Your Lying Eyes

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05 June 2006

Vegas Housing Cooling Off

According to this CSM article, housing prices in Las Vegas are beginning to sag a bit. I personally could not imagine ever desiring to live in such a place. That it was one of the hottest real-estate markets the last few years says a lot about America. It says that a place can become a highly desirable location by offering nothing but service jobs in the most culturally decrepit businesses - gambling, nightclubs, prostitution, and awful restaurants. It says that older people see an attractive place to retire though it is an utter wasteland - scenically a vast, brown desert, a civic environment dominated by corruption and special interests, and offering little more than slot machines and cheesy shows for leisure. So the fact that there appears to be less demand for this nirvana than developers had hoped is somewhat reassuring - except that the dampening is probably not due to a growth of better opportunities elsewhere or an interest in more self-fulfilling lives among retirees. It's probably due to rising interest rates, over-stretched finances, increased hiring of immigrants in the casinos, or over-building by developers.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was out in Las Vegas for a convention in December of 2005. There were these luxury condos for sale. Really nice, great view (if you like the desert, and there is a kind of stark beauty to the place)and on high floors. They couldn't give them away.
Then again, why buy when hotel rooms are so cheap? It seems nobody really wants to live there, just party and leave.

June 05, 2006 10:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not surprising that many people have moved to Las Vegas. Decent-paying jobs are relatively easy to obtain, at least in comparison with most other cities, and housing prices are reasonable. As for the culture issue, even if we assume that you're correct and that Las Vegas is "culturally decrepit," well, most people will figure that jobs + bad culture is infinitely better than no jobs + high culture. You can't eat culture, after all.

Iron Rails & Iron Weights

June 05, 2006 10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, it's sad but true. The culture sucks but the jobs are good, and people need money. :(

June 05, 2006 11:07 AM  
Blogger ziel said...

Well what I think is sad is that these are good jobs. Good jobs should be in industry - people making things. But since manufacturing jobs continue to decline, people are reduced to service work, of which Vegas has a-plenty.

June 05, 2006 5:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice article, Mr. Ziel

I would have to say that a place with lousy culture AND a lousy job market is even worse, though.

That would describe Pennsylvania. Unless your idea of enjoyable culture is lots of pretzels, sausages, and World of Outlaws sprint car racing. And in an effort to create a little more economic vitality in PA, the Governor has an ambitious plan to put slot machine parlors, casinos and horse racing tracks all over the state. It's a safe bet that won't do anything to improve the culture.

June 05, 2006 8:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Las Vegas is the ne plus ultra in unsustainable development. They have to rely on the "Sin City" culture these days because there are more and more gambling venues across the country, be it on reservations or riverboats. But even that can be co-opted.

In the end, the place is still an oversized city in the middle of the desert sucking up water for pointless fountain displays. That can't go on forever.

June 05, 2006 11:23 PM  
Blogger ziel said...

Well PA used to have lots of steel mills and other industry where a working man could have a decent middle class life in a normal town, maybe get a little place on a lake with a motorboat someday or maybe take the family to the Jersey shore for a couple weeks. He had the Eagles or the Steelers for entertainment and if so inclined he could go to the track or just bet on games. That may not be as 'glamorous' as working a craps table but I think in the long run alot more satisfying.

But Pennsy ain't what it used to be as far as jobs go, I know that. I'm actually going to be in PA this weekend, albeit the far eastern edge, playing golf (or pretending to). The place is going to be mobbed though due to - the Pocono 500!

June 05, 2006 11:25 PM  
Blogger Steve Sailer said...

Can you imagine trying to raise daughters in Las Vegas? If your #1 job as a father is, in Chris Rock's words, "to keep her off the pole," why live in a city where pole dancing is a major fraction of the economy?

June 06, 2006 6:06 PM  
Blogger ziel said...

On those rare occassions when I find myself being dragged to one of these places, I can't help but sit there and think "What went wrong in these girls lives?" That, and the fact that your sitting in a place blasting awful music at ear-splitting volumes, horrid lighting spiced with blinding strobe lights flashing in your eyes, and naked girls you're not allowed to touch makes the experience, to me, absolute hell on earth.

June 06, 2006 8:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah yes, I remember my summer job in the box factory. It was probably my natural level and had I not been able to pretend to be a college student I might still be there, except for the fact that it is not there. Boy, that job sucked. There were better paying jobs up the street in the shipyard. Of course, they sucked too and the shipyard is gone as well.

The one service job I had, cab driver was more fun and I kind of missed it when I moved on to take my so called professional paper shuffling job that I have to this day. A job that produces much less value than the boxes I made, but you will have to pry my cold dead hands off of (that is if my retirement plans go awry).

The point is y'all regret the passing of those good ol blue collar job, but I suspect you'd rather die than work at one yourselves. Those service jobs are probably a lot more attractive than working in the hot sweaty blast furnace environment.

Oh for those who think Las Vegas is on the way out. It may be and I for one won't miss it, but according to the peakoildebunked blog they are building huge solar arrays to anticipate the problem. That water problem is a mite trickier, but who knows?


June 06, 2006 10:11 PM  
Blogger Evan said...

You can't eat culture, after all.

Can't drink sand, either.

June 08, 2006 10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is probably too late to ever be read but "those places" have provided lots of fun for me and my friends (including Ziel).
We've had good times in "adult entertainment facilities" in Vegas, Calif., Louisiana & Florida.
It's FUN, admit it.

June 09, 2006 9:49 PM  
Blogger ziel said...

Harlem, yes, of course it's fun, but what about the old saying "fun place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there."

June 12, 2006 8:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, if they paid the same amount a burger-flipping job is better than a carmaking job. The problem is that they DON'T.

June 13, 2006 6:37 PM  

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