Cycle Of Civilizational Decline Illustrated By American Southwest

It’s no secret that for a decade Southern Nevada has been the fastest growing area in the country.  Why?  What makes the Las Vegas valley so great?

The answer might lie in this sign (courtesy of, which stood at the border between Nevada and California at Lake Tahoe in the 1940’s:


It reads: “No income tax, no sales tax, no inheritance tax, no corporation tax, no gift tax” and “A debt free state welcomes you.”

That sign isn’t there any more.  Cue Bob Dylan: “The times they are a changin’…”

To answer our question, Nevada became such a great place to live because it was founded on conservative, libertarian principles that built a solid economy here.  Now, among many other things, a decade of refugees from the People’s Republic of California has eroded that success.  Las Vegas is not nearly as friendly to individual freedom and entrepreneurship as it used to be. 

This is hardly the only place where such things happen.  Next door in Utah, the Salt Lake Valley was settled by Mormon pioneers.  Today, the astonishing success of Utah’s socio-politcal climate has attracted the usual hordes of leeches: in recent elections, while the rest of Utah is still solidly red, Slat Lake County has turned blue. 

America itself follows this pattern.  Award-winning historian Joseph Ellis has called our nation’s founding a “conservative revolution.”  Today, our government makes the small, simple world of the Constitution look more anachronistic than Paris Hilton at a Mensa meeting. 

Southern California has long since turned into a wasteland (for example:  Over the last couple decades, property values in Southern Nevada have skyrocketed as swarms of disgruntled Los Angelinos sought shelter here.  In the last few years, a building boom has erupted in Southern Utah as forlorn Nevadans flee the crumbling infrastructure of their once-safe haven.  My advice: invest in land in Idaho and Montana while it’s still cheap.

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