Solutions to our riots in the streets are simple. We just need the courage to finally say yes.
1. END NIXON’S BOGUS WAR ON DRUGS. In 1994, former Nixon White House aide John Erlichmann told journalist/author Dan Baum that Richard the Rotten hated two enemies, “the antiwar left and black people. We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities…Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.” (Harper’s Magazine, April 2016)
Nixon originally started down the enlightened path of treating drug addiction as a disease, but chose the dark with damnable results.
2. START A WAR ON WAR. In his farewell address, our greatest president warned against foreign entanglements. We have ignored George Washington’s advice at our peril. The richest country in human history has all the money needed to cure what ails us. We just spend it wrong.
Economists term the choice as between guns and butter. Alas and alack, we have almost always opted to use butter for gun grease.
3. EXPAND ECONOMIC AND EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY plus Medicare for all.
4. ATTEND THE RENO-SPARKS NAACP COMMUNITY FORUM at 7 p.m. this Thursday, July 14, on the third floor of Northern Nevada Hopes, 580 W. 5th Street in Reno.
Here are additional and still-unaddressed solutions I proposed in this newspaper on 17 January 2010.
5. Unwind the 1981 Tax Shift (aka the Tax Shaft) which turned local property taxes into an unfair Kafkaesque twilight zone and made us dependent on unstable, punitive sales taxes, three of every four dollars of which are paid by Nevadans.
6. Close 19th Century loopholes allowing the mining industry to get away with murder.
7. Close other corporate welfare tax exemptions. Defying fiscal and common sense, state and local governments continue to hemorrhage tax money into the pockets of the already-rich. You know their names. See the ever-expanding NevadaLabor.com corporate welfare section.
8. Eliminate STAR Bonds, which have put the City of Sparks in serious financial jeopardy thanks to the underperforming Marina/Scheels development.
9. Raise the gross gaming tax on our largest, most profitable casinos which, with miniscule exceptions, continue to enjoy the lowest taxes in the world.
10. Stop skimming property and room tax money toward casino promotion through convention authorities and redevelopment agencies. The room tax was imposed six decades ago for community improvement but was hogged by the gambling industry for its marketing expenses.
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER DEPT. The Las Vegas Review-Journal this week published a piece revealing that “past transfers of federal land led to corruption, history suggests.” Yawn. Tribune alumnus Dennis Myers did a splendid analysis of that reprehensible record a couple of years ago.
BETTER LATE, PART DEUX. All the dimbulbs who thought Assemblymember-elect Lisa Krasner, R-Reno, was not for real can kiss and make up this Thursday. Her campaign is holding a noontime reception at Napa-Sonoma, 7671 S. Virginia in Reno.
Deep-fried crow and humble pie are on the menu.
Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno.
Andrew Barbano is a 47-year Nevadan, editor of NevadaLabor.com and first vice-president of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. E-mail <email@example.com> Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.