Yesterday I posted about what freedom meant to me. It prompted a comment from an anonymous reader of this blog, and gave me lots more to think about as I enjoyed my day yesterday. It reinforced that we are all entitled to our opinions and the freedom to speak them out loud. It also was a reminder of how things get misinterpreted and how differently we all see things. I wrote this response, and this morning decided I felt it was more of a posting than a comment.
As always, my postings here are my own feelings and opinions and I don't expect anyone to feel the same way that I do. It's another part of that great freedom we enjoy, to voice our opinions and not be in fear of retaliation.
I don't know about real estate prices in Santa Fe these days, but I know that things aren't great here in the Taos area right now. Have prices gone up in the 16 years I've lived here? Absolutely. Has that happened in other communities across the country? I couldn't say for sure, but I'm guessing they have in more than a few, and we're seeing the results of some of that on the news now as the house of cards is starting to fall in.
I can't speak on behalf of the entire community of Taos, but I can say that I know and am aware of more than a few people who are struggling hard to hang on to live here, both as a result of this kind of growth and the current recession/depression. Locals who have owned their properties for generations are struggling with tax rates that increase as others move in (like we did). It's not just here; my son and his wife can't afford to buy a home in the area he grew up in because of this same kind of growth pattern. It's just what happens. The people who settled this country called it manifest destiny. After WWII, it was called progress. Call it whatever you like, like it or not...it's what people have done throughout history...they move.
I think when we visit communities as tourists we tend to be having a great vacation seeing what we want to see. I don't think it's a good idea take a broad stroke and refer to folks as "poverty elite" without really understanding the community.
To own a fancy car certainly has always been a big part of the American dream...it's just not mine. Having lived in an area where things like that seemed to be important, I'm much happier living where they aren't. I'm also guessing the possessions that mean so much to me (my books, rocks found on hikes, and my art supplies, for instance) might mean nothing to someone else, nor would I expect them to.
It's why we're lucky to live in this country...we can have our dreams and speak our minds, whether we do so anonymously or openly, and own it, as I do.