God-playing gov’t can forfeit salaries | AspenTimes.com

God-playing gov’t can forfeit salaries

In the past week numerous opinions have appeared critical of the imminent closure of Aspen’s restaurants. In weighing these opinions, I have noted a decided “obliviousness” to the priorities at work in the decision.

The closure decision was made at the behest of city and county health officials who, axiomatically, prioritize the medical health of the community. Regrettably, in their alignment of priorities, they seem to have overlooked other priorities, such as placing a roof over one’s head, paying one’s heating bills, and feeding one’s children.

Given the increasing specialization in our society, such an oversight is easy to understand. Doubly so, since the individuals in charge of imposing and enforcing the interdiction will continue to collect their salaries and wages regardless of the efficacy of their action, or its effect on the productive elements of our community.

I therefore offer the following, modest proposal:

For the duration of the interdiction, all salaries and wages paid to county and city officials be suspended.

There are several wise reasons to look favorable on this proposal. These include, but are not limited to the following:

1. Our civil servants so often remind us of how their efforts aid in building “community.” How better to express their interest in the community than by sharing in the pain and sorrow they have imposed on those they purport to serve.

2. As expressed above, the decision to outlaw private businesses was based on a specialized set of priorities. By allowing our city and county officials to experience a different set of priorities we will be empowering them to make less myopic decisions.

I encourage all civically minded readers to consider these proposals and to encourage their implementation at the earliest possible time.

Thoughtfully and egalitarianly …

Douglas A. Peckham


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