Nowhere to go but up

Let’s start by saying I wish a Happy New Year to you all—although at this point, that seems a little optimistic. This year, 2009, looks as though it will be an interesting year. But as it is said, when a person is down, there is nowhere to go but up. With so much at stake for each of us, it is hard to see Jan. 1 as a happy new start.

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As November passed us by, Nevada saw a nearly unprecedented—at least in recent memory—rise in unemployment. The unemployment rate reached 8 percent, the worst it has been since 1984. Bill Anderson, the chief economist for the Department of Employment, told the Nevada Appeal that there are 111,700 people in the state of Nevada looking for jobs right now.

If this is a sign of the year to come, this will not be a happy year for many people. With the economy in a downward spiral, there is no way job availability will increase until the economy itself improves. Nevada is going to continue to suffer this sort of job unavailability into the New Year, which portends a not-so-happy 2009. At least Christmas is out of the way now so the obvious disappointments for the kids are past, and each of us can suffer quietly.

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Nevada is no longer the fastest growing state in the nation, since it was supplanted by Utah—another sure sign of a not-so-good change for Nevadans. Nevada, which is typically among the four fastest growing states, has now fallen to eighth. Not a good sign for growth and development in the economy of this great state.

It seems as though Nevada is beginning to crack under the pressure. For the past several years, more people from California moved in and spread their liberal ways. We are slowly beginning to see the effects of this change in population. With debt overflowing in the state and more taxes coming in a not-so-distant future, Nevada is more like California all the time—unfortunately without the beaches.

This slow growth offers a clue for what is to come in Nevada. Having been one of the fastest growing states for so long, Nevadans took advantage. Now that there is less opportunity and growth, there are fewer jobs. This answers the question as to why people can’t find a way to get back on their feet, because not even the state itself can do it. Taxes, liberal spending habits and the fear of a not-so-good new year are choking Nevada into submission.

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With the New Year upon us and the election over, all we can do is await our fate with President-elect Obama. He comes to us promising change and betterment for the nation, and people better pray he actually can deliver on those promises. But people need to begin questioning what sort of “change” he has to offer. He was elected, and now it’s time to be straightforward and answer some questions.

The most humor I find in our past year is the blindness of so many people. As a sign of what 2008 was to us, Barack Obama was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year. For what? We are all still suffering from blind spending and adjustable rate loans, he has done nothing to change anything, yet and still people cheer him like he is some sort of rockstar. Person of the Year would make us all, well at least me, assume that this person would have done something of complete and utter greatness (or infamy). He got elected, he didn’t do the work for that, you all were the ones that all went out and voted for him. Don’t give him more credit than he deserves so early. All I have to say is, let’s all wait and see.

At midnight, we all screamed Happy New Year, probably drank too much champagne, and we were all a little excited for a new beginning. New beginnings always bring hope. But with 2009 upon us, there is not a lot left to hope for, then again, there is nowhere to go but up.