I’m a capitalist, but it hurts | VailDaily.com

I’m a capitalist, but it hurts

Charlie Owen
Vail CO, Colorado

The concept of capitalism always sounds so appealing until it affects my life negatively. I truly believe that we live in an awesome country and that our capitalistic society ” while not without its flaws and injustices ” allows each of us a better chance to decide our own fates than any other on the planet.

When I moved to the valley over four years ago, I had only enough money in the bank to survive for a couple of months, just in case I couldn’t find a job right away. But I did, and I settled in rather quickly to my new mountain home. I never became a millionaire, nor was that ever my goal. I moved here to experience a way of life that is at once both in tune with nature and still able to provide societal needs such as careers and friendships, and the valley has yet to disappoint me.

I am most thankful that this beautiful area we live in is zoned for only so much construction and destruction of surrounding landscapes. Unfortunately, this makes building space a premium commodity, which makes demand much higher than the supply, which in turn means that average Joes like myself have to start questioning just how badly we want to live here.

Like many others in the valley right now, I find myself at the mercy of the real estate market. Finding a place to live that exists in the realm of my price range is nearly a futile project. Sure, there are options: I could live with five other people I don’t know, or I could move into a tiny, cramped space and leave all my possessions in boxes to save space, or, my personal favorite, couch-surfing until “The Perfect Place” becomes available.

Five years ago, any of the above would have been viable options, but I just turned 30, and the thought of living under anyone else’s conditions but my own sends a shiver down my spine.

And this is where my disdain for capitalism comes into play. I understand that developers and construction companies are only trying to get their slice of the pie, “The American Dream,” whatever one wants to call it, but that does not help me out in my search for said slice of pie. The valley is going through growing pains right now, and it’s just causing me pains. I’ve decided to stick it out, though. There is a bright future for those willing to put in there time here, I firmly believe that. But when will the pay-off come? I look at it like this: as long as I don’t get completely flattened out by the developmental steamroller then I am still better off than a large portion of the country who can’t even find a couch to crash on.

So the search continues, even as rent prices go through the roof, and my paycheck stays the same. If only capitalism cared.

Charlie Owen is a Vail Daily classified sales representative. He can be reached at cowen@vaildaily.com.

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