Letter: Fix the real problem
I am commenting on the Dec. 11 article on page A13 announcing that “Vail Resorts CEO donates $2.8M for behavioral health.” Although it is generous of Rob Katz and his wife, Elana Amsterdam, to donate money to mental and behavioral health in the mountain communities where Vail Resorts operates, I argue that it would be more advantageous to the mountain communities if Vail Resorts paid its employees a living wage. That way, the mental well-being, behaviors, and emotions of those employees wouldn’t be impacted by wondering how one is going to be able to feed themselves and their family on the hourly wages earned from the biggest employer of these ski towns.
In the book, “I’m Right and You’re an Idiot,” the chapter titled, The Self-Regulating Psychopath by Joel Bakan and Noam Chomsky, “Bakan observed that public relations machines have worked hard to repress the true nature of corporations and convey the notion they ‘are just like you and me …warm and fuzzy, like a good neighbor.’ Massive amounts of money have been poured into efforts to paint a caring human public face on corporations, to present them as benevolent servants of humanity.”
It makes me wonder how much money this couple earns in order to be able to afford to donate this amount of money two years in a row. I realize that corporations are mandated to make profits for shareholders, but at what expense to the mental, physical and emotional well-being of their employees? Wouldn’t it be prudent of Vail Resorts to pay its employees a living wage and see if that approach reduces the need for mental health services? Fix the real problem, Rob Katz.