In case you didn’t notice, Monday was Labor Day — everywhere but the United States. Bowing to the wealthy, political leaders more than century ago grudgingly established a day for workers as far as possible from the rest of the world’s rabble. So September it remains stateside.
The USA today has the most repressive labor laws among first-world countries. That’s why Australians and Swedes live longer despite far lower health care costs. Here, every day brings a new May Day distress signal.
Nevadans are continually bombarded by glowing PR about living in a paradise of economic diversification. Valhalla, this ain’t.
The City of Reno remains in default over hundreds of millions of debt incurred by copious orgies of corporate welfare. (See below.)
Former Tribune columnist Bill Hanlon hoisted Gov. Veto El Obtúsè in Sunday’s Reno Gazette-Journal.
“The governor raised taxes last session supposedly for education,” Hanlon stated, “but if you follow the dollars, we see it went to his ‘signature’ programs at the expense of the very students in need of assistance.”
In other words, to his cronies, Hanlon asserted.
“The result, a ranking of dead last!” he concluded.
The 2015 $1.4 billion tax hike, passed by a Republican majority legislature, was actually a re-packaging of the gambling industry’s 2003 gross receipts tax, reviled by conservatives. Like the 2003 proposal, it imposed new taxes everywhere but gambling.
Former Sen. Joe Neal, D-North Las Vegas, and LV Chamber of Commerce lobbyist Sam McMullen, with the help of bi-partisan enlightened souls, saw the 2003 shuck for what it was. Gambling industry Gov. Kenny Guinn, who proposed the tax, had no choice but signing the legislative alternative. It took until 2015 for the juice lobbyists who own Gov. Sandoval to finally deliver their gambling clients’ fondest desire.
The Barbwire was the first of few to disclose that education funding remained flat despite the 2015 tax increase.
Construction at Tesla, the University of Nevada and many jobs created by Nevada corporate welfare programs pay substandard area wages. The boomtown publicity effect has expanded the population resulting in skyrocketing rents but not commensurate income for workers.
Most of the bumpy streets damaging your vehicle’s suspension will only get worse because there’s no money to fix them. Schools will increasingly resemble sardine cans.
So when you hear about worker demonstrations, show up. Every day is labor day here, the neverending fight for fair pay for a fair day’s work.
TOLD YA DEPT. In 2014, the Barbwire warned of the questionable qualifications of Washoe County Sheriff Chuck Allen. Sometimes I hate it when I’m right. Like President Bush the Lesser with Hurricane Katrina and California Gov. Jerry Brown and the medfly, when confronted by crisis, Allen folded when his inmates started dying.
MINIMAL MASTO. Despite her campaign rhetoric, Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez-Masto has not joined fellow Democrats supporting Sen. Bernie Sanders’ bill for a $15 minimum wage.
OFFTRACK. Union Pacific busted Reno with train trench debt. Adding insult to injury, SB427 now before the Nevada legislature mandates two operators for each train because UP wants to go to single-driver locomotives. Zounds.
Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno.
Andrew Barbano is a 48-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org> Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.