Carnes: Real priorities a no-brainer

Some weeks it’s hard to prioritize subjects for this page.

Two years ago, this week the world forever changed due to a biological virus known as “COVID-19.”

Two weeks ago, the world forever changed due to a political virus known as “Putin.”

Two days ago, our clocks forever changed due to a ski industry virus known as “Let’s keep the mountain open an extra hour each day, and while we’re at it lets add an extra week to prove how much we love our customers even though we’ve lost the J1s and lack the staff to properly serve the customers we have now.”

So the obvious priority is which time is the “real” time?

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Is it the “Fall back” time or “Spring Forward” time?

I realize this is like debating whether or not Frosted Mini-Wheats are frosted on the top or the bottom, but barring ever finding a scientific answer that we can trust, we must simply assume those making such world-shattering decisions know more than we can ever hope to understand, thus leaving us to accept and move on with our lives.

But I suppose the anniversary of COVID should be the priority, for back in March of 2020 our house of cards economy (which was due for a correction, as the recovery period from late 2009 to early 2020 had been the longest period in history without at least a mild recession) lost a bottom card as the previous administration sadly provided enormous tax cuts for the wealthy, which caused a wave of corporate stock buybacks (completely ignoring fundamentals), combined with the Federal Reserve’s insistence on keeping rates at historically low levels, P/E ratios through the roof and trillion-dollar deficits held aloft by a never-ending supply of freshly printed money all resulted in highly predictable results.

The Chinese economy came to a standstill, forcing factories to shut down as worldwide supply chain shortages began their inevitable domino effect across the entire planet.

Our local ski industry prepared for individual and group cancellations which had negative trickle-down effects across the board in Eagle County. Our hotels, restaurants, bars, retail establishments and pretty much every business suffered untold losses and many will take years to recover, if ever.

We bought Purell by the gallon and toilet paper by the tree, learned to wear masks and avoid one another more than usual, and I discovered the phrase “social distancing” could be rearranged to spell “Dancing Socialist.”

We also lost local legends like Rod Powell and Bob Lazier, among others.

The worldwide supply issues caused our current inflation to start last year and is now twice as bad due to that little thing over in Eastern Europe.

So yeah, I know, the real world demands the whole World War III probability should, without a doubt, be my top priority, but to be perfectly honest I’d rather not think about that if I don’t have to, much less write about it.

With our inevitable direct involvement through NATO, Putin’s use of chemical weapons and the realistic threat of nuclear confrontations, at this rate I’m afraid there’ll be plenty of columns to discuss it in the very near future.

Anyhoo, Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone! (He says while desperately trying to end on a positive note …)


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