Scene In Passing: Economy gets in gear; nationally, locally |

Scene In Passing: Economy gets in gear; nationally, locally

John Barrette

Economic cycles, much like life and changing seasons, keep on keepin' on while people gabble on about their changing status.

Gabbling fodder galore is obvious these days: locally, Carson Mall came alive this weekend, though that's been going on for some time; nationally, a milestone in employment was recorded Friday as reports showed the 8.8 million jobs lost in the recession had returned, sort of, albeit population growth meant the jobless rate still stood at 6.7 percent.

My mother used to say there is no such thing as bad publicity, except an obituary. Let me add there is no such thing as good publicity, but rebirth is in the air now.

Mayor Robert Crowell told hundreds gathered for the official grand opening of Sportsman's Warehouse at the Carson Mall Saturday that it was a great day, saying Carson City is continually trying to figure out these days how to get people off the I-580 freeway bypass and into the city's core.

"This is a great way to do that," he said, telling the crowd and the outdoor outfitter chain's personnel that city officials look forward to a long and prosperous association. The mall is returning to retail life with two anchors attracted in part with the help of sales tax credits.

In the final analysis, however, the national economy that had been laid up by a housing and banking cancer was the reason the mall and many another investments were laid up. And now that the cancer is in remission, perhaps the patient even in recovery, jobs are coming back nationally while housing and banking are slowly healing.

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That is why, despite the hoopla surrounding the long-anticipated April openings of Sportsman's Warehouse Saturday and Bealls family apparel store next door, which will be on April 24, my focus stayed last week on the routine ordinance adopted by the Board of Supervisors putting back in motion routine paperwork for a south Carson City subdivision. Let's face it, retail is fine but housing is better.

The Schulz Ranch subdivision was first conceived before the Great Recession, and reauthorized — in a manner of speaking — in 2011. The fact the developers sought an ordinance, mere paperwork but necessary for the next step, shows animal spirits are stirring. Animal spirits, for anyone wondering, is the metaphor economist John Maynard Keynes would talk about to signify the psychological uplift needed as the upside of an economic cycle got in gear.

This is all just gabble, but people should take note that the economy likely just shifted from low to second gear. When the first 100 of those 424 Schulz Ranch houses start going up, high gear will be near.

John Barrette covers Carson City government and business. He can be reached at

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