Don’t forget the artists
Want a job and housing in Aspen?
We have 300-plus employees of the city of Aspen (bennies! housing!), but we aren’t teaching our kids to be bureaucrats; we’re teaching them to be chefs and wait staff (no bennies! no housing!).
The alternative to a city job or winning the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority lottery is to be a real estate broker and sell as many 50,000-square-foot mausoleums as possible. Who needs open space? We don’t need no open space. We just need that one view from that one window — and a plastic elk.
I can feel what’s trickling down, and it ain’t quality of life. Want free market and a meritocracy? I say, “Choose the arts.” “The arts don’t pay,” you say. I say, “Bull****.”
Sit through all those credits at the end of a Marvel movie that’s the “below the line” credits the “little people” without the mansion or the stretch. Every one of those people has a job which pays enough for their home and for their kids to go to college. Every. Single. One. (That’s what collective bargaining can do, folks) Do you think Food & Wine or X Games would happen without the airtime? The arts are not just paint.
We certainly have our share of artists who were born and raised here — successful professionals in their fields. They can afford to live here but they don’t work here — they don’t bring their business back home. What would it take to fix that? Just my opinion.