It is a three-day Labor Day Weekend. In a tourist town, that means many of us will be working at some point.

A few days ago, Philadelphia Eagle’s quarterback Michael Vick agreed to a six-year, $100 million deal with approximately $40 million guaranteed. The deal will average $16 million in each of the first three years. I bet you had to twist his arm to get him to agree to that salary.
Republican Congressional freshman Steve Southerland (R-Fla.) isn’t making that much and he’s apparently bummed about it. He ran under the Tea Party banner and he said this past week that his $174,000 Congressional salary is not so much, considering the hours a member of the House puts in. Don’t ask about the pension and health care benefits. My heart breaks for Southerland and if the people of Florida re-elect him, they deserve what they get.

According to the website, the estimated household income for Gunnison County in 2009 was $43,350. In Colorado it was $55,430. It is probably less today.

The average teacher salary in the Re1J School District is a little over $40,000.

Dishwashers might make $10 an hour on Elk Avenue, which is slightly more than newspaper people in town.
In the Crested Butte News classified ads this week, there are positions for cooks, front desk people, social workers, accountants and cleaners. I’m not positive, but I doubt any of these positions are paying $16 mil a year or even the paltry $174,000 that makes Mr. Southerland feel like a pauper.

Most of us working in the valley understand we take a hit in the pocketbook to live here. It makes it difficult sometimes. It is more stressful here now than a few years ago when the valley was rolling in it. I hate that aspect.
But sometime this Labor Day weekend (or week), look up from the dish sink or retail counter, teacher’s desk or computer. You may not be pulling in quarterback or Congress money but the view is pretty pricey, the neighbors pretty solid and the weather just about perfect. From that perspective, we make bank.
Take some time to embrace it. It’s not something Michael Vick can buy. Still, to be honest, I wouldn’t mind having that healthcare plan the Congressman from Florida is complaining about, but in the meantime, we should all find time for a bike ride or hike…

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