Greed threatens Aspen Area Community Plan
Put together the wise wisdom of Walter Paepcke (Aspen visionary), Auden Schendler (Aspen Skiing Co. executive who works on scale solutions to climate change, including clean-energy development, policy advocacy and activism) and Ward Hauenstein (overall cool, nonjudgmental Aspen City Council person who is willing to look at all solutions to short-term rentals) and this big-little city has got it together to live in peace. Whether we do or not remains to be seen.
Go back to America’s first Gilded Age, way back to the last three decades of the 19th century. The titans of wealth 140-some years ago were ruthless, uninhibited robber barons. Their monopolistic strategies unfairly destroyed their competition, and those strategies are now illegal. They’d leverage a short-term loss of profit to bankrupt competition and then they’d buy up their garage sale assets cheap, and since they eliminated the competition they jacked up their prices. Pool players call it “running the table”; it means to sink all of your balls on the first shot of the game not giving the competing party a chance to even shoot.
They didn’t stop there. Private control of government, corruption, bribes … that’s not how a democracy is supposed to work. Their miserly near starvation wages, their hiring of Pinkerton thugs to harass the few workers willing to ask for a living wage, their appalling selfishness and brazen disregard of others’ rights.
Now we have billionaire-owned (not all worship the evil god Mammon) LLCs and their damn greed suing the city for trying to protect the Aspen Area Community Plan; it’s a mission statement, you know — slow, steady growth, reasonable housing for workers, environmental protection, all the good stuff.
We need a new antitrust act; the Sherman Act is 130 years old.