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OPINION: The bipartisan sabotage of free enterprise


Proposal would supplant private entrepreneurs with government bureaucrats

By Geoffrey Lawrence – Nevada Policy Research Institute

Unemployment rates in Nevada have remained in double digits for two full years. The latest figures show 179,206 unemployed Nevadans. Tens of thousands more have dropped out of the labor market altogether — too discouraged to even look for a job. Nevadans desperately crave new job creation and the return to prosperity.

Politicians in Carson City have heard these pleas and would like to fix the state’s economic woes. Legislative leaders from both major political parties are collaborating with the governor in an attempt to spur economic development through Assembly Bill 449. Among other things, the bill would create a cabinet-level position for economic development within the executive branch. It would also create a “Catalyst Fund” with $10 million in taxpayer seed money from which a new bureaucracy of economic development officers would “make grants or loans to, or investments in, businesses seeking to create or expand in this State or relocate to this State.”

This Catalyst Fund, according to proposed legislative language, would operate along the lines of a state-run venture capitalist firm, using public funds to invest in businesses that government officials have determined to be vital to the economic interests of the people. In other words, the proposal — when it comes to economic planning — would place its faith in government bureaucrats and political committees, rather than the freedom that built America.

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