A housing crisis
Dear Editor:In the beginning there were those who, with good intentions, created the Aspen housing program. Products of the “we can change the world generation,” they attacked a market system so fouled with wealth, that it had left the working class of Aspen helpless, and homeless.They said: Let there be cash. They created the Real Estate Transfer Tax – a means to move millions from the rich to the poor. This was good.They said: Let there be affordable rentals; they created deed-restricted homes, and they bought properties. But they may not have realized, long ago, that if their tax were indefinite, then this housing program could someday swallow the entire town, and would create a housing office even more powerful than City Hall itself. The world was young then, and exciting.On the seventh day they were quiet. Astonished, they beheld what they had made. It was the first American, Marxist revolution. And this was not good.Social liberals promote government housing as what “the people need.” But liberalism is one step from communism, and from there it is just a hop to tyranny. So don’t ask a liberal about change to the Aspen housing program, they may get tyrannical: “We are helping people,” they will roar.Like the communist Soviets, Aspen’s housing program will expand itself rather than maintain or remodel the old within the system – it then abandons its tenants to unsafe and unhealthy conditions while it still collects payments. Consider the fellow who fell through the rotted stairs at Truscott II, while the city was building Truscott III.One wealthy lady said when she saw the Truscott studios, “Is this how Aspen treats its poor?” Another woman said about the Copper Horse, “I was afraid of disease.”The program tries to recover the costs of continued expansion by charging more for the same product to those who earn more, and it rewards the lazy or unskilled. This is socialism, and it creates “lifers” who become trapped and dependent on the system. A woman who cleans for her job said, “I moved from my nice one-bedroom because when I got a promotion at work, my rent went up more than my raise. I moved to this studio to save money – which is a wreck – and they never fix anything, or clean outside.Realizing the housing office was secretive, one housing director tried “town meetings.” The director stopped because the tenants (not wanting to speak with this director), refused to attend, and those who did “were mean.” The housing director may be the most feared and hated official in Aspen. Absolute power does this. Ask the senior who, after reporting drug dealing in her complex, was evicted as a mentally ill malcontent.The Soviet Union violently persecuted its opponents and forced its citizens to live in fear and poverty. Always promoting world revolution and expanding its influence, it justified its existence by citing it was “helping the people.” Soviet Marxism was exposed in the end for what it was: another corrupt, fascist scam by those who, hungry for power, had no intention of helping anyone at all, except themselves.David BlazierGlenwood Springs
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Andrew Huntsman and Ralph Smalley were chosen by the seniors to give the class address during Basalt High School’s graduation ceremony on Saturday. This had the two BHS teachers questioning the legitimacy of those diplomas they were about to hand out.