Exhibit A: A column I wrote for the Las Vegas CityLife, all the way back in 2006:
Remember the months after 9/11? Imagine what would happen to this city if even a quarter of the tourists simply stopped coming one day. Las Vegas has precisely one major industry, and most of the people who work in it ain’t exactly switching over to exciting careers in nanotechnology if they lose their gigs as blackjack dealers and graveyard-shift cocktail waitresses and maids and convention-booth babes and porno-flyer dispensers. No offense, but it’s the truth.
The jobs go away, and so do the people, in droves. The fragile real estate economy here goes down like a Bangkok whore on roofies. Your shiny stucco McMansion — and whatever equity you’ve put into it — is suddenly worth less than the shoddy material it was built with. You’re jobless, probably homeless, and you can’t even afford to drive your big shiny SUV back across the empty desert to a place where you can grow your own food and sleep outside. Maybe you can live in it — park it out in the arroyos somewhere with the rest of the neo-Okies from Arizona and California and all the other places that rely entirely upon the fossil fuel economy in one way or another for survival. Learn to love the taste of cactus and flame-broiled Gila monster.
Proper fucked. You see what I mean.
Exhibit B: An article by Forbes Magazine on the abandonment of America cities:
For decades, Las Vegas, ripe with new construction and economic development, burgeoned into a shimmering urban carnival. Detroit, once the fulcrum of American industry, sagged and rusted under its own weight.
These days, it’s the worst of times for both.
Las Vegas edged Detroit for the title of America’s most abandoned city.
Will Las Vegas eventually suffer the same fate?
“I don’t think Vegas is overbuilt,” says Hallier. “Despite what everybody says, Vegas still has 2 million people.”
Time will tell if this sort of optimism is warranted. Cynics who’ve witnessed Detroit’s decline might liken Hallier’s opinions to another Dickens oeuvre: Great Expectations.
Yeah. So you know what, Las Vegas? Next time I tell y’all something, fucking pay attention.
Now quit whining, sell your shitty starter home, and move into a trailer on Boulder Highway. And don’t say you weren’t warned.