(Michael Zahara) – One of our state’s most beloved and gifted entertainers isn’t Wayne Newton, but Jeremy Aguero, principle of Applied Analysis. I’ve seen Jeremy at least a dozen times in recent years speaking to various groups or interests. He’s a graduate of UNLV, an unapologetic cheerleader, and perhaps our state’s most invaluable civic booster!
They all love to hire Applied Analysis because every day is sunny to them! When you want to hire someone to tell you what you want to hear, Jeremy Aguero is your man; when you want someone to tell you what you really need to know…well, who the hell in Nevada wants to hear that?
That was me and a prominent business titan unable to control our giggling listening to Mr Aguero’s presentation to the Legislature’s Committee on Senior Citizens, Veterans and Adults With Special Needs, and then again at Preview 2010, regarding Nevada’s lack of effort to attract seniors to retire here.
Just the thought of ‘death’ as a growth industry here had me going; my guest said he’s developed an innate ability to do exactly the opposite of what Applied Analysis recommends because they are far too close to the communities and businesses they purport to represent to be at all objective and are always much rosier than anyone else in America when it comes down to assessing just about everything here!
I was thinking about the future sales pitches:
‘Forget Florida and Arizona, Nevada is God’s waiting room’
‘Die here and get double-points!’
‘Free buffet with every casket!’
‘Paris Hilton’s Grandma died here!’
Good lord, are these people even occupying our planet? Then the LVRJ jumped in with an agreeing editorial thinking only of their company’s bottom line as always:
Any community would want a good mix of age and demographic groups because despite what Ageuro stated, our senior populations are largely expensive and the wealthier ones don’t want to pay anything anymore once they’ve retired and what they do pay for, there had better be a discount!
They figure that they’ve raised their kids and paid their taxes elsewhere, so why should they pay anything here or anywhere else when they retire?
Of course, I’m painting with a very broad brush and have many senior readers and friends who will probably beat the crap out of me with their canes and run me over with their scooters when they read this; but it has to be said.
And, I think we should place 100% of the blame for an obnoxious major portion of the seniors’ class in America, squarely where it belongs:
On Del Webb’s Sun Cities!
Since they began the ‘Sun City’ concept of the ‘retirement community’ in 1960, we’ve see a steep 49 year decline in America’s cities, suburbs and neighborhoods because they stewarded the concept of people living cocooned and isolated behind walls and gates for a false sense of security from urban woes, those gawd-awful Homeowner’s Associations, and an American super-consumption class that replaced World War II’s ‘Great Generation’ that gave us the world’s largest producer and creditor nation, to their offspring today having given us the world’s greatest debtor and consumption nation!
The Great Generation’s kids demanded everything, their folks gave them everything, and now that they’re retiring, they still want everything…and with a discount to boot!
I don’t know of any metropolitan area in the country that would embrace the ‘pre-death’ demographic as a ‘growth strategy’ as Applied Analysis and the LVRJ endorses!
Neither bothered to point out that such an effort encourages blind consumption rather than real growth-oriented production, furthering our dependence on sales taxes and such.
I have a good friend who is one of three of the Rules Nazis—yes, three full-time people—at another ‘retirement’ community here and to visit them at work and hear the incessant complaining and nagging from those peeking from behind the drapes, filing complaints about every little thing, is something to behold!
The PR image of the ‘active senior’ is largely urban myth and developer dreamland. They’re selling a Madison Avenue contrivance that doesn’t really exist in great numbers!
The overwhelming majority of seniors in Nevada live on fixed incomes struggling to make ends meet, most unable to pay for medications and food, much less rent and utilities. Those already here stress medical services that are more geriatric medicine oriented making it more difficult for other residents to find General Practitioners or pediatric care, for instance.
The image of the wealthy, fun loving senior on the golf course is a cruel depiction to tens of thousands of our state’s seniors, yet there was the legislative committee falling all over themselves in agreement with Applied Analysis.
Here in Nevada, we can’t service any demographic group with any level of competence or funding, yet they want to turn Nevada into a giant waiting room for the Lord?
To invite more seniors when we don’t have the physical infrastructure of roads, bridges, and buses, the medical infrastructure, the seniors-oriented social safety nets, or the services they need is not only stupid, it’s a cruel joke!
Trust me; those particular folks don’t want to pay for anything but expect us to pay everything for them!
The idea that new, wealthier senior transplants coming here will be at all interested in paying for this state’s needs is simply delusional and also a cruel joke.
The best thing that’s happening today is an exodus from Nevada and what Mr Aguero didn’t bother to tell the committee is that one of the largest demographic groups leaving our state are in fact, seniors!
This most savvy, if not spoiled group, learns much faster than most when they come here, that the reality here is far different that the mindless civic cheer-leading and many don’t last five years before moving along.
They learn faster than any other group that despite what Applied Analysis and the LVRJ may say, ‘growth’ has never in human history, in any cultural, ever paid for itself, and that’s why they’re fleeing Las Vegas in droves for Utah and Arizona today!
They see firsthand the folly in encouraging a 1 million person migration the past two decades and the enormous stresses that that placed on such a backward state such as our own. Even Wal-Mart wisely chose Hurricane, UT, over Las Vegas for their giant Distribution Center for our region.
Wal-mart, the biggest American company in the history of ever decided not to locate in Nevada; their choice pretty much tells us everything we need to know, doesn’t it?
8.1% sales tax, fees and fines for everything, and a cost of living and consumer prices similar to Los Angeles is the reality here, when only 20 short years ago; this state was truly a bargain for retirees and young families alike.
In fact, our fine state is the national Petri dish for everything that’s gone wrong in America over the last generation; we are the hands down poster-child winner of that dishonor; just look at the headlines here every single day!
No, Mr & Mrs Senior Citizen; be smart like those who’ve packed up and left Nevada and find yourself a better state to retire in.
That would be any of the 49 others!
(Mr. Zahara writes the WatchdogWag.com blog)