Money for Nothing

Courtesy of the World Series of Poker

The riches-to-rags stats just keep pouring in. This time, it’s the sad decline in the number of Las Vegas millionaires, coupled with a boom in the number of Nevada food-stamp recipients. To wit: Sin City lost 38 percent of its millionaire population in 2008, second only to Orlando, which lost 42 percent. Phoenix came in third by losing 34 percent, according to the U.S. Metro Wealth Index by Capgemini, a New-York-based economic consulting firm. “Millionaire” was defined as “those with investable assets of $1 million or more, not including the value of primary residence.” Basically, our millionaires’ real-estate portfolios disintegrated. And then they filed for food stamps ...? While it’s uncertain how many of those former millionaires really hit the skids, something—or someone—has to account for the jump in the percentage of Nevadans receiving food stamps: There’s been a 39 percent increase over last year. In fact, the stamp distribution has risen nearly 20 percent nationwide, prompting new retailers to accept them. Now, you can use food stamps at select Target, Costco, CVS and 7-Eleven outlets. It’s a mad mad mad mad mad mad world.

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Stacy J. Willis

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