Memo to the Class Warfare Whiners: Grow Up!

“No fair! Bobby got more!” Anyone with siblings remembers that whine.

It didn’t matter what Bobby did to get more. The point was that Bobby should not get more of anything for any reason.

Fast forward 50 years. Here in Aspen, some people are angry that “Bobby got more” because he owns a downtown penthouse with a hot tub on the roof.

But in their fog of envy and rage, they’ve forgotten about the different choices that Bobby and his siblings made over the past half-century. Continue reading

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Make School Year-Round

American students are lousy compared with students in many other industrialized countries. In a 2013 survey of 64 industrialized countries, American students ranked 30th in math, 23rd in science and 20th in reading.

Comically and sadly, however, American students themselves consistently rate themselves much higher than their foreign counterparts. The one subject where they excel is in self-esteem.

Some argue that the reason for our dismal performance is that we don’t pay teachers enough. But we do in fact pay teachers fairly well in comparison to those countries that are outperforming us. Moreover, the people making that argument also tend to argue that teachers are doing a great job.

So which is it? Are teachers already doing a great job? Or are they not doing a great job, but they would if only we paid them more? Continue reading

Moral Preening for Flea-Bag Hotels

News flash: Aspen has become an expensive place to visit.

We’re voting soon on whether the local government should try to fix that by mandating that Aspen be less expensive for certain visitors.

Here’s what it’s about.

Think back to the old days when we rode the lifts with working-class skiers from, say, Baltimore and Bolivia. Remember that?

Me neither.

But in any event, the local social engineers looking to engineer better Aspenites are tut-tutting that we’re poorer without the diversity (which we’re instructed to treasure) of those impoverished and nonexistent Baltimorean and Bolivian skiers who never came here and still don’t. If their absence doesn’t make you feel deprived, then you’re depraved.

Big problems like this call for big solutions, the tut-tutters say. Government ones.

Here’s their solution: government-mandated fleabag hotels. That phrase isn’t very melodic, so they call it “affordable lodging.” Continue reading