‘Gummit’ composition & other fishy tales

If brevity is the soul of clarity and you enjoy that, then this is the column for you. It offers one quick hitter after another.

The first is a Nevada post-recession plus, another in an upbeat series. The number of employers in the Silver State reached 62,500 during this year’s second quarter, according to the state Department of Employment Training and Rehabilitation (DETR). The number is up 4.3 percent from a year earlier, the fifth straight quarter of year-on-year growth exceeding 4 percent, and a sign of continuing economic improvement.

So said Bill Anderson, DETR chief economist, who noted the recessionary trough was 56,000 employers. DETR pegged growth since that low as 11.6 percent.

“Business totals on a year-over-year basis have increased for the last 16 quarters,” said Anderson. That’s four years, and the state is at a record high, reaching 3.1 percent above the pre-recession peak.

The second quick hitter item provides interesting factoids about Carson City housing. The state’s capital community was ranked ninth in the state regarding ease of selling a house among the top 10 such cities, according to SmartAsset of New York City, but more attention grabbing was that it registered second lowest in percentage of homes sold at a loss.

SmartAsset, a financial technology firm, said Carson City was just behind No. 8 Reno in the state for ease in selling houses, but was beaten only by Pahrump in the small number sold at a loss. Just 7.1 percent of homes sold in Pahrump went at a loss, while 8.8 percent here fell into that category. The other eight cities listed were at 10 percent or higher, some exceeding 20 percent.

The third item also is from SmartAsset, which ranks Carson City third in the state for retirees’ social and recreational opportunities. Gardnerville and Boulder City topped the state capital. Items surveyed were taxes, recreational facilities, retirement centers and doctors’ offices per thousand residents, and the percentage of seniors in each city.

The fourth quick hitter concerns my recent vacation in Nebraska, where I lived nearly 35 years until 2008 and the state in which Jean, my wife, was born and raised. We went back for a family picnic and while there visited Lincoln, the state capital in which we lived until moving to Nevada. We saw downtown results of a $250 million Antelope Valley project along a creek, as well as public/private investment and growth in the Haymarket District.

The federal, state and local partnership that produced Antelope Valley’s project appeared to me years ago like a boondoggle-in-the-marking, but it came out much better than I anticipated. Lincoln is five times larger than Carson City, but the visit showed me what investment can do to help a local economy. It made me glad we’re investing here, but also that we’re investing much less.

Fifth and finally, a quick hitter that represents the obligatory quote I always try to provide. Henry Louis Mencken, 20th century columnist and author, in his “Minority Report,” wrote this:

“A government can never be the impersonal thing described in textbooks. It is simply a group of men (ed. note: pre-femlib era) like any other. In every 100 of the men composing it, there are two who are honest and intelligent, 10 obvious scoundrels and 88 poor fish.”

Perhaps that accounts for my earlier skepticism regarding Lincoln’s Antelope Valley project.

John Barrette covers Carson City government and business. He can be reached at jbarrette@nevadaappeal.com.


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