My Rancid Valentine

Valentine’s Day dumped a fine example of why I dissuade any high-tech venture curious about moving itself from a relatively expensive site to Las Vegas. This part of the Mojave suffered a power outage. One starting early Saturday afternoon and lingering in some neighborhoods into late Sunday. Who knows? Reluctant as the power company is to fully inform, the blackouts might straggle into Monday.

All because of high gales, not Hurricane Sandy.

These disruptions occur frequently enough to make them issues to consider.

Without a doubt expenses are low in Nevada. It’s one of the few without a state tax. The mill rate is miniscule.

Offsetting those benefits, though, regulatory fees and auto insurance premiums can make loan sharks blanche. Sales tax also extends to many items deserving exemption.

Even during the best of times, Nevada’s commitment to public education is substandard. One can only imagine how abysmal the learning will be after schools emerge from Covid agonies.

If Nevada boosters dream of luring high-tech entities by simply promoting monetary advantages, their pitch will fall short. Who doesn’t look to extend the reach of his or her dollars? But for the targeted group it’s just one of several factors to contemplate.

Innovation, any kind of innovation, best develops from a concentration of concatenation of figures possessing many of the same drives. Proximity and interaction nourish these creators. Seldom does novelty arise from individuals, exceptional as they may be, who are either distanced beyond appreciable numbers of like-minded fellows or immersed among those who don’t share their dynamism.

Put bluntly, regions eager for brainy people won’t get them until they’ve been drawn by previously arrived talents. As of now they’d mentally starve in Las Vegas.

This goes double for any children accompanying their parents. Unlike a regrettable portion of Las Vegas parents, high-tech mothers and fathers are almost fanatical about their children’s educations as well as cultural absorption.

Nevada presently lacks broad thoroughfares towards sought-after intellectual invigoration.

Lastly, there’s no true community in Las Vegas. The Big Mayberry’s transient nature foments rapid expansion, yes, but this growth is based on shallow roots. Which is probably why libertarianism has taken such a fetid hold here.

It lends ideology to behaving selfishly and uncaring about any greater good.

Something in libertarianism’s basis has mistakenly convinced its adherents they can do it all, they have done it all, all by their lonesomes. They see society as a hindrance; that those of us who enjoy it, benefit from it, contribute to it, are weak. Since we’re not rugged, rigidly self-sufficient we must be worthless.

Invariably the more perception among us knows nobody has achieved anything or will advance anywhere alone. Even the hardiest libertarian eventually faces a dilemma requiring what we call community to surmount.

Two libertarian traits: they’re grudging with thanks and express it through ingratitude.

Yet education can be bolstered, culture can seep in, and enough civilization can marginalize ogres. However, one aspect which can’t be ameliorated is utilities.

If the power proves unreliable, if the network is often disrupted, no amount of cash incentives will drive these firms out of locales where both operate consistently. And consistency is not a word I’d use for electrical and internet services in Nevada.

My internet connectivity has been so unsteady, unsure since residing in Nevada, I have my ISP on speed dial. Maybe in New York I did pay through the nose for cable TV and access to the world. But that handful of times I rang them up was a low number over many years.

As this weekend has shown – and continues to demonstrate – hard gusts suffice to rattle power lines enough to darken a major population center. Such winds often visit the Mojave. Aware of this, one might’ve thought redundancies may’ve been introduced to at least try and keep more lights on than off when zephyrs threaten to blow down doors.

Having relocated from New York, I’ve been asked by Las Vegas residents how I regard Sin City. Theirs are more challenges than queries. Who among them hasn’t hoped I’d badmouth Gotham (people, taxes, crowds, rudeness, noise), gush about the weather (wonderful, ah, except for the three summer months when it ceaselessly broils), and praise the state’s low cost of living (yes, if one earns above what passes for average here, or has brought a damned decent stake accumulated elsewhere, or is a prudent rather than spendthrift retiree), then agree as they espouse notions which had they ever tried keeping them, would’ve crippled them financially or kept them second-rate citizens.

Since I live in Nevada now, I won’t lament what was abandoned in civilization. Nonetheless there are right side of the Hudson aspects I do miss. Certainly, the culture, the nightlife (more adult there than here no matter how many “tops off” shows mounted), leaf-peeping and drinking apple cider bought in plastic containers from roadside stands.

Oh, and some acquaintances.

What I particularly miss are the responses by DPW/utilities personnel when acts of God interrupted the smooth flow of our puny mortal lives. Be they blizzards or hurricanes, what Nature’s caprice had thrown atop or before us got cleared or repaired at rates so rapid these would’ve made their Nevada counterparts’ heads spin. Strangely during these occasions that restored New York to normal no one ever groused about exorbitant taxes or fees.


In Nevada, knowing that in our lives we get what we pay for, if there is outrage at the unconscionable delay restoring lights, it’s good and muted.