California is not sending it best people across the Mojave Desert into Nevada. Not visitors, necessarily, but those hopefuls intending to relocate.
For the most part, Californians flocking from the Golden State to settle in the Mojave aren’t the most sterling. Once here a sad portion of them tarnish the Silver State.
Taking a look around and honestly assessing as a former Northeasterner can, what state isn’t funneling its less ambitious, undesirable, and indolent citizens here? Nonetheless Texans and other Dawgpatch denizens aside, Californians draw outsized ire.
Native and long-time Nevadans complain about the moneyed Golden Staters who’ve cashed out on Southland or Bay Area property then bring their warehouses of money into the Big Mayberry. These new arrivals have launched real estate prices into heights unreachable for more and more locals.
That’s furthermore put inflationary pressures on the rental market. What was once cheap relative to the nation has become relatively cheap against Los Angeles and San Francisco. Or now unaffordable to swelling swaths of working or retired Nevadans.
Yet most Southern Nevadans aren’t incensed about being displaced as they should be as they are about the traffic. Maybe that’s simpler to grasp than soaring real estate values which apparently have no ceiling. Perceived lousy driving is certainly easier to complain about than being priced out of one’s home.
To urban Northeast and Midwest drivers the vehicular volume doesn’t cause much consternation. Driving habits of long-time locals, on the other hand? Yup.
People having migrated from locales where drivers always got behind wheels to get on the way to somewhere with expedience, you know, in a hurry, the Miss Daisy pace of Metropolitan Las Vegas traffic routinely frustrates. What Las Vegas driver doesn’t have anywhere to go and all day to get there?
Furthering agita, traffic lights are out of sync. All whose ordinary workaday imperatives include the word now already implicitly already understand what that means. Type A’s would be dismayed at the absence of these two principles: “move at the speed of business” and “look sharp.”
In what Las Vegas bureau or office doesn’t slack urgency permeate?
As I’ve informed plenty of machers who’ve considered establishing enterprises in Las Vegas, this is a leisure town not a business one. Who isn’t half-steppin’ here? Motivation detours around Las Vegas in order to avoid being stranded. Shallow drives incentive here. Attractive as the city could be for big tech, the human infrastructure is lacking. That’s the difference, and that’s the reason tech companies aren’t rushing from California to take advantage of Nevada’s libertarian streak, its nearly non-existent taxes, and pliant municipal governments’ willingness to pretzel themselves in order to attract business.
Cheap as it is, it would cost plenty to establish and operate an innovative 21st century firm in Las Vegas. Fortunately, the city and its environs are welcoming sites for less intellectually stressful opportunities.
Casinos and resorts created then expanded the middle class in Las Vegas. Educated with less than high school diplomas, strivers unafraid of hard work thronged the major employers. Represented through unions, these blue-collar paragons were and remain properly recompensed with good wages and enviable benefits.
At first, blacks and white filled the less prestige positions – housekeeping, maintenance, the culinary services. Easy to look down upon as they were, and probably still are, those jobs bought houses, parked new cars in driveways, purchased pleasures, put children through college, and at the end delivered pensions to grateful retirees.
To many working Americans right now that past must seem a fantasia.
In the decades since, the city’s hospitality workforce has changed. It is obvious fewer blacks and whites occupy the rank and file. Somehow the notion behind the sort of labor that keeps the brilliant attractions gleaming while they hum has become distasteful to newer generations of young Americans. If asked, an indecent portion of them would confess such toil beneath them.
Instead, and it doesn’t take any particularly sharp vision, the jobs that lifted those who’d endured the Depression and survived World War II into previously unimaginable comfort are increasingly being filled with immigrants – primarily from Mexico – and Pacific Islanders. Seldom does one see young landed black or white Americans drawing casino resort wages beyond the boys fetching cars at the valet or wrangling luggage as doormen.
Unlike Americans, Mexicans and Islanders don’t see their labors as demeaning. They see them as ways to achieve their aspirations.
Fortunately for less ambitious Americans, Las Vegas offers plenty of second-tier opportunities. Excluding mortar and brick retailing, nationally and internationally known e-commerce purveyors have gravitated to the city. Here, these entities have erected immense warehouses. More are on the way. Like resorts, they need backs, arms, and legs. Hourly workers can earn above average pay. Unlike the heritage employers, though, those working inside them are fairly at the mercy of capricious bosses.
Without any arbitration process there is no employee recourse or redress. And really, grind through people as such places do, how many stay long enough to attain mentionable benefits?
If being an insignificant cog in an enormous machine is unsuitable, there’s no shortage of convenience stores, fast-food franchises, and light industries whose personnel turnovers require constant replenishment. Which is just as well. Such employers aren’t going to be all that picky about who wears their uniforms while manning their counters or deadhead through daily drudgery. Just as long as the burgers and fries get bagged, cigarettes, beer, and sugary snacks are sold in ever higher volumes, and that cheap item manufactured in town is properly marked up. Who performs the tasks, whether the drones find any pride in his/her contributions to the bottom line, that’s immaterial.
Here’s where a good number of recently transplanted Californians find themselves. Squarely stuck in the sameness of a strange place. There alongside those resentful long-time residents working under fluorescent lights for sustenance wages who’ve made this the best they could of their lives.
The new Nevadans didn’t migrate from the same California patches. Myriad vocations occupied them while living there. Nonetheless to a person none gathered that living in Las Vegas would be different than partying in Las Vegas.
For those brief stay occasions, indeed the city is celebration central. Yet beyond the Strip and Downtown Las Vegas’ quotidian life mirrors anywhere else USA. Unbelievably some visitors are astounded upon learning this city has schools, parks, and churches. Its pronounced distinctions? Twenty-four/7 gambling, some never-close bars offering happy hours starting at midnight, and easily available means to sate kinks which if pursued and discovered being indulged in at home might make said seekers communal outcasts.
Oh! The stories that could be told! Does deviant human behavior know any bounds? Um, not here, baby!
Even under Covid conditions, the new Nevadans must’ve done the least cursory investigation away from the bright, blaring, mesmerizing attractions. Compared against the Coast, they’ve seen less congestion and inexpensive housing relative to California. Did any consider how he or she would sustain him- or herself here?
A major error in whatever contemplation occurred is thinking salaries will be lateral. That Nevada pay will be equal to California earnings. However, Mojave wages are commensurate with the cost of living on this side of the border. Lower on both counts.
The never-fail answer from people always lacking foresight? “Something will work out.” Invariably those results are sour.