We reached out to just about every candidate that we ranked with a questionnaire specific to the office they are running for. Here are the answers Mr. Burns provided.
Mr. Burns is a Libertarian. He's running to represent Nevada's 4th Assembly District.
Tell us about your background. What are your qualifications for this position?
I was born and raised in Las Vegas, and went through all of my formal education right here in Clark County. I work in the music industry. My greatest qualifications to represent Assembly District 4 are that I am not a politician and that instead I am a principled libertarian who sees that the greatest hindrance to peace and prosperity in our state is political power. We are destroying each other by abusing that power.
Do you agree or disagree with the measures taken by state officials in response to the COVID-19 pandemic? What do you think should have been done or done differently?
I totally disagree. Sisolak and our local government tyrants vastly overstepped their bounds. They called many of us non-essential. They made work illegal. They closed the schools. They locked us down. They forced mask mandates and social distancing and vaccine mandates upon us. They destroyed businesses. They ruined marriages. They caused suicides. They harmed children in ways they may never recover from. It was horrifyingly criminal.
When elected, I will join or form a coalition that will repeal/alter the sections of the NRS such that we reduce the scope of emergency executive power held by the governor, and reduce the amount of time before such power must be approved by the legislature.
We must never allow them to do this to us again.
Many voters are unhappy with our public school system. What policies or actions would you prescribe to repair or replace the existing system? Do you support “school choice” policies such as educational savings accounts? Why or why not?
Nevada’s public schools (and our bloated CCSD) are a national embarrassment. We are next to last on every metric. Instead of learning useful things, our children are taught to hate one another and to embrace the toxic ideologies of their teachers. It’s terrible. The solution is to separate government and state. Monopolies are unjust and bad at providing things. Of course they deliver us a terrible product. All the incentives for those involved are in the wrong place.
Until we can abolish government schools, the least we could do is embrace all aspects of school choice, starting with ESAs. We must let parents rescue their children from these abusive, violent, government indoctrination centers. In time, we should knock them all down and turn them into playgrounds and parks.
Please briefly describe your political philosophy. What are your guiding principles?
I am a libertarian, through and through. I believe in the non-aggression principle. Don’t hurt people and don’t take their stuff. We have been indoctrinated to think that it’s acceptable to use the violent apparatus of the state to force our views and ways of life on our peaceful neighbors.
That’s a terrible error. If we don’t wake up and stop it, we will destroy our own society. Look around you. The evidence is everywhere. The means determine the ends. Don’t use evil means (force, compulsion, theft) to try to achieve good ends. It’s impossible. The only justifiable use of force is defensive. We need to remember that basic truth… before it’s too late.
Many voters are concerned about inflation and its impact. What could be done at the state or national level to address the root causes of inflation or mitigate its impact on the public?
As the great Milton Friedman once said, “Inflation is everywhere and always a monetary phenomenon.” It’s the creation of money and credit by the machinations of the Federal Reserve that is the root cause of inflation. Various government policies and market factors can influence where the excess money sloshing around the economy ends up, but the basic factor is that “too much” fiat money is chasing “too few” goods.
At the state level, the best we can do is try not to pile on with our own taxes, fees, regulations, and red tape to make the problem worse. Reduce our own wasteful government spending and allow the private sector to increase the supply of the goods and services we all need to flourish.
In short: Want to fix inflation? Get the thing that causes it (government) out of the way.
What would be your top priorities in the Nevada state legislature?
As a general approach, when I get to the legislature I will work with issue-based coalitions on any side of any aisle to expand liberty and shrink the size and scope of government that is abusing us – or rather, that we use to abuse each other with. I have many priorities in this regard, but my top three are:
- To eliminate/reduce/shorten in duration the emergency power of the executive in Nevada.
- To massively expand school choice, beginning with full K-12 ESAs. Eventually we will abolish the ridiculous mistake that is government education and laugh at how stupid and destructive we used to be.
- To abolish the criminalization of victimless crimes. If you think it’s moral to throw somebody in a cage because they ingested something you consider a “no-no” substance, you are the problem. Same with sex and the exchange of money between consenting adults. Mind your own business. You aren’t acting as “morally” as you think you are. You are literally justifying the use of state violence upon yourself by your ideological enemies. Stop it.
Who or what are the largest political special interests in Nevada, and which of these do you see as having a positive or negative influence?
Government sector unions are particularly perverse. Public sector ones aren’t much better. The casinos and mining and construction industries are crooked too, but at least they provide something useful.
In general, special interests enrich themselves at the expense of all the rest of us. Their benefits are concentrated, so it pays for them to spend time and money corrupting our politicians. Our harms (by way of taxes and regulations) are much more dispersed, so the average voter doesn’t even pay attention. We just have this vague notion that we’re being slowly extorted but aren’t sure exactly how or why. The whole thing is immoral and it’s endemic. Special rules “for thee but not for me” have no place in a civilized society.