Same complaint, different day | AspenTimes.com
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Same complaint, different day

Dear Editor:

“It was the best of times. It was the worst of times”: Glamour, greed, glitz, the haves and the have-nots. … Will the spring of 2011 be the spring of 1968 all over again? Or simply a Dicksonian tragedy involving the Athenian tragic flaws of a billionaire Chicago family and the rights of their workers for a living wage all intertwined in the famous ski slopes of Aspen?

Only time will tell. And the United States National Labor Relations Board.



In today’s America, the philanthropically-oriented Crown family donates millions to United Way’s Tocqueville Society, an organization that “promotes a living wage for healthy families.” And then takes the corresponding deduction the family would normally pay the United States government: taxes that could to repairing highways or to social services for the needy; instead they go to the Crown’s bottom line … on life.

All perfectly legal but totally immoral. Why? Because the Crowns allow their boutique company to defend $9.25 an hour to retail employees and $69 for a day’s works to ski instructors on a product they charge $625 as a living wage … in Aspen. And then fire and banish employees that pass out leaflets on this matter from walking up the American people’s backyard, our National Forest under “threat of arrest?”




Locally, the Crown Royals do many nice things for their kingdom. And yet Paula Crown, by jetting in on her fabulous new Gulfstream N688T, to quickly choose the colors of l’argent titanium and coquelicot rose for her Ski School of Aspen metaphorically channels images of Marie Antointette playing “worker” and “doing chores” at the extravagant Petit Trianon (the “cottage”) while France’s working poor struggled just outside the gates of Versaille on her watch.

Pay attention, big money. Paula and James Crown, you are being called out by the little people.

John Galante

Aspen