Education

DeMint praises Nevada’s ESA law

Says state-based school-choice programs create momentum for national reform

Nevada parents this year received one of the most marvelous gifts lawmakers can provide: the ability for parents to customize the education of their own children.

That was the assessment yesterday by the president of the Heritage Foundation, former U.S. Senator Jim DeMint, of last month’s passage into state law of Education Savings Accounts.

“This is what we’ve needed for years,” said DeMint, keynoting a Las Vegas education-reform event. “I know from raising four children — in the same environment, with the same parents — that all four were different.”

“They all had different learning styles,” he continued, “different interests, different aptitudes. And it wasn’t fair to force them all into the same mold.

“This idea of giving everyone the same thing at the same time in the same place, and saying that’s equality — it’s not. It’s the worst form of tyranny, when you recognize that every child is different.

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Labor

State regulation of work comp
proceeded on tilted playing field

Bad-actor ‘anecdotes’ finally, after decades, granted new credibility

When Nevada legislators outlawed lawsuits by injured workers against work-comp insurers and administrators in 1995, the lawmakers essentially made a promise.

In the absence of such lawsuits, they pledged, vigorous and vigilant state regulation would protect injured workers from bad actors who broke faith and violated work-comp rules.

Fines would suffice, the lawmakers told each other — fines levied by the state’s Division of Industrial Relations (DIR).

“[T]he substantial fine should prevent ‘bad faith’ from happening,” argued then-senator Randolph J. Townsend, according to legislative minutes.

So how “substantial” were the fines written into law to keep bad actors from misbehaving?

Under Assembly Bill 61, the penalties measure passed that same session, the fines were limited to “not more than $250 for each initial violation which was not intentional, or a fine of not more than $1,000 for each intentional or repeated violation.”

Of course, medical bills and wage-indemnity costs for injured workers quite frequently far exceed a mere thousand dollars. Thus, the 1995 legislation arguably incentivized bad behavior by insurers and claims administrators: Even if caught, they were far ahead, financially, just paying the fine.

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Labor

How state lawmakers
broke the ‘Grand Bargain’

Supreme Court: Injured Nevada workers get
merely ‘a hollow and illusory form of relief’

If you and I make a deal and, step by step, I abandon what I committed to do, are you still obligated to keep fulfilling your end of the pact?

Common sense — and basic contract law — would say no.

However, when we’re talking workers’ compensation law, in Nevada and most American states, such common sense doesn’t apply.

Legally, all across the country, the presumed basis of industrial insurance rests upon state-imposed “grand bargains” that state politicians hypothesized as having been made between employers, as a class, and representatives of employees, as a class.

Under these hypothetical “deals”,

1) Employees are deprived, by statute, of their common-law right to sue negligent employers for damages in case of injury.
2) In exchange, employees are ostensibly guaranteed prompt, decent medical care in case of injury, even when they are the negligent parties. Also, they and their families are — in theory — guaranteed a modest proportion of the worker’s normal wage to live upon until he or she can again work.

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1990s work-comp laws attacked
injured-worker costs on all fronts

State lawmakers gave surprising legal shield
to insurers, administrators who act in bad faith

Political incentives naturally drove
Nevada workers’ comp into the ditch

Lawmakers saw problems with doctors, high court justices

Nevada’s current work-comp system
a product of earlier near-bankruptcy

Politicized state system kept dispensing generous benefits
while lawmakers, governor, ducked need to face the deficit

Today's workers' comp still bears imprint
of Prussia's fear of democracy, rule of law

Regime's politicized judiciary rewrote liability law to help
feudal autocracy stave off the rise of a liberal middle class

How a Prussian Junker's power obsessions
framed modern work-comp systems: Part 2

Fearing higher costs and a litigation explosion, industry proposed cost-sharing
for accident insurance — but still got higher costs and a litigation explosion

How a Prussian Junker's power obsessions
framed modern work comp systems: Part 1

German statist ideologies, Bismarck’s personal hostility
to laissez-faire liberal ideas of free development, played big role

That workers’ compensation makes
people crazy is no mere coincidence

State’s so-called ‘grand bargain’ frustrates employees, employers, taxpayers

Is Nevada work comp legit?

Truncated health-provider networks increase insurers’ control over doctors

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