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Thursday, April 15, 2010

"Three Viewings" at CSN Theater

Income down almost 5% for average Nevadan

Nevada Pay Dip Leads Nation


Nevadans saw their personal income decline more in 2009 than residents of any other state, a new report from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis found.

Residents' personal income in Nevada fell to $102 billion in 2009, down 4.8 percent from $107.1 billion in 2008. That's not only the worst performance in the nation in 2009, it's also the second-biggest decline among the states since 1969, the bureau said. Total personal income gauges the combined earnings of all residents in the state. Nevada has always had one of the country's lower overall personal incomes, because it's one of the country's smallest states.

Nevada's per capita personal income, which divides total personal income among the state's number of residents, was $38,578 in 2009, down 5.8 percent from $40,936 in 2008. That decline ranked No. 2, after Wyoming's 5.9 percent drop to $45,705.

Nationally, the decline in personal income averaged 1.7 percent, with overall pay dropping from $12.2 trillion in 2008 to $12 trillion in 2009. Per capita personal income nationwide was $39,138, down 2.6 percent from $40,166.

Inflation came in at 0.2 percent in 2009, the bureau said.

The bureau attributed Nevada's steep earnings falloff mostly to troubles in the construction and hotel-casino sectors.

Jeremy Aguero, a principal in local research and consulting firm Applied Analysis, also pointed to Nevada's boom-time growth as a factor in its income losses. Before the recession, Nevada had one of the highest per capita personal incomes in the country, and it enjoyed one of the nation's lowest jobless rates. So the state simply had better-than-average room for decline, Aguero said. Today, the Silver State has the nation's second-highest unemployment rate. At 13.3 percent, Nevada is just behind Michigan's 14.1 percent.

The new federal figures hint that Nevada's economic and fiscal woes could persist, local observers said.

"While the retail industry remains optimistic, it is becoming more difficult to believe that a recovery could happen soon," said Mary Lau, president of the Retail Association of Nevada. "Private job growth will be paramount to a full return to economic stability, and we haven't seen any indicators yet that would lead us to believe that private job growth is returning."

Declines in personal incomes don't just herald sustained tough times. They also cascade through the state's economy and budget.

Nevada's consumption-driven economy depends on spending among tourists and locals alike, Aguero said.

"Personal incomes impact almost everything we do," he said. "As incomes decline, people put off making decisions. It takes people longer to decide to buy a car. Companies think twice about buying, expanding or building a new office park when they're reducing salaries. Everything from the most basic retail and hospitality spending to really complex investment decisions is affected by income and the willingness to spend."

Plus, declines in personal income have long visited Nevada's taxable sales, which help generate funding for schools and prisons.

The Silver State's taxable sales have plunged nearly $2 billion during the recession, falling from $4.68 billion in December 2007, when the recession began, to $2.8 billion in January, according to the state Department of Taxation. Some of the biggest downturns have come in spending on construction, furniture, big-ticket durable goods and cars.

The bureau's numbers do show income moderation in late 2009. The state's biggest falloff came in 2009's first quarter, when incomes fell 3.1 percent. Incomes were flat in the second quarter and down 0.9 percent in the third quarter. But the fourth quarter showed an income increase of 0.5 percent.
Aguero said the uptick makes sense. After all, the state's employers have been slashing workers' hours, cutting salaries and delaying raises for the better part of two years, a trend they can sustain for only so long. A plateau is inevitable.

Personal income isn't measured by salaries alone, though. Earnings also come from investment returns, rental income and even government aid such as unemployment benefits. How these revenue streams fare will determine how quickly incomes rebound in Nevada.

Despite 2009's tumble in earnings, Nevada still ranked No. 20 in the nation in per capita personal income. That's down from No. 17 in 2008.

In California, the state's largest feeder market for both tourists and new residents, personal income totaled $1.56 trillion in 2009, down 2.5 percent from 1.6 trillion in 2008. Per capita personal income in the Golden State dipped to $42,325, down 3.5 percent from $43,852 in 2009. California has the nation's 10th highest per capita personal income.

The bureau also showed a 1 percent increase in Nevada's population, with the state's number of residents rising from 2.62 million in 2008 to 2.64 million in 2009.

Biggest declines in per capita income

On top of the biggest overall decline in total personal incomes, Nevada had the second-highest drop in per-person earnings, according to new numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Here are the 10 states with the biggest percentage declines in per-person earnings:
State Per capita income, 2009 Per capita income, 2008 Percentage change
Wyoming $45,705 $48,580 -5.9
Nevada $38,578 $40,936 -5.8
South Dakota $36,935 $38,644 -4.4
Idaho $31,632 $32,994 -4.1
Arizona $32,935 $34,339 -4.1
Colorado $41,344 $43,021 -3.9
New York $46,957 $48,809 -3.8
Utah $30,875 $32,050 -3.7
Texas $36,484 $37,809 -3.5
California $42,325 $43,852 -3.5

Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis
Contact reporter Jennifer Robison at or 702-380-4512.

Who are the Tea Party?

Poll Finds Tea Party Backers Older, Wealthier and More Educated

85% of Tea Partiers have an unfavorable opinion of President Barack Obama, compare to 33% (one third) of all Americans. 96% say they disapprove of how congress is handling its job, with the overall voting population coming in at 73% unfavorable. Only 20%, one in five, of Tea Partiers rate their own household rate their own household finances as fairly to very bad.

They are almost entirely white, over 45, suburban or rural and over one third are retired on a pension. They are Republican or right wing independent, and most say they will remain Republican. Republican registration averages 34% of the overall voting national population, but is growing. Republicans are also much more likely to vote in non-presidential year elections.

Yet they say they represent American and all Americans. Their rallies are full of such rhetoric.

The New York Times reports:

Tea Party supporters are wealthier and more well-educated than the general public according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

The 18 percent of Americans who identify themselves as Tea Party supporters tend to be Republican, white, male, married and older than 45.

They hold more conservative views on a range of issues than Republicans generally. They are also more likely to describe themselves as “very conservative” and President Obama as “very liberal.”

And while most Republicans say they are “dissatisfied” with Washington, Tea Party supporters are more likely to classify themselves as “angry.”

A plurality do not think Sarah Palin is qualified to be president, and, despite their push for smaller government, they think that Social Security and Medicare are worth the cost to taxpayers.

Tea Party supporters over all are more likely than the general public to say their personal financial situation is fairly good or very good. But 55 percent are concerned that someone in their household will be out of a job in the next year. And more than two-thirds say the recession has been difficult or caused hardship and major life changes. Like most Americans, they think the most pressing problems facing the country today are the economy and jobs.

But while most Americans blame the Bush administration or Wall Street for the current state of the American economy, the greatest number of Tea Party supporters blame Congress.

They do not want a third party and say they usually or almost always vote Republican. The percentage holding a favorable opinion of former President George W. Bush, at 57 percent, almost exactly matches the percentage in the general public that holds an unfavorable view of him.

Results of the NYT/CBS poll click here.  

For a link to the full New york Times story, click here.

Jazz Vocal Showcase at CSN

Mormon Musical from South Park Creators


South Park duo write Broadway musical about Mormons

Matt Stone and Trey Parker
Stone and Parker co-wrote the songs in a 1999 South Park musical film
The creators of US animated comedy South Park are writing a musical stage comedy scheduled to premiere on Broadway in March 2011.
Trey Parker and Matt Stone have written the script, music and lyrics for The Book of Mormon with Robert Lopez, co-creator of musical Avenue Q.
It will tell the story of two young Mormon missionaries sent to Uganda to spread the church's gospel.
The show will be directed by Parker and Avenue Q director Jason Moore.
Parker and Stone said in a joint statement the project was "a dream come true".
I can't wait to see how Broadway audiences are going to react when they experience it
Co-writer Robert Lopez
"Growing up in Colorado, a lot of our friends were Mormons and we always thought their book would make a great musical," they added.
Co-writer Lopez said the musical would be, "in many senses a big traditional musical comedy with, as you might expect, untraditional subject matter".
"I can't wait to see how Broadway audiences are going to react when they experience it," he added.

News of the Day

March 11, 2011 will be a day Broadway will remember. The creative team behind South Park will open their musical based on the Mormon faith, and it will be a musical comedy.

Volcanic ash and sulpher have grounded almost all air traffic over Europe in the wake of the erruption of a volcano in Iceland.

Home foreclosures surged, putting doubt on claims of the economy recovering and a return to normalcy within two years. The number of homes foreclosed by banks nationally jumped 35% in the first quarter of the year. An unknown number of homes sit empty due to failed banks or banks not wanting to take the risk and cost of forclosure on homes abandoned by homeowners. Las Vegas still leads the nation in foreclosure risk, with over 78% of home "top heavy" and over 60% behind on payments.

Sharon Angle and not Sue Lowden received the Tea Party unoficial endorsement in the Republican race to unseat Democrat incumbent Harry Reid.

The Department of Energy has haulted the dismantling of the Yucca Mountain project, offering a 21 day timeout while a federal judge decides if a challenging claming that the DOE and President do not have the authority to shut down the project.