Nevada: Forcibly Secede Las-Vegas?

The Nevada Senate race was won by Democrat Harry Reid.
Defeated was a candidate accused of nationalistic populism, Sharon Angle.

The vote totals by region tell the story:

Las Vegas Metro (Clark County) [65% of state votes]
253,000 Reid
192,000 Angle

Rest of State [35% of state votes]
109,000 Reid
129,000 Angle

A candidate appealing to implicit nationalism was defeated by the voters of Las-Vegas, among the most rootless places on Earth.

Secession?
Forcibly-seceding Las Vegas Metro? I wonder if there’s any talk in Nevada of doing so: Making it its own “city-state”, a special district, stateless. Or its own state: It’s got 2-million people now. Is there any precedent for this? I don’t know. But state politics from here on out will forever be a Las-Vegas game, otherwise. “Nevada”, forever subordinate to the will of the faceless, deracinated mass of “Las-Vegas”. That just doesn’t seem right.

Las-Vegas Domination
I did not realize how much Las-Vegas Metro Area [Clark County] now dominates the state. Looking at historical population figures for Clark County vs. the entire state:
1940: 15% of Nevada’s total population lived in Clark County
1950: 30%
1960: 45%
1970: 56%
1980: 58%
1990: 62%
2000: 69%
2009: 72%. (It also has more non-citizen foreigners, so it had only 65% of votes cast).

Metro Areas as City States
Back to the secession idea. Las-Vegas now controls the destiny of Nevada. Nevada state politics no longer represent Nevadans, but the distant tyranny of Las-Vegas-ers. This is a good argument for “dissolving the political bands” which connect one region with another, indeed the classic argument for such, invoked in 1776.

There is a larger question here. Perhaps all the large, million-plus metro areas should be severed from their states. Make them independent entities of their own. That would make more sense. Wouldn’t it?

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10 Responses to Nevada: Forcibly Secede Las-Vegas?

  1. Hail says:

    An anonymous commenter on Steve Sailer’s blog responds:

    More than half the population of New York State lives in and around New York City. This trend is increasing, as the only population growth in the state is happening in the city and its suburbs. Furthermore, as the suburban/exurban zone expands up the Hudson Valley, the influence of city thinking is spreading ever further.

    Thus, Nevada is hardly unique in being dominated by a single metro area. And, yes, I think upstate New Yorkers have periodically wanted/tried to push the city and its burbs into another state (or the Atlantic Ocean, whichever comes first).

  2. Hail says:

    What percentage of residents of New York state live in Greater New York City?

    The commenter has a good point, New York is a prime example of the same phenomenon.

  3. B Lode says:

    I’ve certainly contemplated a couple of forcible secession (I call it “expulsion”) scenarios. Usually I am thinking of the southern California or Manhattan and Long Islands. I’m not so sure about an independent country surrounded on all sides by the same country.

    Las Vegas is a pretty nasty place and I think we would be better off with a nice national boundary between them and us.

  4. Hail says:

    B Lode:
    I’m not so sure about an independent country surrounded on all sides by the same country.

    The way I’d conceive of it is to keep everything within the “USA”. But make large Metros into self-governing, nationally-unrepresented “districts” like the District of Columbia. The “District of Columbia” has a mayor and a council, but no voting members of the U.S. Congress or any state legislature. It is not much of a leap from the original logic of making DC unrepresented (federal workers, rather than “normal folks”, were to people Washington) to derepresenting today the sprawling, extremely-weakly-rooted, transient, heavily-foreign, “economic zones” that we call Metro Areas.

    After all, shouldn’t power be vested in the citizenry with local roots — and therefore “voelkisch” concerns — rather than with the erratic whims of any old Joe (or Jose) who drifts in and sets up shop? This should be true anywhere. Otherwise what is the point of nations at all? Just make the world one big economic zone.

    It’d be a very radical move in the USA, since over 50% of USA residents now live in a Metro Area with over a million inhabitants. It would mean defranchizing (in terms of national representation) half the voting public. But in a hypothetical world in which it happened, the rest of the USA’s politics could again be meaningful, rather than lowest-common-denominator nonsense, in which — e.g. — the entity of “Nevada” is a complete puppet of Las-Vegas.

  5. B Lode says:

    I see. The DC analogy is pretty straightforward.

    One of my recent “plan” (read: flights of fancy) was to grant independence to / expel southern California, and create a special status for Manhattan and Long Island. Residents of the former would become foreign nationals; residents of the latter would become non-citizen nationals of the USA like Samoans.

    So there are a few precedents for associated states, free cities, etc. Defense would be a non-issue for such a small area; trade would be NAFTA-ish; representation would be negotiable – the big question would be, how much freedom of movement would have to be given to visitors from these areas. I would look to some kind of tourism deposit that would allow middle class folks from LV or NYC to visit the rest of their former homeland.

    I feel like such an evil mastermind when I think about this stuff. I should shave my head and get a white Persian cat.

  6. Hail says:

    Nevada’s “most-influential liberal blogger” calls for Clark County secession:

    this is an excellent opportunity for Southern Nevada to do something that it probably should have done long, long ago — seek statehood.

    All the tax revenue generated in Southern Nevada will stay in Southern Nevada.

    What remains of “Nevada” will be on it’s own. It can have the tax revenue generated at John Ascuaga’s Reno Nugget and Truck Stop or whatever it’s called. Las Vegasless Nevada will also be blessed with the revenues garnered from taxing Nevada’s world-class gold mining industry. Mining generally generates about the same amount of tax revenue as that collected from tourists when they rent cars in Las Vegas, which should be more than enough to fund a mining appreciation program and perhaps a range management course or two at whatever will be left of the University of Nevada, Reno.

    [The writer proceeds to attack "redneck" northern Nevada whites, mocking the idea of a viable Las-Vegas-less Nevada]

    • tbustah says:

      Somehow, I doubt he’d be singing the same tune if Las Vegas was denied all the water and electricity it draws from the rest of the state.

      The two regions are interdependent on one another, but not inseparably so. We can get along just fine without them, he’s an idiot if he was calling our mining industry “world class” sarcastically: it’s responsible for 5.6% of the world’s gold production and 79% of the country’s.

      I will concede I don’t know how much of that is actually done outside of Clark county, but if the number of individual mines is any indication (about 94%), it seems to me that they probably need us a lot more than we need them. As for that crack about car rentals, he seems to have forgotten how small the population would be without Clark county, and that many of the social programs it forces on the rest of us would be cut. That “car rental” money would go a lot further.

      Let’s also not forget that even though it’s tiny compared to Las Vegas, Reno has a respectable gambling industry in it’s own right. It’s no “truck stop”, and it’s a shorter drive for many people. It draws people from the bay area and tourists visiting Tahoe. And who’s to say that it can’t get bigger? If Reno were to lower it’s gaming tax rates even lower than Las Vegas, people might be willing to go there instead.

      I’m not for secession. Dividing Nevada like this sounds good on paper, but it could prove disastrous. I just hate to see elitist scumbags who have probably never even been to Reno assume it’s like it’s portrayed on “Reno 911!” or say that the north has nothing to offer to the world.

      • Anonymous says:

        Our water comes from Lake Mead (discounting Queen Mulroy’s grand plan which I disagree). Our power comes from Hoover Dam, no Northern Nevada. We also have mining, and with the latest proposal of the production plant in Laughlin, we are diversifying our economy. Gaming and Room Taxes for the ENTIRE state are only up in Clark County. You may not like it, but you guys live on the welfare of Clark County taxes. While they build a freeway to nowhere using our money in Carson City, we suffer in ever expaning traffic messes. If we were our own state, that money would stay here. I just returned from Reno, took a drive down Virginia Steet, what a dump. Makes Fremont Street look upscale. Face-it, we could get along just fine without the North, but I see an increase in taxes in the North to make up the difference. This is from a born and raised Las Vegan, who has seen our money go up north while we suffer. Thank-god Raggio was term limited out.

        • Anonymous says:

          Our water comes from Lake Mead. We wouldn’t have Mulroy’s water plan if the Northerners didn’t sell out to her. (Cue maniacal laughter here). Our power comes 17% from Hoover Dam, the rest comes from 7-10 powerhouses in Clark County itself. But the rest of your post is spot on, they hate us, but they sure as heck take our money. And it’s a ridiculous notion to be disenfranchised and set up as ‘districts.’ How about no. We’ll take statehood, keep our Senators and Congressmen (probably still have 4 of 5, N. Nevada would get the minimum two, probably snipe one from some other low growth state.) and spend our tax money on our tax payers.

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