Glenn K. Beaton: My advice to Aspen’s butthurt class warriors

Glenn K. Beaton
The Aspen Beat

Until Aspen’s mob shouted it down it, valet parking service was planned this winter at the base of the Aspen Mountain gondola. No longer.

Local politicos saw an opportunity to bash business, which they always find profitable, and to accumulate some political capital — which is apparently the only kind of capital that is permissible to accumulate these days.

Take our mayor, a former tennis instructor. He whined: “I question the equitability and ethic of” the valet parking service.

Others politicians jumped in. With an analysis equaling her syntax, one councilwoman complained, “It had a huge insulting factor to locals. It was like separating the rich from the poor, and here you are going skiing and those rich people have something they can afford that you can’t.”

Well, we certainly want to avoid a “huge insulting factor to locals” especially if “here you are going skiing.” And it’s the government’s job to do that, whatever “that” is.

Emotions like envy being so useful to politicians, another councilwoman who was not armed with a pitchfork but could have been, grumbled, “I wish it was someplace else that it wasn’t quite in your face. It’s this equity thing.”

Ah, this equity thing. That’s evidently shorthand for the “problem” of constituents feeling butthurt when they see people with more money. Constituents with hurt butts can mean only one of two things — leaning back on their skis in descending Corkscrew or something inequitable and unethical.

I’m surprised that they didn’t find a way to say it’s racist too. And maybe Russian to boot, or at least Ukrainian. Is there perhaps an Electoral College angle? How about the Emoluments Clause?

Never mind that the spendy rich folks are spending their money on the very people who are whining about it. The whiners would prefer that the rich folks didn’t show up in Aspen at all, and just mailed their money in. That would be much more equitable and ethical.

But what do rich folks know about equity and ethics anyway? They’re all crooks, dammit it, because they stole their money from the rest of us. Except the Clintons, of course, because they’re Democrats.

Back to the valet service. What if those rich folks get dropped off by a friend or pay a taxi or a butthurt whiner (Can they sit long enough to drive?) to drop them off, rather than using the valet service? Does that transform the drop-off into something equitable and ethical?

By the way, is it inequitable and unethical when the rich folks get to the top of the gondola and buy lunch at the swanky Mountain Club which employs many locals? Or at the expensive restaurants in town? Or when they spend money at local ski shops on pricey jackets? Or on $800/day local ski instructors?

Or on tennis lessons from the mayor? I can see the lesson. “Keep your eye on the ball, you capitalist pig, and how about a bigger tip?”

One has to wonder how these whiners graduated from second grade. Some of my friends have much more money than I do, and I have more than some of my friends do. My friends and I have overcome that “inequity.”

We learned how when we were about 7 years old. Teachers, parents and life taught us that money does not define us or the people around us. We learned that those who tell us otherwise have an agenda that is contrary to our interests. They’re seeking to inflame us for their own personal gain.

Sometime after I was 7 but long before I had money, I learned to ski on cable “beartrap” bindings in an army surplus jacket and denim jeans on a two-slope ski hill with an 8-inch base. Not wanting to miss a single run, for lunch we ate sandwiches from home as we rode the lift.

Now I’m better equipped (though I still don’t use valet parking). But I like to think that if that 13-year-old Glenn encountered today’s old Glenn, neither would be outraged or insulted by the contrast.

Sure, it’s tacky to brandish money like fashion firearms, but does making and spending it render us bad people? Do we have to conceal it from others — except when they ask us for some of it?

My advice to people whose butts hurt because someone made more money than they did, is this: Grow up and get over it, or go make your own.

My advice to politicians who use these children by fanning the flames of their envy, is this: Shame on you.

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