Clear Creek county is an illusion. It doesn’t really exist. This fantasy was powered by vastly disproportional tax inflows from a Mine and the rare proximity to a major arterial. While tourists keep the little towns breathing, the county is now starving for operating capital, for you see that artificial magic that kept it alive so long is wearing off, much like the exit of a shinny metal did not too long ago. Running the long anticipated deficit that the previous political regimes hoped wouldn’t happen on their watch, our current masters of fate struggle with the usual governmental bloated budgets afforded them by previous demands for molybdenum of all things. In the usual manner of political leanings, increasing taxes is always their emotionally driven solution. However, the remaining tax source, the citizens, are aging and sliding into the “fixed income” category. This is happening globally, completely rearranging social structures as it moves... and that movement is accelerating. Even with the national disconnect of “money” from any resemblance at all to the human calories from which it came, our county finds it cannot just manufacture more of it to cover the gaping holes as does Washington. Yet, even fiat eventually self destructs. Manufactures can’t be bribed with tax breaks nor cheap labor housed. Our county's problems are not isolated as I found others in the same predicament. It seems politics has a pattern to it. It suffers from future blindness. As cycles rule the Universe, human nature must submit to this law as well. Would we have been here without that mine or those shiny metals? Communities begin and end at the whim of the resources around them, no matter what size or age they achieve. Perhaps our little museum towns will go on a while longer but I think the County may all but expire into the subcontracted agreements of its former existence. All things change. It seems the world no longer wants its citizens volunteering to serve. In place it is moving toward the much fewer on-elected, ruling the increasingly reducing many. While our regimes, both local and global, fight for power amongst themselves, we the citizens wonder what will be our fate. Here at home in our little county, we are already taxed and priced out and must do with less each day, finding that elections can no longer change anything.
Mark Kline, Idaho Springs