More Neighborhood Fireworks = Better Local Economy?

I have a weird little theory:
The more neighborhood fireworks, the better the economy is in your area.

I noticed way back when I first moved to this area of Las Vegas in 1999 that the neighbors from all sides, and blocks away, went nuts on July 4th and were shooting off pretty impressive, and most likely illegal, fireworks all day and into the night. I never buy any - seems like a waste of money and not really into the boom bang ooh and ahh of fireworks, but the neighboring area seemed to love 'em.

Then, as the local economy started to tank, you would see less and less. For the past few years it got to be almost quiet on July 4th, other than some firecrackers and the occasional tiny roman candle from a few blocks away.

However, this year was unbelievable and easily surpassed the heydays of years past …from all sides and for blocks around, people were once again going crazy with fireworks that were almost professional quality! I think my first hint should have been when a student told me on Tuesday that he and a couple friends had spent over $1000 on fireworks and were going out into the desert to blow them off on the 4th. There were some major bucks spent yesterday by most of these neighborhood people.

I figure if people feel like they can go out and drop a couple hundred, or a thousand or more, dollars on fireworks for the 4th, they probably have a least a fairly good expendable income, as nothing is more expendable than fireworks.

Ways my theory could be wrong:
Fireworks are cheaper this year?
People don’t care what it costs and spend the money they don’t have anyway.
My neighborhood was untypical and I happen to live in a neighborhood of terrorists/pyromaniacs in training.

Or could my theory be right and people felt good enough about their jobs and bank accounts to go ahead and splurge this year again?

Did you notice any difference in your neighborhood?

There were a lot more fireworks in and around my neighborhood as well. Of course, that was mainly due to the lifting of firework sale and use bans which were in effect last year due to drought conditions.

Less disposable income = fewer fireworks? Sure, that’s a reasonable conclusion. My current neighborhood is lower-middle-class, but not uncomfortably so. There were lots of fireworks going off. Illinois supposedly has laws against using anything but sparklers and snakes, but I heard a lot of bottle rockets last night. And some backyard ground mortars. Also, a couple of (what I suspect were) quarter-sticks. On the other hand, the last neighborhood I was in was solidly lower-class/borderline-ghetto, and there was hardly a peep.

As far as reasons why? Well, the economy and housing market are still in a slump, but perhaps the really broke people in your neighborhood got foreclosed on, and the people who moved in who can afford fireworks. Or maybe a few of your neighbors put in some overtime or have better jobs this year. Because even just a *few *dedicated amateur pyrotechs can make a HELL of a lot of noise with fireworks.

Considering the prices of the crummy fireworks they’re allowed to sell here in RI, it’s a definite indicator. You need to have plenty of disposable income to afford those. But plenty of people take the ride up to NH to get better stuff, or head down to NYC where you can pick up what you want on Canal St. The ‘safe and sane’ fireworks have been legal here for at three years now but I haven’t seen any noticeable change in amateur fireworks. In contrast, the public shows seem to have grown in recent years. I’m not sure what that means. In years past it seems these went up and down with economy, but maybe they’re popular expenditures.

I’ve actually noticed that there are more fireworks in the less affluent areas around here. If I had to guess, I’d correlate it more to the average age of the residents rather than the income level - in our neighborhood, young adults (especially men) and people with kids tend to have fireworks more often than the middle-aged singles and those who don’t have kids at home. And the illegal fireworks (from mortars to bottle rockets to professional-grade aerials) seem to be used by the younger men.

There were boatloads more fireworks going off in my neighborhood this year compared to past years, but that’s only because the state of MI has lifted the ban on exploding and airborne fireworks for personal use. And last night I was cursing every state legislator who voted for this bullshit.

This. More fireworks = more bored teenagers.

What are you? Some kind of commie? Ben Franklin fought the Russians in the South Pacific so that we could celebrate Fireworks Day. You should be opposed to the Socialist Anti-Fireworks scheme to deny us our rights.

Lemme ask you this: who makes 99% of those fireworks?


And I bet he doesn’t have a long form birth certificate either!

As old as his hair and a little older than his teeth! :smiley:

It’s been my observation that poor people will, without hesitation, waste money on three things: cigarettes, lottery, and fireworks.

Yeah, not like middle class or rich people ever do that.

Actually, the fact that those with lower income smoke more and play lottery more is documented.

It’s merely my observation that individuals in a similar demographic buy fireworks at a similarly high rate.

Observation: I spent the evening of the 3rd at my brother’s house babsitting my niece. The area (in general) is lower-income, and there were constant fireworks throughout the evening.

I spent the evening of the 4th at a different neighborhood, which is solidly middle class and surrounded by upper middle class. I heard fireworks 3 times at most.

I would offer a third example, but I wasn’t at my house on the 4th to hear the guns shot into the air in lieu of fireworks this year.

So I’m a little bit skeptical that the lower earners had a better year than the higher earners, and therefore had more money to spend on fireworks.

Your statement implies that poor people waste money on unnecessary things in some way that makes them different from the non-poor. Yet the things you mention are just inexpensive ones. People tend to waste money, and people with more money waste more than the poor. It’s easy to believe the poor have no money because they waste it, but they are just exhibiting the same behavior as every one else.

I live in New Orleans. Our street is very nice/working class/mostly black, but we are in a somewhat “ghetto” neighborhood overall. I’m not knockin it in anyway whatsoever.

I would say the indicator is the ratio of actual fireworks to people shooting guns in the air.

Fireworks aren’t cheap at all.

I went and got some little piddly stuff to amuse myself and a 2 year old, and still dropped almost $50.

Rich people have better access to medical treatment, more expensive pharmacological solutions to their problems, and access to far better drugs than cigarettes. And why would a rich person even need to buy a lottery ticket? :confused:

You can definitely make the argument that setting off homemade fireworks is a traditionally lower- to lower-middle class hobby, but bringing lottery tickets and cigarettes into it has nothing to do with the original argument. Frankly, it makes you look like you have an axe to grind. Your initial reply was phrased jerkishly, and not even germane to the thread. Why did you bring it up, exactly?

It does have something to do with the original argument, which (simplified) was that more fireworks=more prosperity.

And while I know of a few ‘rich’ people who spend a thousand or two a year on fireworks, it is my experience that fireworks use is more widespread among those of lower income.

And since fireworks are a pretty frivolous way to spend money, I can equate them with lottery tickets and cigarettes…two other items that poorer folk are more likely to purchase.

You’re right about me having an axe to grind, though; I think I’m still a little bit on edge from not getting any sleep and worrying about my niece waking up Tuesday night…