Poor, Suffering Las Vegas

Some people are determined to take anything President Obama says the wrong way. The President told a New Hampshire town hall meeting: “When times are tough, you tighten your belts. You don’t go buying a boat when you can barely pay your mortgage. You don’t blow a bunch of cash in Vegas when you’re trying to save for college. You prioritize. You make tough choices and It’s time your government did the same.” Nevada and Las Vegas officials pitched a royal bitch about this remark.

“How dare he insult any American city,” said Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons. “It’s absolutely inappropriate that once again he has singled out Nevada. It’s critical to the recovery of our economy that a President, who’s words are taken so seriously tone down his words.” What is Gibbons’s problem? Las Vegas is the epitome of conspicuous consumption and it cultivates the image of being a place to throw away money. In Las Vegas, everything costs four times what it would cost in any normal city and the taxi drivers shake down tourists for every buck they can take them for, driving repeatedly around the same block and in general taking the longest possible route to get anywhere. The hotels are outrageously expensive, transportation is ruinous, and a family of four could buy a week’s groceries for the cost of dinner for two in the average Las Vegas restaurant. The only objective on The Strip is to fleece tourists and send them home broke.

It’s not an insult to speak the truth and the truth is that Las Vegas is where you go to waste money. Protesting the President’s assertion that people shouldn’t go to Las Vegas if they have a constructive use for their money is like complaining about the statement that people shouldn’t go to Miami if they want to see snow (meaning frozen precipitation, not cocaine). Those Nevadans need to get their heads on straight. If Las Vegas wants to be known as an economical vacation spot, it will have to do a lot more than mute politicians.


John B. Payne, Attorney
Garrison LawHouse, PC
Dearborn, Michigan 313.563.4900
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 800.220.7200
©2010 John B. Payne, Attorney

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