THE MAYOR OF ELY
Written by Duane Bradford. Last updated Sunday April 11th, 2010
By DUANE BRADFORD
Oh, those self-sufficient Westerners.
The mayor of Ely, Nevada, in an interview on CNBC in March, was asked how his community was being affected by economic problems the nation was experiencing.
Mayor Jon Hickman, fedora atop, said Ely was a copper mining community - had been for the last 100 years - and was not having serious problems.
The interviewers plowed on, certain of exposing something alarming somewhere along the line. They were especially interested in learning how the community might respond to efforts by the government to help “underwater” homeowners with mortgage financial assistance. (Unspoken hint: Could this be one of those big government takeovers brewing again? A little socialistic bureaucratic meddling with the banks again?)
No, said the mayor, there was no housing problem in Ely, although there was one 240 miles away in Las Vegas. The unemployment rate in Ely, which had hovered just above seven percent, had just risen to over nine percent.
But there was work -- jobs. His city had received $1.5 million in federal stimulus funds for sewer system improvements.
Oh? So how did folks in his community feel about big government back east? You know -- that government which gathered up money from taxpayers all over America and divvied up a little bit of it for some other Americans who might be in need of help in these perilous economic times? Like, say, Ely, Nevada?
This is a Western community, Mayor Hickman explained following his mention of the $1.5 million federal stimulus gift. He never mentioned the six million Nevadans who were permitted to receive unemployment compensation for an additional six months.
"We don’t trust big government at all here," said the mayor with a grin and a chuckle.
Show of hands.
Anybody favor returning Nevada -- maybe Texas, Utah and any other industrial-strength ingrates -- to Mexico?