Issues

Education University

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” – Nelson Mandela

Eager minds hungry for knowledge are one of society’s greatest resources. For this reason, access to higher education should be accessible (matched with effective delivery).

Take UNLV, for example:

UNLV receives $155 million from state appropriations annually. IN 2017 they matriculated 6,130 freshmen.

UNLV also holds a 4-year graduation rate (as of 2009) of 12.9%. This would portend 791 students would graduate in 4-years and 1,875 in 5 years. This would mean that 4,272 students would be taking on a debt, borrowing from family, or working to learn, with nothing to show for it except bills. This is all while UNLV’s endowment increased $35 million dollars between 2013-2016 – a 24% increase.

The risk of the loan and time is borne by the student. For its $155 million-dollar investment, the state gets 791 people/year entering the workforce after 4 years of college with an average salary of $46,700 dollars a year.

What if the University was to take on the risk.

What if the state was only going to reimburse the university for those students that actually GRADUATE.

UNLV has an 83% acceptance rate; however, they are giving 70% of those students nothing in return in five years except loans, debt, and lost potential. If we pay UNLV only for those that graduated, they would be more selective in those whom they accepted; they would work harder to keep those students enrolled, focused, and on track towards graduation.

An example of state appropriations per student for the university may look something like this:

Enrolled Dropped Out
Year 1 $4,000 0
Year 2 $5,000 -4000
Year 3 $6,000 -5000
Graduate $11,000 -6000
Year 5 $2,000 -11000

Students would not be responsible for any tuition while in school. Once they graduated, they would repay the cost of the education at 0% interest by paying 4% of their yearly income to the University if they remain in Nevada, and 8% if they settle out of the state. Accommodations for graduate school are withstanding.

Thus, when you are a student and have no money, you would have no financial stress. When you had a stable job, you would be able to pay it back. I believe the 4-year graduation rate will increase by up to 18% as less people have to work and go to school simultaneously. The state would also retain its educated talent – its greatest resource. If the numbers play out, I would like to make it free for those that work in Nevada or study in areas of needs, like teacher education.


Healthcare

“It is health that is the real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver” – Mahatma Gandhi

Being in the healthcare field, I am well acquainted with its limitations. I am versed in the hardships that healthcare imparts upon people – and the sacrifices made within healthcare. I have worked out the beginnings of a new healthcare strategy, but it needs refinement. It is inspired by blockchain technology, and is intended to make the delivery of healthcare more efficient, cheaper and encourage better outcomes. Healthcare costs could be controlled using monetary policies. The plan needs development, but I am excited to continue to work on its development for the people of Nevada. Of all the candidates, I believe it safe to say that being a Physician, I understand healthcare the most. I would have little need for consultants with hidden agendas. I am worried about the direction of healthcare. I am you.


School Safety

“Perceive that which cannot be seen with the eye” – Miyamoto Musashi, A book of Five Rings

Unfortunately, it seems to take tragedy to spur change. We do not need to wait for tragedy to occur here in Nevada before we take action. There has been some proposals such as a single point of entry, having apps to help coordinate staff during events, and wearing school ID’s, at all times.

One solution is to install webcams across the campuses and utilize facial recognition software to determine if a student is in the wrong area or not. If John Is in the wrong building area at the wrong time of day, and alert would trigger; investigation could be carried out. If a fire alarm is pulled, before it rang and spilled students into hallways, it would be visually determined as to what the situation in the building truly was. The system could also determine who pulled the alarm and whether or not the person had counselling or any psychiatric flags. In fact, classrooms in the nearest vicinity could lockdown as intervention/investigation was initiated. Las Vegas Metro would control drones placed at each school, armed to intervene if need be. As parents, we are worried about the safety of our schools. I am you.


Children’s Hospital/The Raider Stadium

“Men in the game are blind to what men looking on see clearly” – Chinese Proverb

The Raider stadium has been funded and it appears to be moving forward. Aside from the rest of America snickering at us for making the worst deal in stadium history, this is an example of influence and money: catering to the needs of the few at the expense of many. The $750 million-dollar bond will be paid from a 0.88% increase in room tax overt he next 30 years. This works well – unless there is a drop in room utilization. Hotel occupancy in 1997, pre-recession, was 90.4%. In 2002, it dropped to 84%. The question arises: will there be another recession over the next 30 years?

Hamilton County in Ohio had to sell a public hospital to pay for the shortfall in sales tax to fund their stadium. Everything in life is about risk versus benefit. What are the benefits of the stadium, as proposed by the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee?

The stadium would have a total economic impact of $620m. It would create 5,982 jobs, with an average salary of $38,045, a salary 20% less than the current average salary in Las Vegas ($48,045). That’s if we can get 43 events/year into the stadium.

Instead:

I strongly propose a free-standing Children’s Hospital to be built in Nevada. Currently, Nevada is ranked number 1 as the worst state for children’s healthcare. A hospital would be used more than 43 times a year and could be built in half the cost of the stadium’s PUBLIC funding (around $350 million dollars). The stadium is a $2 billion-dollar project. While there are children’s hospitals in local hospitals around the state, they lack research dollars and integration of care that a free-standing institution would bring. Looking at the economic impact of a free-standing and independent children’s hospital (and borrowing numbers from the Dallas Forth Worth area) a comparison to the stadium can be made.

Stadium Hospital
Days in Use 43
365
Economic Impact $620m
$2billion
Jobs Created 5,982 15,000
Average Salary $38,615 $64,993

The story repeats itself in Akron, Ohio : Economic impact of $1 billion dollars with 4,619 jobs created with an average salary of $77,289/year.

So, which one serves the public? At what risk? If you follow the money, Adam Laxalt has received $150,000 combined from Station Casino and Golden Entertainment. Steve Sisolak has received %170,000 from MGM resort properties, Caesars Entertainment, and Golden Entertainment. Chris G. (who voted against the stadium, twice) received $20,000 from Caesars Entertainment and South Point Hotel. Is the stadium in their donor’s best interest, or yours? I am you.

The stadium is beautiful, like a Taj Mahal in the desert. Just remember, the Taj Mahal is a tomb.


Income Inequality/Jobs Future

“And a revolution of automation finds machines replacing men in the mines and mills of America, without replacing their incomes or their training or their needs to pay the family doctor, grocer, and landlord.” JFK.

We are on the cusp of a major transformation towards automation. As the population ages and retires, there will be a labor shortage, just restricting supply growth. Automation will then increase thus expanding supply growth. This’ll will lead towards a few high skill workers earning higher wages; however, it will also lead to a larger number of displaced workers. Income inequality will rise thus reducing demand.

Poverty in Nevada has increased 123% from 2000 to 2014. This has led to a 38 times income gap ratio in Nevada, ranking it in the 4th worst state in the Union. That’s the picture today. Looking towards the future, in Las Vegas alone, 62.5% of its jobs are susceptible to automation by 2030.

In chaos, there is always opportunity. If our leaders can position the state from a legislative, environmental, and human resources perspective, to be ready for these eventualities, citizens of Nevada stand to weather the volatility during this transformation to automation. The education system is key to this (and is detailed in a separate section). This transformational change and its impending impact on society doesn’t have to be a worry on your mind. I am you.


Education

“Preoccupied with a single leaf, you won’t see the tree. Preoccupied with a single tree, you’ll miss the entire forest” – Takuan Soho

There is a lot of talk about education in this election cycle. Each of the candidates seem to converge on a similar theme: we need more money in education, either from taxes or changes in the funding formulas. This intense focus on funding distracts from the deeper needs inherent within the system.

Anybody can spend money. There is no talent or innovation in this. A child can do this.

What can you do with what you already have? This takes more foresight, understanding, and thought.

As we move closer to AI intelligence, the traditional education process seems more and more antiquated. We need to prepare our children for the new age that is coming. We need to engage this generation’s attention span and prepare them for success in the new economy.

The rising cost of adulthood and higher education has created a transition phase from the end of high school until the age of 30. High costs with low wages is a recipe for a ‘second adolescence’, delaying life events such as marriage, having children, or buying a home. This will only deepen the income disparity.

Competency based curriculums are cheaper and cater to the child’s abilities. Their interest can determine what career they are suited for and enjoy. When our children stay in school longer and accumulate more competencies, more job opportunities arise. With cost savings, teach income and retention may also increase.

Training towards jobs that are currently felt to be more insulated from automation should be encouraged. Such jobs include: robotics, engineering, teacher education, nutrition services, computer analysts, medical professionals, and financial auditors – just to name a few.

If children are able to enter the labor force with the skill sets necessary for the new economy, the income disparity will decrease. The government needs to intervene less, and discussion of “universal basic income” can be done away with. Education is key to success in this state, but will not be achieved by throwing more money into a Carnegie unit system that is no longer valid with the new economy.

We need to prepare our children for an uncertain future. I am a parent with children in school. I am you.


Gun Safety

“If you do not control the enemy, the enemy will control you” – Miyamoto Musashi.

This is a divisive issue. Society’s needs are on one side, and constitutional rights are on the other. We are living in a connected world but are not using the information available to help prevent tragedies that are becoming increasingly commonplace.

Common ideas being discussed by others include that at the time of purchase of the gun:

  1. Require background checks on state/national levels for all gun sales
  2. Ban the sale of assault weapons
  3. Ban high capacity and aftermarket modifications
  4. Allow communities to enact their own laws
  5. Take away guns from those who pose a legitimate threat to others
  6. Keep guns out of schools

While these seem like common sense, incredulously, they are not. The community approach is wrought with issues. If Henderson were to raise the age to buy a gun to 22, people could simply road trip down to Las Vegas and buy a gun there. As well meaning as it is, these solutions don’t work well.

I would like to propose that all guns require a NRA Stamp:

N – Nevada

R – Registration

A – Armory

Stamp.

This would be similar to the way you register your car yearly; you would have to register your armory and pay the registration fee. It could look a little like this:

Annual Fee Weapon Type
$300 Assault weapon
$200 Rifle
$100 Pistol
$500 Flame Thrower
$25 10 bullet mags
$100 20 bullet mags
$500 40 bullet mags

There would need to be a statewide mandatory reporting on certain parameters. Jas as in child abuse where teachers, nurses, pediatricians, and other health care providers are mandated to report occurrences, it would be the same for the Nevada Registration Armory (NRA). Things such as:

Reporting Agency Action Reported
Medical Professionals First Aid for injuries from a fight or weapon wound
Ideations of harming others or self
Law Enforcement Domestic disputes
Bullying
Assault and Battery
Crimes involving weapons
Teachers Bullying
Women Shelters Restraining order violations

These are a few examples. These could either raise the registration fee for the future or result in the confiscation of one’s weapon. It may even be required for proof of homeowners/renter’s insurance to renew one’s registration.

Implementing this would allow for annual assessment with a deeper background check. The shooter in the Mandalay Bay tragedy would have had to pay a lot more to keep his hobby, and perhaps this would have limited the scope of his armory.

We are all concerned about the misuse of guns. I am you.