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Old 08-23-2011, 11:06 PM
 
670 posts, read 1,019,502 times
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I will try to keep this as short as I can...

I've been here on the Las Vegas forum for several months now. My wife and I are moving from Vermont to Las Vegas this fall. We closed on our house in Las Vegas last Thursday (thanks again Jim (Olecapt) for all your help!). We hope to make our move in 6 to 8 weeks.

View a few threads here in the Vegas forum and one is inevitably reminded by members of the "Doom and Gloom" squad that the Unemployment rate in Vegas is 14.x%. For some here this seems to be the litmus test by which Las Vegas is judged against other cities for opportunities, quality of life, and the general outlook for Vegas's future.

Vermont enjoys an unemployment rate of about 5.5%. By the single measure of the "Unemployment Rate" people people should be moving to Vermont in droves to enjoy the good (employed) life right?

Take a look at the "Vermont" forum here on City-data and you will find a very interesting phenomenon - EVERY thread regarding relocation advice strongly advises that you do NOT relocate to Vermont without first having secured a job!!! How is this? With Vermont's low Unemployment number this should be a utopia for those relocating for work! Let's consider the following:

1) QUALITY of jobs - Vermont has very few large employers. A business with more than 100 employees in Vermont is quite rare. Most are mom/pop operations with means wages are low and benefits are low. We have no massive casino's, no citi-financial, no Bank of America, no IGT, nothing of the sort. Employment numbers speak nothing of the quality of the jobs these figures represent Vermont is one of the least business friendly states in the country. Stark comparison to Nevada which is consistently ranks as one of the most business friendly in the nation (generally in the top 3 with Virginia and Texas). In this future this should bode well for Nevada (particularly Clark County).

2) Cost of Living - Where Nevada enjoys a relatively low Cost of Living (21st least expensive state) Vermont is one of the more expensive (41st most expensive state). Vermont is also one of the most highly taxed states in the nation. Our 20 year old, 1200 sq ft condo has a market value of $200,000. Our property taxes run $4,000/year. The median single family home price is $260,000, is 48 years old, is 1600 sq ft with property taxes of $5,000 a year.
The houses in Las Vegas are absolutely unbelievable. The house you get for the money in Vegas is just unbelievable.

Subjectively of course, we love the Southwest. Particularly the Las Vegas basin and surrounding areas. The state parks, the SUN, the HEAT coupled with the lack of humidity - I realize weather and geography are subjective but, Vermont winters are HARSH. It's not unheard of to go weeks at a time with the temperature never rising above freezing once. Couple that with our 58 days of true sunshine a year, humid summers, BUGS and, well, you get the picture.

I have loved growing up in Vermont. I believe there are few better places to raise a family (if one can afford to raise a family here). I would never dissuade anyone from moving here as it may well be the right fit for them. If the single largest consideration was Unemployment Rate Vermont would be a sure thing. It is very far from that.

The Las Vegas strip has taken decades to build and Billions of dollars to construct. Many states have legalized gambling (casinos) but no other state has anything like the Las Vegas strip. Given the current state of the economy no developer anywhere is going to spend the Billions of dollars anytime soon required to even come close to replicating the Las Vegas strip, especially considering gaming revenues are at historic low's.

Couple that with it's proximity to LA, making it a very attractive weekend destination for LA residents (and especially headliners who can take fly in on a private jet in less than an hour, do a weekend show, make some quick $$$ and be back home to LA in another hour) and you have a durable competitive advantage that will not be replicated anytime soon.

Las Vegas is the original. Las Vegas has decades of "brand recognition" driving it. The vegas strip is driven by much more than just gamblers. Many non gamblers travel to Las Vegas to "see the strip", take in the shows, etc.

Las Vegas is to gaming and entertainment what Coca Cola is to Soda, McDonalds is to fast food, Budweiser is to beer and Microsoft is to operating systems. It's something that cannot be replicated with mere money. And even if it could, it will not happen in this economy anytime soon. While it may take some time for the Vegas economy to turn around, it's unique characteristics should bode well for building it's new economic future.
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:42 PM
 
241 posts, read 464,163 times
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You are correct that the cost of living in Vegas is low. Especially housing. Coming from the North East, I simply would not have believed that houses are this cheap out here if I had not seen it. I also agree that there is a lot of capital investment sunk into Vegas. That, and its proximity to California, will keep the place from sinking into the abyss anytime soon.

Now to move completely off topic, but I'm tired of unemployment related topics.

Unemployment is a creation of the modern welfare state. It doesn't actually exist. Like in all other cases, humans respond to incentives. If the rewards for not working (welfare, unemployment insurance, working under the table, food stamps, medicaid, more leisure time, less stress, more time with the kids/friends/family) outweigh the rewards of the most readily accessible form of labor, people will rationally chose to stay unemployed. I'm not belittling the unemployed, everyone should do what is in their best interest. I've stated numerous times that if I had 99 weeks of unemployment checks lined up, I would not give it up.
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Old 08-24-2011, 12:28 AM
 
5,857 posts, read 10,476,550 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlas1337 View Post
You are correct that the cost of living in Vegas is low. Especially housing. Coming from the North East, I simply would not have believed that houses are this cheap out here if I had not seen it. I also agree that there is a lot of capital investment sunk into Vegas. That, and its proximity to California, will keep the place from sinking into the abyss anytime soon.

Now to move completely off topic, but I'm tired of unemployment related topics.

Unemployment is a creation of the modern welfare state. It doesn't actually exist. Like in all other cases, humans respond to incentives. If the rewards for not working (welfare, unemployment insurance, working under the table, food stamps, medicaid, more leisure time, less stress, more time with the kids/friends/family) outweigh the rewards of the most readily accessible form of labor, people will rationally chose to stay unemployed. I'm not belittling the unemployed, everyone should do what is in their best interest. I've stated numerous times that if I had 99 weeks of unemployment checks lined up, I would not give it up.
Sometimes true, sometimes not. I would have gladly taken the right job when I was on unemployment, but when you do the opportunity cost calculation for someone who makes more than $20/hour, taking some "filler" job just so you don't collect from the state didn't make sense. Besides those jobs were not so easy to come by either, those offering them could just smell who was there because they had no choice and those were the ones not getting hired. After all say you had a $10/hour admin job. In walks your first candidate, brilliant references, impeccably dressed, great work ethic. Then you find out his last job was CEO. You going to hire him?
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Old 08-24-2011, 04:41 AM
 
Location: In the Silver State of Nevada in Las Vegas NV
1,062 posts, read 1,675,511 times
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Thanks VTVette for putting things in perspective about the NE vs SW. I live about 21 miles away in NYS so winter is the same here. Taxes are the same if not more and employment picture is the same. One other thing we deal with is the cost of transportation we have to have cars which rust out from winter salt, we face terrible road conditions in the snow and ice and maintenance of a vehicle is very costly. Making $20.00 per hour is nice but when you plug in the cost of living factor in the NE it gets lowered real fast. Las Vegas may complain about the cost of A/C in the summer but it does not compare to heating cost for almost 7 months a year here. Please keep in mind our state governments charge tax on every gallon of heating oil we use. So please keep in mind many statistics may be mis-leading and they do not paint the whole picture. Each area has it's pro's and con's but Las Vegas does come out ahead on my sheet. One thing can not be produced by man is weather and Vegas is way ahead of the rest of the east coast. I'll leave this post with some humor. How do you make a Halloween Trick or Treat costume for your kids in VT or Upstate NY? Make sure it fits over the snow suit. Hand in there Vegas you have a lot of good stuff going for you.
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Old 08-24-2011, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Paranoid State
13,044 posts, read 12,362,547 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlas1337 View Post
... Coming from the North East, I simply would not have believed that houses are this cheap out here if I had not seen it.
Ditto -- moving from Silicon Valley.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlas1337 View Post
... I've stated numerous times that if I had 99 weeks of unemployment checks lined up, I would not give it up.
Google, for example, "The Streetwalker's Dilemma".
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Old 08-24-2011, 10:29 AM
 
2,180 posts, read 4,205,376 times
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with a bigger manufacturing base... most are doomed to the service industry. how do you survive on that?
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Old 08-24-2011, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas
14,221 posts, read 27,982,508 times
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I love Las Vegas and I'm glad I live here. It's a great place.

I have an OK for Vegas part time job with no benefits. You could say I am one of the underemployed. The vast majority of the jobs here are McJobs, service doesn't pay enough to have even an acceptable standard of living. These are the kind of jobs you take while going to school or just until something better comes along.

Yes, all those companies you listed employ a lot of people but few of them make a decent salary. Think about living in a city where the majority employer is McDonalds.
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Old 08-24-2011, 02:58 PM
 
5,857 posts, read 10,476,550 times
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Here's a thought though. Vermont and New Hampshire have long been a battle of "lifestyle" versus business climate. NH has a very tax friendly structure and attracts people much like Nevada attracts those wanting to get away from California's around 10% income tax. Yet it hasn't been a mass exodus and neither has Vermont seen a population loss. Fact is taxes really matter to very few and so it goes with jobs. People pick lifestyle quite a bit and figure they will deal with the taxes.

So instead of comparing unemployment or taxes or cost of living, consider what most people do first: Will I enjoy the lifestyle and amenities in a particular place?
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Old 08-24-2011, 04:21 PM
 
Location: ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ ̡
7,112 posts, read 12,308,420 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willy702 View Post
Here's a thought though. Vermont and New Hampshire have long been a battle of "lifestyle" versus business climate. NH has a very tax friendly structure and attracts people much like Nevada attracts those wanting to get away from California's around 10% income tax. Yet it hasn't been a mass exodus and neither has Vermont seen a population loss. Fact is taxes really matter to very few and so it goes with jobs. People pick lifestyle quite a bit and figure they will deal with the taxes.

So instead of comparing unemployment or taxes or cost of living, consider what most people do first: Will I enjoy the lifestyle and amenities in a particular place?
Never really thought of it that way. I guess this is one of the reasons I plan on staying in Vegas. I may have been stationed in Vegas against my own will but now that I am here I plan on staying. The amenities outweigh everything negative. One of my top reasons for wanting to stay is the business opportunities. Vegas is perfect for business start-up. People need to take advantage of this.

Maybe instead of working on that resume, try working on a busness plan.
Maybe instead of looking for a job, start looking for a business loan or grant.

At least this is how I see things.
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Old 08-24-2011, 05:19 PM
 
Location: Sunrise
10,865 posts, read 15,782,699 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlas1337 View Post
Unemployment is a creation of the modern welfare state. It doesn't actually exist. Like in all other cases, humans respond to incentives. If the rewards for not working (welfare, unemployment insurance, working under the table, food stamps, medicaid, more leisure time, less stress, more time with the kids/friends/family) outweigh the rewards of the most readily accessible form of labor,
The red-colored items are not "creations of the modern welfare state."

Unemployment insurance is not unlike AFLAC. It is very much a capitalistic product to service the need of a particular market. Medicaid is a health plan, not an income stream. And one that I hope we keep -- obviously you've never seen the kind of elderly poverty we had BEFORE medicaid.

Leisure time? Looking for work is a full-time job if done properly.

Less stress? Looking for work is quite stressful, ask anyone who NEEDS employment and is running out of options.

Spending more time with kids/friends/family? Yeah, sure, spending more time -- stressed out the ENTIRE time, with thoughts of "how am I going to provide for them."

Working under the table is something that I know A LOT about.

From 2007 to 2010, it was hard to find ANYTHING. Nothing in my field, naturally. But there wasn't much at all. I took a string of crappy under the table jobs, working for piece-of-doo-doo small business owners who were sooooo precious and smug. "Look at me, I'm smart! I'm not paying the government."

The one thing all these yobbos had in common? Tea-Party Republicans. All of them. Conservative blowhards who didn't think the rules applied to them, because they were small business owners. Three years of working in small restaurants, listening to Rush Flippin' Limbaugh on the radio, while these dipwads railed about how social programs were "killing" them. (Uh, buddy, the only tax you've paid in five years is a business license. You've asked me to lie and tell people that I'm a family member if anyone ever asks. You're a piece of doo-doo. Nothing is "killing" you because you're operating outside the law.)

The other thing these yoboos had in common is that their businesses failed -- all of them -- due to their slipshod management. Playing fast and loose with the government was the symptom of a larger problem: Playing fast and loose. They robbed Peter to pay Paul, and eventually they couldn't cover their accounts payable and shuttered. Not once did I turn these piece-of-doo-doo morons in to the IRS. But looking back, I should have.
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