Las Vegas Sun

October 31, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Selfishness is damaging Nevada

Regarding the Sun’s editorial, “For the children?”:

After reading the grim statistics about how Nevada ranks as a state, regarding how we have supported our children, we should bow our heads in shame.

Here’s how I see it. You can divide our Nevada adult population into two groups. We have the selfish and self-centered who believe their rights as Americans entitle them to climb to the top of the economic pyramid over the lower middle class and the poor. The other group by nature has a more giving, generous character and truly believes we are all one human race. If someone is down, you help them up. It’s called “caring.”

Why is Nevada on the bottom of the food chain as to how we treat our young citizens? Because the conservative viewpoints are supported and implemented by our state government. People don’t want to hear the word “taxes.” Gee, “take my money to help others?” Where did that notion come from?

What we hear are things like, “I don’t have kids in school” or “My kids are not addicted to drugs, so why should I pay for education and community programs?”

People should think twice before voting against raising state tax revenues. How can we have better schools, fewer young people dropping out, less crime, more children with health care and less drug abuse among the young?

Some Tea Party people love to talk about morals. Well, where are the morals when it comes to letting our school system degrade to one of the lowest in the nation? Where are the morals when we have 10,000 homeless hungry children in Las Vegas?

Don’t you dare say, “Just cut spending on silly programs.” The little help that we actually offer our own is a moral disgrace. We are no longer the nation of giving and caring people. We are now a divided nation, with gluttons out to protect their own hide, no matter what it takes.

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  1. Liberals would have you believe that Government is the only source of social justice: i.e., Compassion and sensitivity for the weak and downtrodden. What liberals really want is Government control of every aspect of society that they deem necessary and desirable.

    Carmine D

  2. Only in American can the people who pay no taxes tell the people who do [pay taxes] that they have to pay more.

    Carmine D

  3. A real good letter supporting socialist propaganda, but not realistic as poverty in America as shown in the letter is voluntarily.

  4. It boils down to whether money or people are the priority. Too often, Nevadans seem to come down on the side of money and vacuous statements about "voluntary poverty".

  5. Jim:

    Everything always comes down to money. Whoever says otherwise is misguided, lying or both.

    Carmine D

  6. Ms. Mahida,

    You are more-than-likely a very nice, thoughtful and compassionate person. As such, you should be very much aware that merely giving your fellow citizens more of your hard-earned money and time, with little expectation and little-or-no effort on their part is not only counterproductive, it is immoral. There is a half century of experience in this Country, and centuries of experience throughout the rest of the world for you to review.

    Please rethink your philosophy, because in reality it is immoral and hurtful.

    Regards,
    Purgatory

  7. Connie, they are NOT OUR CHILDREN. 40% or more are illegals. Another, what, 10-20% are kids of former illegals who were amnestied in. No wonder our economy can't recover.

  8. Sorry Carmine, but "everything" doesn't come down to money. Being a free will kind of person, you are free to choose.

  9. Lets see how Dean Heller sides with the College Tuition. Will he let it double or vote to keep it where it is? This is an issue of whether those who are trying to better themselves will have to pay double taxes on their loans. BTW, interest is a tax on a loan.

    There is nothing 'liberal' about saying that Nevada schools are funded near the bottom level compared with other states, because that is a fact. It is truly amazing to have one say that a numerical reality and be called a 'liberal'.

    Democracy is also a liberal idea that aristocrats are continually attempting to destroy.

  10. What's Mahida smoking? 47 million on food stamps and we, the taxpayers, don't care about the "poor?" Who's she kidding? Millions more living in subsidized housing, being given "free" cell phones and "free" health care and she says we, the taxpayers, don't care? Who's she kidding? If Mahida wants to contribute her own money to subsidize the 35-to-40% of the parasites who deserve no help, fine by me. But that's not what she wants. She wants others to pay through the nose so the slackers and the slothful can continue their parasitic ways. Forget about it!

  11. "Sorry Carmine, but "everything" doesn't come down to money. Being a free will kind of person, you are free to choose."

    To quote an often quoted phrase typically used in another context but relevant here: Free will is not free.

    Carmine D

  12. Nevada's rock-bottom when it comes to nearly every single important metric. People move here, blow their money and then they're gone in a few years. Charles Schwab used to have three offices in the Valley. Now I believe they have one. Their demographic research found what I stated above. There is almost no personal savings in this state.

    Carmine... Everyone pays taxes. Try buying a car or piece of chewing gum without paying taxes.

    Jerry.. Roughly 30% of the people in this country were getting some type of entitlement assistance in the 1960s. Today it's about 48%. The vast majority of that increase is due to the 10,000 baby boomers that have been retiring each day for the last 10 years. Food stamps? The average food stamp payout is about 30 bucks a week. Without programs like food stamps people would just steel more and the cost would be passed on to consumers. Theft of food is one of the fastest-growing criminal enterprises. When Jerry sets an example and gives up his Social Security direct deposit on the third Wednesday of the month and his Medicare card may be the rest of the parasites will follow.

    When Jerry gets his government assistance it's okay. When someone else gets it they are parasites. Rich!

  13. Pain and poverty exists, regardless of political affilliation. Although the author, Connie Mahida, is very well intentioned, "selfishness" is a personal responsibility, it starts there. It speaks of a person's "character". One old saying that comes to mind, "Charity begins at home" applies. Commenter RHB58 points to the real caveat in this situation, "Why should I bow my head in shame? I had absolutely no say in bringing these children into the world and if you can't afford children you shouldn't have them, if you don't want to spend time with them, you shouldn't have them, if don't care how they do in school you shouldn't have them. The selfishness is coming from the people who don't care about any of this and just continue to pop out children without any regards for anything other then their selfish needs for sexual gratification at the moment. And then they expect everyone else to then foot the bill, talk about some selfish SOB's."

    Personal responsibility is the core source. As Commenter True-Dat states, "Connie, I care about the young children of this state. There, does stating that I care help the children? I have a college fund I'm saving money into for my three teenagers. Should I divert those funds to other children? Am I being selfish Connie?"

    There are charitable organizations throughout the city, state, and country. The problem is with the kinds of people: those who have fallen on hard times and need temporary help, and those who seek to exploit, be it for permanent free handouts, or stick it to others although they are doing well.

    Problems with school children start with their homes. Schools simply react (for good or ill) depending upon who is in the power/control chain.

    We all can choose to help in any way we can, and are willing to do so. Helping comes in many forms, be it volunteering, donating, sharing what one possesses to others. We are FREE to do that. Keep in mind that people have to first take care of themselves, and that is not being selfish, it is being responsible. Thank you.

    Blessings and Peace,
    Star

  14. nez212 Clyde Perkins - "A real good letter supporting socialist propaganda, but not realistic as poverty in America as shown in the letter is voluntarily."

    Complete nonsense, people don't choose to be poor. They are put into situations and conditions that create poverty. 76% of American live from paycheck to paycheck and it takes but one horrific event to wipe out what little savings they might have. Poverty has always been with societies where the "haves" and powerful oppressed the "have nots."

    Psalm 35:10 - "You rescue the poor from those too strong for them, the poor and needy from those who rob them."

    Psalm 12:5 - "Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the needy, I will now arise," says the LORD. "Then I will protect them from those who malign them."

    Deuteronomy 15:11 - "There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land."

    Isaiah 32:7 - "The scoundrel's methods are wicked, he makes up evil schemes to destroy the poor with lies, even when the plea of the needy is just."

    Mahatma Gandhi - "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."

  15. Interestingly, every letter evokes the same comments from the same people.

    We, as a society, do need to put people ahead of money. The rich are getting richer while the people working for a living are struggling to make ends meet. Of course, the reason for a business is to make money. But, at what cost to society? The environment? Our future? How much money does one person need?

    I did not choose to lose a job due to a plant closure. The company chose to move to a different state where they could pay the people minimum wage.

    I did not choose to have the housing market drop out after I bought a reasonably priced house in 2005. I bought within my budget and the house is now worth 1/3 of what I owe. 2 years after buying, I lost that job after 18 years. The banks got the bailouts and the executives got their bonuses, right? What did the homeowners get? My lender does not participate in any of the homeowner programs so we're working on a short-sale.

  16. CarmineD

    You're an adult and can take responsibility for your own choices without falling back on "everybody else does too" unless they're "lying or misguided".

    When you blow smoke, make sure it's not coming from your trousers.

  17. http://money.cnn.com/2011/08/10/pf/emerg...
    The vast majority of the people in this country were poor a hundred years ago and the same holds true today. It's a byproduct of the American form of capitalism. Necessities like medical care and education are ridiculously costly, and fruitless wealth destroying endeavors like lotteries and gambling are encouraged. A retirement survey done about 10 years ago reflected about a third of Americans are planning for retirement through lottery ticket purchases. Ridiculous!

    In addition our tax code enables the wealthy to shelter trillions while the poor get $30 a week in food stamps.

    Historically lousy wealth distribution metrics have led to revolutions, wars and other calamities. Jews are still trying to get back what was taken from them during the Hitler years. In the United States and other countries the wealthy have to spend billions on bulletproof cars, bulletproof clothes, security systems, private security and gated homes. Good solid wealth distribution benefits the wealthy and the poor. The poor are able to move up and the wealthy don't get their heads chopped off.

  18. anon_is_me (Dave Gelineau) - "I lost that job after 18 years. The banks got the bailouts and the executives got their bonuses, right? What did the homeowners get?"

    It's a damn shame hard working Americans who believed in a just society and an American Dream were screwed every which way but loose by corporations which are "too big to fail". That is the direct result of politicians whoring themselves for donations at the expense of the American people. Until so-called conservatives realize the government is needed in hard times to help our citizens we will always have the wealthy dictating policy for the benefit of themselves.

    If capitalism was a system based on making it or failing, why are tax payers bailing out or paying subsidies to companies making profits?

  19. I read these comments, with disbelief. The majority here call themselves Christians. The Nuns taught me to help those who can't help themselves. From my experience not all people are equal. We don't learn the same way, we don't comprehend the same way, we don't perform our jobs at the same level. We are different. Just because you can do, doesn't mean everyone is capable of the same level as you. We are not equal! Just because the Declaration of Independence states we are all equal, we are not! The Good Lord created all of us differently.
    Vernos, you had a great post, and many of the dissenters on this site should try to understand these verses, too bad they won't. They're just too wrapped up complaining about the poor and not helping them aspire to greater things.

  20. I'm with Notacon - I've never heard a liberal argue that government was the only source of social justice. I have, however, noted conservative repeatedly argue that government is not even one of a large number of potential sources. Rather, they tend to argue, as did Purgatory at 7:27 a.m., that we "...should be very much aware that merely giving your fellow citizens more of your hard-earned money and time, with little expectation and little-or-no effort on their part is not only counterproductive, it is immoral." Or they argue, like Nez212 (Clyde Perkins) at 5:08 a.m., that "...poverty in America as shown in the letter is voluntarily."

    Spoken like true "christians..."

  21. It is selfish to withhold money that would help the needy. Unfortunately, the situation is not that straightforward. There are many possible reasons for Nevada's poor education results: the job performance of teachers, the resources available to teachers, the quality of management in the district, the transitory nature of Las Vegas, the fact that a lot of parents aren't involved and committed to their kids' education? Personally, I wonder if there is any amount of money that will convince kids to care about their education if they see that their parents don't care about it? (And there seem to be a lot who don't in LV.) But my opinion is just an opinion and we really have no idea which factors are most impactful and where we should focus our efforts. Despite this, the standard liberal approach is to have the government throw money at it. The other reason that this situation is not as straightforward as the writer suggests is that money has an opportunity cost. If you use it for one thing, you take it away from something else. Is it selfish to say that I don't want to spend money in a way that I don't think will have much impact? Money that goes to the school district doesn't just appear out of the blue. If you increase taxes the money that could be spent in the private sector is reduced and you lose private sector jobs. Is it selfish to say I think that it would be better for our community for there to be more people with jobs that aren't paid for by other taxpayers? Is it selfish to say I think I'd rather spend my money on a charity or program that I believe is effective, instead of the government deciding which of their cronies' pockets they are going to line (such as D Jones' consultant friend, who earned $250,000 a year for three years). I'm OK with liberals wanting to support whatever they want to. What is getting old is being told that I should be ashamed (and I'm not a good Christian) if I don't agree with them. For those of you quoting the Bible, you may want to check out what it has to say about judging others.

  22. @David Newton: I too don't want to see taxpayer dollars just thrown around as if they're coming from a money tree, but I would like to explore your concern that:

    "Money that goes to the school district doesn't just appear out of the blue. If you increase taxes the money that could be spent in the private sector is reduced and you lose private sector jobs."

    I believe you're referring to the decades-old "trickle down" theory of economics and job creation that President Reagan made popular, and that was so often touted by Republicans in the last election. As we move ever so slowly out of the recession, I keep reading economic reports about the enormous profits corporations have banked, especially in the last couple of years (in no small measure, thanks to a tax code that works in their favor), but I'm still waiting for all those jobs we're told will be created if we resist the temptation to tax business. Can you please help me understand why the unemployment rate is not much, much lower than it is? Why is this economic theory not working?

  23. "Carmine... Everyone pays taxes. Try buying a car or piece of chewing gum without paying taxes."

    That's my choice and for my own use. Not so with Government/IRS and the taxes they take and how they are used. Surely you know the difference between free will and confiscation.

    Carmine D

  24. "When you blow smoke, make sure it's not coming from your trousers."

    I don't smoke. It's a dirty, filthy, expensive habit. Besides, if the smoking doesn't kill you, the sin taxes on it will.

    Carmine D

  25. I see a lot of buyers of "Brooklyn" bridges in the posts here. What, with their nonsense about everyone receiving taxpayer assistance is "poor." There is so much fraud in every government program it is stunning and those in charge? They couldn't care less. It's not their money and, by condoning fraud and waste (if not actually encouraging it), they benefit greatly. They get to keep their pencil-pushing, bureaucratic jobs and, in many cases, receive promotions and higher pay as they grow the bureaucracy. But to the whackos on the left, none of that matters because it's not their money either. They can afford to be big spenders since it's always other folks money they're spending. Many of the posters in favor of big government and big spending are or were on the receiving end of a government paycheck and so, they are part of the culture of waste, fraud and mismanagement. They are not to be trusted!

  26. An HHS IG report said Social Security paid out $31 Million to dead people and has been doing so for over 20 years. How many years is it necessary to be dead for the Government to believe it?

    Carmine D

  27. Brad:

    The reason that money is sitting on the sidelines by corporations is economic and political uncertainty. Supposedly this Great Recession ended June 2009, over 4 years ago, if Government statistics and reports are correct. I opine that Americans from all walks of life, not just business, have their doubts. Fed Chair is set to leave in January 2014. He, Bernanke, has been the architect of the recovery. When he leaves, and the talk is that he is going, what will happen? Did you see the list of wanna be Fed chiefs? Not inspiring. Say what you want, but one thing Bernanke does is work hard: Nights, weekends and holidays. He's at work in his office sleeping on the sofa. He's been doing so for 2 terms. I guarantee this: His replacement will not.

    Carmine D

  28. For Ms. Mahida and all of those who are left-of-center and refer to their actions as "progressive"...

    Thomas Sowell wrote this morning:

    "In short, the political left's welfare state makes poverty more comfortable, while penalizing attempts to rise out of poverty. Unless we believe that some people are predestined to be poor, the left's agenda is a disservice to them, as well as to society. The vast amounts of money wasted are by no means the worst of it."

    Please take some time to analyze these words...

    Regards
    Purgatory

  29. Purgatory, Thomas Sowell is nothing but a right wing shill who has not written anything of importance in years.

  30. Binder...Thomas Sowell is a PhD Economist and author with a brilliant mind...moreover, Dr. Sowell has lived the experiences he discusses...he shills for no one...you are factually and intellectually mistaken...Purgatory

  31. "In short, the political left's welfare state makes poverty more comfortable, while penalizing attempts to rise out of poverty."

    Is that why Walmart and fast food chains pay handsome salaries? Is that why CEO take huge kick backs and bonuses while laying off people.

    No one wants to depend on the state for a living, but when you pay people very little they are forced to apply for food stamps and state run healthcare services. How can any working class person find it comfortable living in poverty? When will so-called educated fiscal clowns realize why the middle class is a vanishing breed?

  32. Carmine...money is sitting on the sidelines because the world is imploding. What is going on in the middle east and Europe is a product of sky high unemployment among the young and poverty.
    The world economic engine is consumption based. With 25% unemployment in some developed countries global growth is the slowest in 40 years. Much of the hoarded corporate cash is sitting in tax havens.
    If companies don't start investing in workers and wages people won't have the money to buy the crap they sell and companies will be the big losers.
    The collapse in AAPL stock price from 750 to 419 has caused a $300 billion loss to investors. The worst in corporate history from what I can tell. They want to sell a phone for 500 bucks but fewer and fewer have the money for such a purchase.
    Nevada is the picture perfect example of what happens when short term gratification takes priority over investments in medical care and education. People in this state have nothing....zip.

  33. Vernos,

    You asked rhetorically, and I have answered:

    Is that why Walmart and fast food chains pay handsome salaries? No

    Is that why CEO take huge kick backs and bonuses while laying off people? No

    How can any working class person find it comfortable living in poverty? They cannot

    When will so-called educated fiscal clowns realize why the middle class is a vanishing breed? Can't speak for most, but I already know

    I must add that your questions and concerns have nothing to do with Ms. Mahida's comment nor the subsequent analases.

    Regards,
    Purgatory

  34. Gerry:

    For the USA: The fragile recovery, supposedly started June 2009, is poised to have a break out next year according to economists. Several econ indicators are relevant, not the stock market which is often cited. Housing starts and prices are rising. New car sales are at record highs. Consumer confidence is rising. Unemployment while still high is ticking down ever so slowly. The two factors that are uncertain and could effect the break out are China and Europe. As buyers of our products, if they don't, it could throw a monkey wrench in the US recovery. Have to wait and see.

    Carmine D

    PS: Another downer is median household income which is not as high as it was in June 2009 which in turn was not as high as it was in January 2008, the official start of the Great Recesssion.

  35. The biggest moochers are the top one percent through unbelievable tax breaks, subsidies, and off-shore untaxed incomes in the millions.

    We do not need more taxes. We need to enforce the current tax laws, but of course, it is not going to happen because they control the government.

    Those who despise people who get measly government assistance need to redirect their disgust to those who mooch simply because they can.

  36. Brad, regarding why the unemployment rate is still so high, if the President's highly trained economic advisors don't have a solution, despite running trillion dollar a year deficits, I don't think I have a solution.

    However, what I do understand is that if I pay a tax, that money goes to the government. First, we use part of that money to pay someone within the government to decide how to spend it. Often, it is not well spent because politicians are beholden to their contributors, who generally take a slice of the profits from the money government sends their way. The government agencies doing the spending are often inefficient because they have no competition and very limited levels of accountability to force them to be efficient. You believe that blindly pouring more money into this system is the best and least selfish thing to do. You don't even know how the money is going to be spent, but you're in favor.

    The alternative to money that I provide to the government in taxes is that I decide how I wish to spend my money. The private sector companies that thrive are the ones that best meet my (our) needs and wants at the best price. Yes, this is capitalism, but it creates competition, which forces companies to be efficient or they close. The efficient companies succeed and resources flow to them, which is good because they have shown the ability to be efficient and effective at meeting people's needs/wants. These companies are successful and generally expand and create opportunities. They pay wages, where people can earn their living instead of depending on the largess of other taxpayers. I think this is a good thing, both for the individuals involved as well as society. I think it is more beneficial to spend money to create jobs than it is pay more in taxes, because I have my doubts about whether the money paid in taxes will have any real impact on education in Las Vegas, so why not spend it in a way that will have an impact.

    Yes, we have certain things that we need as a society, so we pay taxes to buy these services. I'm not saying there should be no taxes or government. But I think it's best to minimize the role of government and as much as possible allow the market to more efficiently decide where money goes. As I said originally, you can decide you wish to pay more, because you think that's in the best interest of our community. But it's not a black and white choice, where one option is caring and one option is heartless.