Eugene Paslov: The law of unintended consequences

The law of unintended consequencesGov. Brian Sandoval is a decent man. He believes he's doing the right thing. He's wrong. He believes you can cut budgets, services and government, advocating "no new taxes or fees," and the state will flourish.

Gov. Sandoval appears to be following the lead of several Republican governors. Unfortunately, theirs is an ideological point of view, not a political strategy. The ideology is failing, people are leaving those states and their remaining populations are suffering. The ideology has consequences.

Nevada's unemployment has decreased, but it's not because people are finding jobs. They are leaving the state because there are few good jobs, schools are on the decline, the university and colleges have been mortally wounded. Some new businesses are coming to Nevada but, by and large, they are the ones that are looking for low taxes and cheap labor. All states need a few businesses like that, but high skilled, well paying jobs are more desirous for economic growth.

I doubt seriously that high tech businesses, requiring a well educated workforce, involvement in the arts, and a vibrant research university capability, will have much interest in relocating to Nevada or in developing their businesses here. I believe that can change, but not under the leadership of those who don't know the differences among ideology, policies and politics.

The governor will not talk about new taxes. Local officials worry about the Administration "sweeping" various reserve accounts so they will not have to raise taxes/fees and can balance the state's budget. The unintended consequence is that the local officials are then confronted with draconian cuts or themselves having to raise taxes/fees locally for which they, not the governor, must take responsibility. The governor and his anti-government, "no-new tax pledge" advisors can then lash out at all those who must raise taxes at the local level. Reprehensible.

WNC has been a premier institution in stimulating the population/economy in Carson City and the surrounding areas. One need only look at the track record of the WNC Musical Theatre. For 20 years the musical theatre's artistic director, Stephanie Arrigotti and her remarkable staff, have produced Broadway quality musicals, unparalleled in production and performance value, raising all their own expenses. Thousands come to see these suburb shows. Ms. Arrigotti developed the college's entire drama/theatre program, and now she is terminated at the end of 2012 because of the Governor's budget. She has the option of staying if she raises her own salary. Onerous.

The governor is responsible. He pledged no new taxes, no new revenues. The loss of a magnificent program and its staff, while probably not intended, significantly hurts our city/WNC. A shameful consequence.

• Eugene Paslov is a board member of the Davidson Academy at the University of Nevada, Reno and the former Nevada state superintendent of schools.


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