9. NEVADA IS NOT REALLY A STATE. Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia would have worked as one country. As three, they have long suffered. The same thing happened with the Utah Territory. In 1850, the future states of Utah, Colorado and Nevada (minus Clark County) comprised one entity that made political and economic sense. Separately, Nevada became Bolivia, which likewise depends on extractive industries. We just added one: gambling.
8. NEVADA IS A BOOMTOWN MINING CAMP pretending to be something she is not.
7. BOOMTOWNS BECOME COMPANY TOWNS. Nevadans have a bad case of political co-dependency. We enjoy being hurt by the ones who say they love us, like the casino owner who gladly cashes miners' paychecks, then buys them a few drinks on Friday night.
Over time, migrants to the High Desert Outback of the American Dream try to emulate actual states by establishing schools and other civic infrastructure. But company town rules always dominate their lives.
In the mid-1980s, future UN,R journalism dean Bourne Morris got slapped down for publicly stating that she found casinos against economic diversification (and thus education) because they didn't want competition for the low-wage labor pool.
6. WE ARE ASHAMED OF WHO WE ARE, living off the earnings of all vices known to mankind.
5. CORPORATE WELFARE ALLERGIES. Nevadans have seen their governments pass out corporate welfare like candy and condoms. Why consider a tax increase if you know that the money will likely go to some billionaire or corporate predator?
4. THE HIGH DESERT PLANTATION MENTALITY. Family-owned casinos in the north remain bastions of paternalism. Mafia-family-owned hotel-casinos in Gomorrah South, laundered into corporate quasi-legitimacy by Howard Hughes, still foster subservience among their employees, especially those on the casino floor.
3. GHOST CITIZENS. The gambling industry has spawned a permanent, co-dependent, detached and exploited underclass, often casino floor workers who are too frequently possessed of addictive personalities. The bedrock of the Nevada gambling industry is the local addict, which is why government funding of addiction programs has been a bust.
2. TAXATION IS BORING. Wild horses, gun control, potholes and abortion are easy, either-or issues, suitable for television. Taxes mean talking heads often speaking unintelligibly. Flip over to Wheel of Fortune.
1. SIR GALAHAD NEVER SHOWED. I once thought that a wealthy white knight could take on the system as an advocate for the small and weak. I have been disappointed for more than 40 years because, to paraphrase Jefferson Airplane, the White Knight somehow always ends up talking backwards.
BACK TO THE FUTURE. Unless you dwell in the higher-income classes, you should move elsewhere to educate your children. They can't prosper in the past.
FIGHT BACK. Support the new season of Barbwire.TV. Go to the website for info.
Esté bien. Haga infierno.
Be well. Raise hell.
Andrew Barbano is a 45-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.