Raise a glass, ladies and gentlemen – if you vote for Republicans, your opportunities for boozing it up will greatly improve!
Well, that SHOULD be the case, anyway, and will be if GOP legislators read my latest RGJ column, and heed my exhortations.
As always, please enjoy some additional citations, information, digressions, and other thoughts, presented in no particular order, based loosely on the original column.
Some version of this column has been kicking around in my head for quite awhile, now, inspired by this RGJ article from back in July. I remember driving to work with a friend of mine after reading it (maybe even a couple of days after reading it), and profanely raging about how stupid it all was. It has it all – unapologetic partisanship and unashamed insistence on maintaining the status quo for the protection of a few wealthy interests, all of which stands in the way of Nevada’s economic growth.
Nevada has some really great product that deserves wider distribution, too, like my brother-in-law’s Battle Born Beer. It’s been an education to watch him and his partners getting that venture off the ground – something that’s hard enough without pointless government regulation to fight on top of it all.
If you want to do some profane raging of your own, check out the entirety of NRS Chapter 597. There’s an orchard-full of low hanging fruit for Republicans who want to do real work in slashing job- and business-killing red tape.
Nevada is not, and never has been, a libertarian state. Libertine, yes – but that’s not even close to the same thing. If we want to be serious about being a place businesses want to come, and truly growing a diverse and robust economy here for the long term, this needs to change. Tax policy is important, but as a free marketeer I think serious dismantling of labyrinthine regulatory schemes matters more.
Pat Hickey’s bill to scoop the first shovelfull out of that Augean stable is AB4. It’s very simple, and there’s no reason it shouldn’t pass. I talked to Pat about it briefly a few weeks ago, though, and he told me he’s actually getting a little push back on it. He didn’t say from who, and I didn’t ask. I certainly hope it’s not anyone in my party representing a rural county, though. Nah, it couldn’t be – all those folks ran on conservative principles, which means the free market, not corrupt protectionism.
It’s worth pointing out yet one more example of a guy derided as a “moderate” who is actually turning conservative principles into policy. Conservatism is about a hell of a lot more than slavish devotion to debt-creating tax pledges.
Pat’s also keeping a great blog during the legislative session, which if you aren’t reading, you’re missing out.
It frustrates me that more Republicans, both locally and nationally, don’t jump more aggressively on this sort of thing. Changing our current protectionist taxicab regulatory scheme to bring Nevada into the Uber era is another no-brainer, and it’s on the legislative radar. Yet I’m not aware of a single bill having been introduced to address that issue.
The GOP badly needs to appeal to new voters, and shaking the “stodgy and uncool” image won’t hurt. Not only are these sorts of changes good policy, but they’re great politics. Based on the current pace of reforms, I’m cautiously optimistic. But I’d like to see these efforts touted more, and not forgotten as the budget battles loom.
Finally, the headline used on my piece could be misinterpreted – I’m not saying there should be no regulation whatsoever on any aspect of alcohol manufacture or distribution.
But I do harbor a dream of hanging up the law books and becoming a gentleman farmer. For that to work, though, I might need someone to take a look at our child labor laws…