Monday, March 31, 2014


Hey, someone had to it. Fortunately for us, Jon Ralston did it. Last Wednesday, he attended the glitzy & glamorous Four Seasons premiere party for "Las Vegas Perspective". And what is "Las Vegas Perspective"? Why, it's the ultimate Southern Nevada insiders' cheat sheet to all the inner workings of Southern Nevada's economy and society.

And jeez, was there high society at Four Seasons last Wednesday! First Lady Kathleen Sandoval gave a keynote speech on the state of Nevada's public education system. Numbers guru Jeremy Aguero gave more details on Nevada's economic recovery. And all the movers & shakers in this soirée oohed & awed at all the facts & figures inside the actual publication.

So what's in the actual publication? It turns out that it's a collection of what we already know. The gaming industry is as erratic as ever. Our unemployment rate is down, but it's still above the national average. The housing market is improving, but many local homeowners are still struggling to stay above water. Our economy is improving, but the fundamentals of our economy still point to epic dysfunction and continued missed opportunities.

This is what was so ironic about last Wednesday's posh premiere party for "Las Vegas Perspective". Even as the uber-insiders of the "Gaming-mining-lobbying Industrial Complex" slapped each others' backs and sang the praises of Nevada's hallowed status quo, even their own sacred cheat sheet couldn't completely deny that the status quo keeps us stuck in a "bubble based economy" that hasn't even fully recovered from the bursting of the last bubble.

Funny enough, one of the sponsors of "Las Vegas Perspective" happens to be none other than the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance (LVGEA)? Remember them? They've gone from "Kiss Your Assets Goodbye" to "Say Hello to Our Esmeralda Straw Man". And they're still running scared from the solution to our core economic problem.

The uber-insiders who attended last Wednesday's Four Seasons shindig did not want to discuss The Education Initiative (TEI)... Just as they didn't want to acknowledge our continuing economic difficulties. After all, if they were to acknowledge the unhealthy truth of our "bubble based economy", they'd also have to acknowledge the need for a realistic solution to this problem. And that would completely undercut their rather "sunny" case against TEI.

Last Wednesday's Four Seasons event was supposed to be about "perspective". Perhaps it was... In that attendees celebrated their perspective of Nevada. But what about ours? Fortunately for us, they're not the only ones who will make the final decision on TEI this fall.

Our perspective also matters. Our struggles also matter. And our future also matters. And we should keep this in perspective.

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