Irksome Money

Nothing inspires the ire of parochial Nevadans more than California. The Pacific Coast state enflames their passions, though in contrary ways.

Nevada and California, sage and eucalyptus.

Whether Golden State residents are visiting Nevada or relocating here is immaterial. Seeing the black-yellow/red-white license plates on cars or hearing some mention of the speaker’s origins west of the Silver State suffices to incite apoplexy.

Only California and its residents stir this irrationality. Nowhere else. Not even Washington DC.

Frankly, I like Californians. Particularly what they bring with them when they emigrate into the Mojave. Investment and energy. Those two aspects may be why Nevada natives, long-time Nevadans who selfishly wanted the door slammed after them once they settled here, and angry transplanted Californians who profess despising the place that nurtured them curse the new waves from the West.

Too many Nevadans refuse admitting this, but the cascade of California money has immensely benefited this state. That flush in turn has enriched a small number of residents. Fortunate Nevadans are pocketing and squandering windfalls they never could’ve achieved by their lonesomes.

Might this circumstance create enmity and that encourage feelings of inferiority from the hundreds of thousands who see no way of ever getting off the stick? See it as the same advantage New York has over New Jersey – except those living in the Garden State can respond as sharply as they’re assailed. And do. Loudly and profanely.

Resent the good-natured slurs crossing the Hudson as they must, New Jersey residents don’t become resentful. Vicious? Yes. Resentful? No.

No timorous behavior from the Jersey Side.

A former New Yorker, I observe the scene transpiring in the Mojave dispassionately. Hey, as long as my holdings keep appreciating, the locals may hector whom they wish to their hearts’ contents.

After Covid erased last summer, this Memorial Day weekend will launch a resumption of full-throated Cali bashing in the Mojave. Unlike any previous iterations, the 2021 version should be exceptionally venomous.

While a select few budget travelers have always somehow found ways of availing themselves to some of Las Vegas’ higher-end pleasures and attractions, the epidemic has forced even the swankiest properties to severely lower rack rates. Meaning mobs of visitors who would’ve needed big Lotto wins to have booked rooms on the Strip have been able to access once unattainable luxuries for rock-bottom prices.

Generally speaking, a large percentage of the guests re-crowding Las Vegas crowd the lower spectrum of travelers. All right. A good many of them have been just plain knuckleheads. And no, miraculous stays in high-end properties did nothing nor will do nothing to improve their conduct or lessen any tightwad proclivities.

Clearly, they comprehend this here and now of 2021 represents their likeliest ever opportunity to live regally at pauper prices. Who wouldn’t take the fullest advantage of that?

Frontline hospitality and service personnel have a name for such boorish pikers. Garbage.

Management swallows hard because these less than desired guests fill rooms, restaurants, and clubs, though at robbery reductions. Better some revenue to defray a few expenses than no income at all which results in deeper debts.

Bargain hunters arrive from throughout the nation. With Interstate 15 serving as a steady mainline, Southern California easily smooths deliveries of the biggest scows. Oh, and bystanders know these visitors’ provenance. Many of them will brag it at the drop of a half-formed thought.

Before what native-born and long-time Nevadans must now see as an “invasion,” Californians already irritated them. Doesn’t this stem from the natures of the people populating both states?

No one would honestly mistake Nevada as being dynamic. Innovation and trendsetting do not bubble from this parched ground. Mineral extraction – albeit precious metals – and leisure pursuits are the products which sustain the state. One is hardscrabble, the other ephemeral. Corrective speculation might suddenly depress the former; a change in whims and tastes could deflate the latter.

California not only thrives from the essentials, petroleum and agriculture, but is blessed with a climate so inviting it’s nearly mythic. The atmosphere alone has drawn and continues to draw dreamers who under the right circumstances, perhaps finding commonalities among similar or disparate visionaries, give their abstractions forms.

Could the dispositions of Nevadans and Californians be any more different?

Because of Nevada’s reliance on hospitality, long-time or native residents may come across as deferential or outright too eager to please to arrivals injected with hustle and bustle since birth. And naturally the former will respond by erupting in excessive anger when believing their good nature abused or persons ridiculed.

Californians, well, mostly those predominating the Bay Area and coastal southern portion, demonstrate drives any astute Northeasterner or Industrial Midwesterner could recognize. Sure, the Westerners’ is gussied up by distracting nuts and berries faddish diets and seemingly detached from reality theories of evolved consciousness … whatever the hell those are. Ultimately, though, aside from the froufrou, their industry and intellect would couple neatly and nicely inside the Northeast Corridor or the empire emanating from Chicago.

A pair of otherworldly places where too many Nevadans would wrongly declare their inhabitants, “pushy and aggressive, ill-mannered and rude.”

To a lesser degree the above qualities could be ascribed to Californians. Besides having vital outlooks, they lead lives of urgency. Two assets that must seem to rev higher after crossing the state line.

Early on during my relocation to Nevada, I tried explaining “New York velocity” to a BAR (born-and-raised) woman. I told her New Yorkers aren’t rude – “We’re just in a hurry.” She couldn’t conceive of being in a habitual rush. She considered it thoughtless, inconsiderate even. Only exigencies could’ve jarred her clock off its accustomed casual pace.

The only way she might’ve grasped an Easterner’s accelerator would’ve been a lifetime of more to see, more to do, more people to meet. To be more. Although not as extensive or as intensive, Californians must come across to Nevadans with that snap. They must appear as dervishes who’ve crossed the desert just to disturb this dust in order to aggravate the locals.

Now more so than before.

The lousy visitors will vanish when conventions resume. That lets weekday prices rocket back to expense account extravagances. However, Californians who’ve bought retirement residences or acquired investment properties will remain firmly established in Nevada.

Too many Nevadans bemoan those newcomers lug “California ways” along with them. By that catchall, liberalism, which allegedly begets higher taxes and more regulations, may soon weigh a populace erroneously believing themselves in a rough Eden called libertarianism.

Two facts dispel this view.

First, without massive continuous infusions of federal revenue Nevada, akin to most other Intermountain, Plains, Dawgpatch states, and Texas, would’ve remained underdeveloped, if developed at all. This is an easy claim. It also provides the perfect rejoinder to all BARs looking to shame me or any other former resident of dynamic America.

“Shame” in the sense of abandoning the “tax-heavy” Northeast or Industrial Midwest for the comparatively lightly tithed “real America.”

During our working years in the East or Midwest or Pacific Coast, residents and former residents paid proportionally more in federal taxes but received less federal largesse than needy states like, oh, say, Nevada. Salaries in the affluent regions mentioned averaged higher wages than those in less dynamic America. We earned more, so we coughed up and forked over more. Hence, heavier contributions. Somehow aware of the disparity, we wisely demand optimal services from the states.

The Plains, the Intermountain, Dawgpatch, and Texas, all laggard still, contribute less to the federal kitty yet are showered more goodies by Uncle Sugar. So, by that reckoning I deserve to be here more than any BAR because I’ve kicked in more to Nevada than him or her.

(Thank you, Daniel Patrick Moynihan.)

Should any qualms about the “heavy hand of government” exist, well, “onerous regulations” have lowered auto emissions as well as forced automakers to manufacture vehicles that get more miles to the gallon. Okay. Who dislikes breathing cleaner air and driving more miles between pump visits?

Second, social security. Even Ayn Rand collected social security.

That big gum’mint entitlement which provides for qualified citizens in tough spots as well either offers financial supplements or outright lifelines to Americans who devoted their most productive years to building our nation.

And Ayn Rand? She’s a poster girl for … wait for it … libertarianism. Though she beguiled then duped many and continues to dupe many through “objectivism,” Americans have dumbed down Rand’s selfishness by calling it libertarianism.

Isn’t social security the very monster any true, dyed-in-the-wool libertarian ought to oppose, not faithfully deposit?

Crabby libertarian adherents in Nevada look at social security the same way animals in the wild regard salt licks. One must wonder how those worthy golden agers square that circle.

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