Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Don't blame the banks

A lot of local grousing recently has centered on the number of banks that have sprung up in Ketchum, many in newer, larger buildings.

"Too many banks," some mutter. "Too many banks on Main Street," say others.

This simple illogic deserves a simple response: Huh?

Let's see. Before the first banks on Main Street were the really attractive, dusty, and sometimes contaminated vacant lots. Before the vacant lots were the really, really attractive gas stations.

Don't blame the banks. The banks are doing what banks do—they're going where the money is, and it's here.

Banks are locating where businesses are allowed to locate in our cities and building buildings with designs allowed by each city's guidelines.

If locals have a beef, it's not with the banks. Their beef is with change.

All the valley's cities were different in the past. But were they better?

If the definition of better involves cities in which businesses closed and workers were laid off half of each year, where streets weren't paved, snow wasn't plowed, buildings were vacant, and just a handful of small, amateur community events occurred each year, then the answer is yes, they were better.

If that's not your definition of a good time or a good place to live and raise a family, then things have come a long way.

It's always tempting to view the past through rose-colored glasses, but it's dangerous to let that view control the future.

Locals should be careful what they wish for because they may get it—much to their horror and dismay.

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