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Mr. Wynnderful waxes wealthier whilst we wither
by Andrew Barbano
May 08, 2013 | 1537 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
We live in a company town servicing a plantation. Soon after I moved to these parts decades ago, I realized that Nevada is basically Smallville spread over a big geography.

Nothing's changed. The lowly still return their meager wages to the company store in exchange for borderline sustenance.

As I've repeated since 1982, if you've got kids and your income is not upper-middle class or above, be a good parent and move somewhere else.

Our own latter day version of cartoony King Ludwig of Bavaria deigned to venture down from his fairy tale castle last week to remind the peasants who owns this cruel and unusual place.

Steve Wynn hisself sauntered through the badlands of Carson City and granted audiences to Gov. Veto El Obtùsé, the light-guv and even garden-variety legislators.

His most excellency let his temporary public workers know that the gambling industry will not suffer the indignity of a tax increase.

By royal proclamation, Le Grand Stefán declared his fiefdom "unhealthy." And what he sez, goes, at least in Vegas, where some media quake at the mention of his name. Others dare not speak it at all, kind of a Gomorrah South version of Harry Potter's Dark Lord.

"Right now, the industry has a real serious health problem," Wynn told reporters.

"He argued the (gambling) industry's recovery from the economic recession is endangered by the growth of casinos in other jurisdictions and said lawmakers must consider how to keep it healthy going forward," the Las Vegas Sun reported.

Neither major Sin City paper bothered mentioning that Wynn and his clansmen have long invested Nevada profits in those other jurisdictions. So he was basically complaining about competing with himself. The Reno Kazoo-Journal mentioned Wynn not at all.

"He said we need find a way to make sure education is funded in a way that doesn't include going back to (gambling)," stated Sen. Mark Hutchison, R-LV.

Mr. Wynn thus gave orders that he will continue his long record of enriching himself at the expense of school children. (The story of his "Show Me the Monet" art collection tax break will be posted with the expanded web edition of this column at

I've been on the receiving end of what the gambling-industrial complex can do in an election. They can actually make people believe that their bosses or fellow church members (or both) will know exactly how they vote.

They make people believe that all hotels and related businesses will collapse if taxes are raised. I've seen them get away with convincing workers that electing pro-consumer candidates will put the power company out of business, thus causing all casinos to go dark.

They threaten to fire employees who sign any initiative petition they don't like, even though that's blatantly illegal.

Who's gonna fight 'em?

You and me. As always.

Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno.

Andrew Barbano is a 44-year Nevadan and editor of  E-mail Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.
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