What has Vegas become?
INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
January 27, 2003
Like old Chicago, Las Vegas has always been mob run whether local citizens
liked it or not. Lately, LV has reinvented itself as "Sin City" and started
capitalizing openly on its sinister reputation . The mob has also reinvented
itself into what - only here - looks like legitimate business. Replacing
casinos as the once pilfered cash cows, many topless clubs are now the
money laundries, dope dens, and hooker havens just as off limits to law
enforcement as the casinos once were.
are not scandalized by their involvement with stripers,
mobsters and pimps - it's normal here. Like old Chicago, many Vegas cops
have also been compromised
along with a few of the DA's
who party out in the open with the mobsters while most of the populace
thinks its just fine. One politically connected restaurateur, after two
thugs beat somebody up in his eatery, even said it was "Just
like old Vegas," and got a big laugh for his remark. Several months
later, the city council named him Citizen
of the Month!
Most of the local citizens are brain dead - happy as clams with the
status quo - accepting all this as normal (for Las Vegas) while the local
newspapers and TV news departments reap the advertising harvest. This town
leases more new cars and sells more new homes than anywhere else in the
US, so they think everything is OK.
The average resident treats Vegas like a motel or rental car and has
little or no community pride. Most residents are just passing through and
don't participate in the voting process. They just eat a lot of cheap buffets
and think our mobbed
up mayor is a hero. According to the census, our average resident moved
to town in 1998, and has less than a high school education.
Many of our town's "Pillars of the
Community" would be the jail population of a more sophisticated city,
but their behavior is acceptable in a town where local TV is full of ads
for bankruptcy lawyers and pay check loan companies. The bail bond, massage,
outcall dancer, and tattoo parlor businesses are also thriving. This is
considered normal around here where we tear down historical landmarks for
the fun of it. Our under funded schools are geared to turn out parking
attendants, waitresses, strippers, and dealers. We have no culture or history.
That's why LV will never be a "city," just a town.
The populace is played like John's each day by popular politicians and
the local media, and most residents could care less when our taxes are
raised to pay for the growth that should be paying for itself. Is
this the Utopia that the casino guys want to sell to other cities? You
bet! They want gambling everywhere and are willing to tell great lies to
get their way. "Party On!"
Sadly, when I talk to national
media they ask me "What do you expect from the town Bugsy built?" I
guess they're right, but I grew up here when it was a better place - a
place where your word was your bond and a handshake was as good as a contract,
a place where you didn't have to lock your doors. This town was once a
forthright place. Maybe that's why I stay here. Somebody has to compare
what we were to what we've become. I feel that I do a public service by
telling the true story, kind of like the radio operator on the Titanic
tapping out SOS while waiting for the water to bubble up around his knees.
Up until the late 1980s, the bosses and owners actually lived here.
The old expression "Don't shit where you eat" held true back then. Now
the bosses live in Newport Beach or New York and don't care about the town
that made them rich, they only care about the Strip and the golf courses
while Las Vegas' downtown resembles the Third World.
This town has become a paradox. What is right is wrong, what is good
is bad, and that's OK because many of us are making lots of money. People
ask me why I complain so much because I've also prospered here? However,
I can't help but compare the magic town I moved to as a boy to what it
has degraded into today. I'd rather be poor and living in a community like
Las Vegas once was, than to be rich in a place like this.
The leaders here are mostly a tight knit bunch of scumbags in expensive
clothes. They travel around town in helicopters and never experience our
horrible crime or traffic. Life is good for them, but they opt to drink
bottled water because Lake Mead is completely polluted with sewage from
the subdivisions, apartments, and resorts they built. Nobody recreates
at the lake anymore, boats are out of style; out of control growth is in.
We recycle the sewer water to supply more low-end houses, apartments, and
In 1959, my Dad moved away from LA to escape all of what Las Vegas has
now become. He died in 1984 when Las Vegas was still a nice place. Now,
with help from Nevada's "leaders" and their bought-off politician friends
around the nation, much of our nation is about to be reborn as mini-Las
Copyright © Steve Miller
email Steve Miller at: Stevemiller4lv@aol.com