Letter: Housing, wages and business benefits
If you think socialized and subsidized housing is a “liberal” idea, you would be wrong. I will grant you that “bleeding heart liberals” cry over the plight of low-income working people who live too many to a room, have to work several jobs to pay the bills and may not have enough to keep the heat up in winter. Like, say, the former Pan and Fork trailer park.
Fortunately, I arrived in the valley before the construction of the first government-built housing and was able to put enough together to buy a lot and build a place. Of course we went way out in the sticks to an area called Brush Creek.
A number of oddities developed around this new cheap housing that have never really gotten much attention over the years. The college-educated planners and government officials who helped pushed these projects into being were trained to see this housing as a necessary social benefit, and as the kind of project that the private sector would not do. Of course, many of these same people conveniently moved into this housing. With their low government salaries that is all they could afford.
Which brings me now to the main point. Salaries in general, to this day, are low in this valley as compared with the cost of living. Economics 101 tells us why. There are more people looking for work than there are jobs. Because the valley is such an attractive place to live, people are always looking to move here. And people do come, from all over the planet.
Business interests in the valley love this inexhaustible supply of employees because their labor costs stay low and their profits stay high. Property owners love cheap government because their taxes stay low.
So if you are a person working for wages, and are lucky enough to own your own place, keep in mind that the property taxes you pay to build cheap housing is bringing in people who will do your job for less and keep your wages down. You might even lose your job, as did a number of people working for an out-of-state corporation who were just replaced with lower-paid staff.
Low-income housing, therefore, is really about the business community increasing its profits on the government dime. And there you have “capitalism” at its finest.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.