McDonald: The social affliction driving us down

A systemic social disease has infected virtually all of Aspen’s electorate and governmental services. It has justified the narrative that more employee housing is needed because the undeserving second-home owner has taken it all.

The reality is corporate greed for profits, market share, cheap labor and deferred on-site employee housing are the causes. Historically, the city has been a willing partner to large-scale developments, with APCHA funding cost shifted to second-home owners through taxation and regulatory taking.

The city has conceded to 1A’s mega development demands: no employee housing on site, deferred housing mitigation and discretionary city authority to extort free market property from a homeowner. Just how much time and money (over one year and $300,000-plus) does it take to get through this process?

What social driving force justifies municipal contradictions of common sense and process? The answer is WEVS — Wealth Envy Victim Syndrome — complemented by greed.

The second-home owner has always been the scapegoat for the dearth of employee housing, never developers. The city has only kind words for the unsated corporate developers whose Friedman-esque mindsets are pushing to expand their market share and profits at any societal cost. These same governmental specific mindsets and rationalizations justifying man’s greed are causal to climate change and the ongoing catastrophic anthropogenic sixth extinction of Earth.

The resultant of Aspen’s municipal history without meaningful voter checks and balances has been a persistent pressure for more city authoritative control exempt from meaningful public reproach or consequence. The city has succeeded. Greed for dollars now champions large scale developments catering to richer tourists, requiring more APCHA indentured servants.

We see a lot of unused space out there. By God’s dominion of Earth and nature, gifted to man, let’s use it up. Hey, if we don’t, someone else will.

Scott and Caroline McDonald