Response to Robert Visel’s letter published Jan. 10, 2017 (link).
Should we really backtrack from universal adult suffrage? We live in 2017, not 1817. Every resident has a stake in this community and contributes to the property tax base in the county either directly or through rent payments. Landlords are free to charge for rent what the market will bear, but if I had a landlord that gave me that kind of attitude, I’d be looking for a new place to live regardless of the result of the election. Rents in Los Alamos are high because people want to live here. That is good for landlords and good for property values. People want to live here in part because of the community’s commitment to education.
With very little exception, every one of us that grew up in this country received a substantial amount of public financial support in our lives including ~13 years of public education, subsidized college education for those that attended (even if you didn’t receive direct support, both public and private universities receive substantial public funding that both directly and indirectly supports the educational mission), recreational facilities, and health programs.
By the time we are adults, we would be 100s of thousands of dollars in debt without that support. There is no way that the taxes our parents paid while we were children covered that. Without those services, we’d all be worse off. When we are asked to contribute to the success of the next generation, sign me up! Anybody who accepts “government hand-outs” then complains when it is his or her turn to pay into the system is the real crybaby. By supporting education we are supporting those who want to improve their employability and their future earning potential. I would hardly call THESE people crybabies.
The rest of the letter is just a bunch of stereotypical garbage about Millennials, college professors, government management, and how things were SO much better in the past. Increasing access to and quality of education is progress, not destroying some mythical, idealistic past. Not everybody remembers the past in such rosy terms and the private sector is just as good at mismanaging money as any government entity.