Ego-pumping capitalism at its best

  Dear HCN,I found the latest cover story about gated communities (HCN, 11/11/02: Behind the gate), both amusing and sad. Bob Arrigoni and the other "simple, low-key" Stock Farm residents like him exist in a different reality, and it reinforces my theory that in most cases, the more money people have, the less practical they become.

More alarming is that this scenario appears to be the way of the future, as ultra-wealthy poseurs buy their way into "Western Lifestyles" of gated communities, golf courses, private fishing, and million-dollar "cabins" - it's ego-pumping capitalism at its best.

The pillage and balkanization of the West is well under way, as evidenced in Hamilton, Mont., and many other select spots in the West. I'm merely an "average" American, trying to carve out my "simple, low-key" existence on sub-six-figure annual earnings. Someday, I'd like to have a little parcel of land to live on and take care of, but if elitists like Arrigoni and his ilk are potential "neighbors," I think I'd pass. I'm sure they're nice enough people, but I'd rather live among hard-working common folk than pampered wanna-bes.

Money and greed are king, and this will never change. This "New West" sucks more and more with each passing day.

Mike Huffman Longmont, Colorado

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