Desperate times

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

I’m listening to Brandon Rittiman and Guy Rocha on KUNR talk about Nevada’s “virtual depression.” It’s a sad view, and historian Rocha says it’s going to go on for years. The reason we’re going to stay in it so long after the rest of the country is that Nevada has lost its balls.

Nevada used to flout social convention. We based our economy on the courage it took to be “libertarian,” a fiscally conservative/socially liberal viewpoint. Rocha blames the state’s emasculation on social conservatives moving in from California. I also think a bunch of commie, pinko Californians came to the state. That, to me, suggests the social conservatives primarily invaded certain counties, while social liberals migrated to others. I think the recent Reid-Angle election is a symptom of that.

And so, it may be up to the counties to pull themselves out of depression. Because of the dichotomy between urban and rural, it’s going to be difficult to fix things statewide. While there are vastly more people in Reno and Las Vegas, there are more legislators from the socially conservative rural counties.

Could the urban counties legalize gambling for 18-21 year olds? Could the urban counties legalize drinking for 18-21 year olds? Could the urban counties legalize same-sex marriage? Could the urban counties legalize and tax prostitution? Could the urban counties legalize recreational marijuana (or even hemp to diversify our agricultural offerings)?

It seems clear to me that social conservatives will win on the gay marriage issue until the Supreme Court finds our country’s anti-gay laws discriminatory, but what about these others? Prostitution is already legal in the cow counties. Wouldn’t it just take a vote at the legislature to allow the populous counties certain self-determination?

I can’t wait to see how re-apportionment affects this possibility because I know those transients who came for the boom economy are beginning to take their carpet bags back where they came from.