From housing to jobs to overconsumption, the woes of Las Vegas are largely the woes of the entire country, writes Muro.
"After all, Las Vegas' gargantuan problems and its necessary way forward mirror and take to an extreme those of our troubled nation as a whole.
Southern Nevada, for starters, may well stand at ground zero of a national economic crisis made massive by speculation, financial game-playing, and insufficient attention to the fundamentals. No large U.S. metro area has suffered house price declines greater than Las Vegas' 24 percent slump in the last year. No large metro has a higher concentration of home foreclosures. Gross metropolitan product has declined by 3 percent since its last peak in early 2007. And unemployment now exceeds 13 percent.
In this respect, Vegas exemplifies and exaggerates America's economic quandary."