Aspen’s social contract | AspenTimes.com
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Aspen’s social contract

Dear Editor:In the beginning, uppity bourgeois adopted the elite Aspen Idea as their own. Most locals fooled themselves into the idea that they could afford a life of upper-class leisure. These young bohemians believed in equality among the classes at the same time they wanted to shut the gates to Aspen and deny others the equal opportunity to live in this rare, scenic place.There was only one way for the bourgeois to survive in paradise. That was to find a way to balance the conflict between the opposing forces of natural justice and social justice. Thus, we have two Aspens. One, where natural justice is served by recognizing the inequality between the rich and less-than-rich classes. The other, where social justice is served by sharing the wealth in a gated community.Aspen’s bourgeois adopted the downzoning that moved many more of them downvalley. Then they voted to move a limited number of bobos back in, to live under strict rules they put on the affordable-housing class. The bobos, not the rich, voted to have government move the poor out and then voted to move them back in. Sharing the wealth has made inequality public policy in Aspen.Living with contradictions and inconsistencies is the human condition. Finding a comfort level with inequality is rational, because it lets the rich and the poor survive here. Those who disagree with this social contract should try proposing an alternative to the zoning that made Aspen into a gated community.This social contract exists because inequality is a benefit, when the poor get to share other people’s money. And the bobos in paradise would not change a thing. Be Brave Comrades.KNCB MooreAspen


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