incentives ever dreamt up by politicians.
Usually corporations make lots of promises that seldom come to pass. Instead, they scale back their investments once the tax incentives are created on their behalf. It would surely be better if all states agreed to get rid of these so called tax incentives and dealt with businesses on an even playing field. There are many ways that states and cities could compete with each other in different ways. Education of the workforce, competitive wages not influenced by union scales that usually increase the cost of labor without the labor force actually benefiting. States like Texas, Florida and our own Nevada don’t have state income taxes which makes it a better location for the work force and for the business.
To continue the destructive cycle of offering tax breaks when the existing local business base doesn’t get the same breaks is a loss to all the taxpayers in the state. Let’s create a fair tax base that all businesses pay and grow an honest economy.
Regulatory note 1
Re “Take back your health care” (Liberty Bell, RN&R, May 30):
Ms. Bessette assumes the deregulation of health care will cure our health care ills as they relate to cost and government regulation. After owning my own company and retiring, I have been employed in the health care industry (both “profit” and “non-profit”), in positions ranging from bedside care to managing large clinics, multi-hospital acquisition(s), and have some decidedly different views on government regulation.
If Ms. Bessette should need health care for an emergent or non-emergent issue, I hope she has the knowledge and perseverance to “shop” the available markets in her area, and that the hospital, doctor, nurse, lab tech, pharmacist, EMT, diagnostic tech, pharmaceutical and medical equipment suppliers are committed to the marketed capitalist credo of “The best product (education, ability, ethics) at the lowest cost.” In fact, my experiences in health care has led me to believe, that like all industries, without some level of government regulation, health care would slide into the abyss of health care provision akin to undeveloped countries around the world.
With enough personal fortune you can afford “real” health care; for those who cannot, Godspeed. An example of “government regulation” that Ms. Bessette most likely enjoys, perhaps without her knowledge, is that of the automobile. Each manufacturer has to meet government regulations related to minimum safety standards of crashworthiness, pollution controls, and vehicular dynamics. After these minimums have been met, then let the competition begin. Car companies seem overall to be thriving and their shareholders are relatively happy. The antithesis of this is the deregulation and oversight of the financial markets, (e.g., S&L crash of the ’80s, the derivative market, predatory mortgages, and banks too big to fail). The capitalist creed Ms. Bessette should acknowledge is not that “Businesses thrive on competition.” Rather, “It wants monopolies.” My apologies for misquoting a great Republican “Teddy” Roosevelt –Trust Buster, creator of National Parks, government regulation of the food and drug industry, and ending of child labor, among other government interventions.
Regulatory note 2
Re “Take back your health care” (Liberty Bell, RN&R, May 30):
Chanelle Bessette’s article is a mixture of flawed logic, naiveté and ignorance/denial of recent history. The biggest issue with her article is her confusion about corporate behavior after massive deregulation.
Instead of federal regulation and certification, in the case of health care and pharmaceutical companies, she proposes “private companies that offer voluntary accredidation.” Follow to the end of the paragraph where “pharmaceutical … manufacturers would increase in quality and more businesses would offer guarantees.”
Here’s a simplified version of the subprime lending crisis, a key dcomponent to the Economic Collapse of 2007. Wall Street players were pushing mortgage bundles, financial assets comprised of hundreds to thousands of mortgages, priced at a fraction of the hypothetical value of repaid loans. The demand for these products grew at a very fast rate due to the volume of purchasing by big banks and brokers. With increased demand, mortgage lenders had great incentive to offer massive loans to unqualified buyers with little to no collateral. After all, with enough mortgages, they could be packaged off and sold to someone else. Mortgage lenders could offer loans to buyers that had virtually no chance to pay them off because they could sell off the risk before the note came due.
Surely, the rating agencies would spot these high-risk loans and raise red flags. Instead, the rating agencies saw their profits rise with a higher volume of AAA bundles, despite the true value of the bundles. These profits came in over- and under-the-table payments and incentives to rating agencies so Wall Street investment banks could “take control of how they are perceived by the public.” Instead of acting “with greater transparency about their method of production,” they touted their financial products as high-quality investments, clearly which they were not. The creed of corporations like global investment banks and pharmaceutical companies is simple—maximize profits. No corporation willingly spends more money to make less, even in the name of higher quality.
Re “Constitutional amendment on ballot” (RN&R, May 30):
In an article on repealing a cap on mining taxes in the Nevada Constitution, we reported, “The only senators representing Washoe County who voted against passage were Don Gustavson and James Settlemeyer.” Actually, Settlemeyer represents four small counties. Gustavson’s was the only Washoe Senate vote cast against the measure.