The most important advice is to stay in touch. People are frightened. None of us here in Nevada have experienced such a challenging economy. Next year is going to be every bit as challenging as 2009.
Elected officials need to be very candid with the public, say, ‘Look, there is no quick fix here. There is no magic elixir that will immediately transform us from a difficult recession to an overnight recovery.’
Some of this is going to take time. Some of the things the Congress has done make some sense, like extending unemployment benefits. If there’s a silver lining to this, hopefully some lessons may be learned.
Well, we can't argue with that... Or this, for that matter.
I still think that the fact we are so dependent on tourism as an industry, strong as the industry is here, continues to make the point that we’ve got to diversify and broaden our base. That’s not new, but it comes back: Our economy really is more vulnerable to an economic cycle because we’re so dependent on tourism.
The revenue structure has got to be revised. It’s got to be broadened with a broad-based business tax. It may not be politically doable, but it’s got to be done.
OK, I have to disagree with the last part. It IS doable, since a plurality of Nevadans support tax reforms over further spending cuts and a majority want some kind of progressive tax reform. It's just that not enough Dems in Carson City have the cojones to just go for it. And of course, "Luv-Guv" Gibbons hates the idea of a functioning government and would make it as difficult as possible even if Democratic leaders were to pursue progressive tax reform.
And finally, I must include this.
Are you optimistic for the future of your grandchildren in Nevada?
I am optimistic. There’s an entrepreneurial side that runs through the state’s history, from mining to easy divorces to casino gaming. Now it could be energy.
What do you think of Sen. Harry Reid’s reelection chances?
He has a very difficult race, but never count him out. My prediction is that he wins in a hard-fought contest.
Agreed on both counts! Harry Reid won't be going away any time soon, especially with a bunch of buffoons running on the Republican side. There's still a chance Reid will have to sweat it out and fight like hell to win, but the more the GOP shows its FAIL in Nevada, the more confident I'm becoming about Harry Reid's chances in 2010.
Oh yes, and renewable energy is definitely part of Nevada's future! We have so much potential for solar, wind, and geothermal that it'd be ridiculous for us not to pursue it. And hopefully with more renewable energy and more high-tech development in Nevada, we can finally diversify our economy and stop being overdependent on the casinos.
All in all, Richard Bryan still knows Nevada well. I hope more folks pay attention to the advice he offers on our future.