Sunday, July 5, 2009

Freedom of speech

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.




10 comments:

Monte McBride said...

I congratulate you on a very thoughtful post!

daruma said...

Oops. The way your post read yesterday,I thought cracked windshields referred to malicious damage - not rocks on the roadway. My bad.
Happy 5th of July.

Sandy & the sheep said...

I second Monte- and my freedom to speak makes me wonder why it is we always assume the worst in people? Or their words? Sad sad.
San

Martie said...

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HollyEQQ said...

Rock on sister girl!
People are struggling all over. And those that aren't are terrified that they might!
BTW, I think the big yellow bird is a fancy car! Compared to my 92 Tercel, you are livin' high on the hog. But hey, I haven't had a car payment in..... yeah, hella long time!
Hugs
Holly

Debra DuBois said...

Thoughtful and well spoken. My husband pointed out the windshield comment as not being understood by the respondent and as far as "poverty elite" goes....'nuff said.

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Martie said...

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Colleen said...

Another test comment from support :)

Chris said...

Wonderfully well said Marti.
On another note your post gave me a good laughing reminder. On one of our visits to Taos/Santa Fe years ago my husband begged me to make our rental car a Cadillac. (Not sure that is spelled right) He really wanted to drive one for once. I like my cars comfortably worn in and hate to be noticed. I caved. He loved driving the car but I spent most of my car time trying to be invisible. People were seeking the stupid car out because it was some new model and stopping to ask us questions about it the whole trip. That car and I felt like oil and water, as did the car and Taos. Guess I'd never make it in Hollywood. :)