Vail Valley Voices: How do you spell sacrifice? |

Vail Valley Voices: How do you spell sacrifice?

Richard Carnes
Vail, CO, Colorado

Would you accept a pay cut in order to help your co-worker, and good friend, retain their job?

In my limited mind, altruism tends to take a back seat to paying the bills, especially when details, such as reality, are thrown into the mix.

“Exactly how much of a pay cut?” you would ask. “For how long? Aren’t there other choices? Couldn’t somebody who makes a little more take the cut instead, I mean, we’ve known each other a long time, but come on, I’m not really sure he’s that good of a friend. …”

In other words, there is probably a limit to your sacrifice.

To be honest, most around here would never be put in such a predicament, but think about it, what sacrifices are you making right now — today — to help yourself, your family, your community and your country survive our current government-mandated destruction of personal wealth?

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For many it means not going out to eat as often, and when doing so, choosing locations that offer fries instead of frau grois. The restaurant you would normally visit is now hurting, thus the owners, cooks, wait staff and so on down the line.

And what about the server? Are you tipping the same? The trickle down from you tipping less has a direct effect on their life, as well.

For some it means not receiving that anticipated raise and no longer qualifying to purchase that new house or car. For others, it means ordering Keystone in a can instead of Stella in a bottle.

Perspective is sometimes hard to swallow.

Some are holding off on that two-week trip to Mexico, while for others it nixes the week in Moab or the concert weekend in Denver.

For my 18-year-old, it means three blankety-blank’n months of not being able to find a part-time job (even at Wally World) because all of the “way over-qualified” people are being hired first.

Yet while the rest of the nation is dealing with folks losing the home they live in, around here I know of no one, so far, who is in that particular quandary, although they surely must exist.

I do, however, know three locals who are being forced to sell investment property. Each has a similar issue: no renters, meaning no one to pay the mortgage, thus leaving them with no choice but to sell, and probably at a huge loss.

Not exactly on par with being thrown under a bridge with a box, but stressful nonetheless.

So, back to my original question about your best friend co-worker: What if the sacrifice you were being asked to make involved paying more in taxes to help your very best friend keep his house, which is right next door, and they’ve owned it for 10 years, and your kids have grown up together, and you truly are best friends, and so are your wives.

Unless you are in fact a cold-hearted narcissistic bastard (or nodding your head YES right now), there is no easy answer.

I think I’ll pop open a Keystone (in a can) and ponder spell-check for a bit.

Richard Carnes of Edwards writes a column for the Daily. He can be reached at

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