It is remarkable to watch the journalism community in Las Vegas together mouth the words "Oh My God" at the news that the Las Vegas Sun continues to lay off employees in the midst of the worst economy in the history of Las Vegas. I’d like to grab each one of my colleagues by the collar and say: "Where have you been? Tens of thousands of living, breathing Nevadans (my friends and neighbors) have lost their jobs in other industries in the last two years and now that reality hits a local newspaper you’re acting all surprised, like a meteor just hit the Sun newspaper building."
For a "Class A" example of this disconnected thumbsucking, see Steve Freiss’ blog, which lists the fallen like it were a terrorist event. Or take a peek at Erin Neff’s cross-eyed take on things at her blog. It appears it only hit her radar screen because her husband was one of the good journalists caught in the layoffs.
I wonder aloud whether this will bring Nevada journalists to the point of connecting the dots.
We’re in a freakin’ bad, bad recession. To cope with lower revenue, businesses cut expenses, which sooner or later means people. Businesses don’t like to do it. It’s a move of last resort that usually signals a severe contraction in the entire business if something doesn’t change.
Yet, where is the ruling political class in this time of need? Well, for our Democratic congressional delegation, the answer is more spending and entitlement programs. And that means higher taxes — taxes on the rich, taxes on the middle class, big taxes on businesses, more big taxes on businesses and hidden fees on the poor. I kid you not. That is sum of their entire "answer."
In Nevada, the same holds true for the Democrats who control the Legislature. They can’t get back in session fast enough (special session, governor?) to "fix" the state deficit by higher taxes. Not lower spending. Higher taxes.
Wake up! We’re in a hard place as a nation and a state. Businesses need relief to survive, not an added tax burden. That’s what’s going to "save" jobs and "create" jobs. Until we start connecting the dots to existing bad management in state legislatures and Congress, the economy will continue to exact a toll.