Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Who Gets To Pay For Las Vegas' Irresponsibility?

I remember 1983 in Las Vegas. Housing was relatively cheap. Traffic was tolerable. And water was flowing over the spillways at Hoover Dam... I guess those were the good old days.

The people who moved to Las Vegas back in 1983 didn't move here because they wanted Las Vegas to be like what it is today. They moved here because they appreciated what it was like back then.

However, for some reason, we've allowed the best qualities of living in Las Vegas to slip away. Why?... Let's face it, for the money. Developers and investors wanted to keep the cost of housing down, so that more people could afford to move here and buy houses. Understand, however, what I meant was their costs, not their profits. We didn't see any developers whining about the price of housing when they cashed in as home values doubled during 2005.

No, what they wanted was to keep the taxes down on new homes, so that whatever extra money got spent, went into their pockets. Of course, with new residents not paying what it really cost to move to Las Vegas, the bills got pushed into the future – which is now the present.

Allow me state the obvious. Greed should not be the primary motivation in building a community.

Las Vegas traffic is a perfect example. Had the new residents paid what it actually cost for them to be here, we might not now be dealing with gridlock on our streets. Had the cost of moving to Las Vegas been higher, the city would not have grown out of control. Had we developed the infrastructure when we should have, Las Vegas would have been a much nicer place to live.

How have the developers and the residents of Las Vegas dealt with their practically planned crisis? Well, took money from the rest of the State. They changed the funding for the roads in Nevada, so that more money would be spent in Las Vegas. That's right, when the going got tough, they ripped off the rest of the State.

Do I see a pattern here? If the developers have their way, they will get even richer cramming an even more immense mass of humanity into the Las Vegas Valley – with the false promise that water isn't a problem. And of course, it won't actually be, if they just take the water from the rest of the State. And don't be surprised if they find a way for the rest of the State of Nevada to have to finance that too!

No comments: