The Bubble

We all live in our own bubbles. We hang out with people who think like us and dress like us and vote like us. People who aspire to the same goals and lifestyles that we aspire to. We hang out with people who shop like we do, and maybe share an interest in the same activities.

These days we can even select where we get our news from, and that news usually reflects our own values.

The widening of the gaps in wealth and income distribution exacerbate our bubble problem, because some bubbles cannot imagine what life is like in other bubbles.

Which brings us to El Paso. The fat cats pulling the City’s strings cannot imagine what life is like for the rest of us. Which is bad, because local government is only responsive to the needs of the fat cats.

But, as bad as that is, it’s not the worst of it.

The El Paso they envision is designed for the rest of the one percent. So it’s doomed to fail.

Because the one percent can live anywhere they want. The can move to La Jolla, or Majorca, or Manhattan. And, as nice as El Paso is, it will be hard to convince the one percent that El Paso deserves a look, despite all the wonderful, unique, entertainment options that you can get here or anywhere else. Like TopGolf, or a Triple A ballpark, or Whole Foods.

And lemme tell you, if those upper-income denizens ever were to move to El Paso, then no one else will. Because no one wants to hear about their Bentleys, or the night they spent tripping on Ecstacy at a disco in Ibiza, or how much money their dad made on his latest hostile takeover. I mean, literally, no one. Not even the other one percenters.

Those one percenters are souless and shallow and boring, and they try to fill their lives up with things.

(No offense.)

And that is the bedrock on which our local government is trying to build our city’s economic development.


  1. Like the plan to build two buildings on the west side. The two buildings will be multiple floors and have a concierge. Plus a view of Juarez (?). Anyway the cheaper condo will be 2 million dollars, the other 3 million.

    First if you earn enough to buy either condo, it’s a stupid investment. Visualize the size and beauty of a ranch for that much or just a large house. Second, is the kind of city that has that many millionaires wanting to live condos ?

    Oh that’s right once the trolley is operating it will be an instant success and the streets(with potholes and invisible traffic lanes) will be swamped tourists. We have computerized trash cans, a super sized screen to fails when people try to locate anything by touching, we have such a beautiful and unique city park( Central Park will lose to us) that tourists will flock to that. Title of cone city will also be a draw. Billion dollar debt with nothing to show, low wages, highest taxes. Maybe we will become a meca for public officials to study on “how not to manage a city”. Hhhhmmm, with the very high hotel tax, maybe not. Maybe they can sleep in the park ? Double length Brio buses with PLENTY of room as it will most likely be the driver, you and maybe another passenager. Missed the Brio bus after walking several blocks to the bus. No problem, there will be a regular size shortly afterwards with plenty of room. Puzzled why we have bike lanes ? The local bicyclists claim that not having them hinders their chance to win the Tour de France. Buy me Mike Jordan sneakers or you ruin my chance to play pro basketball.

    That of El Paso government successes is just a tip of what’s wrong for us but right for our version of Dreamers.

  2. Well, I get Y’all’s point, but you can’t move forward by having a backward thinking.

    1. Yo Leo, it sounds like those after dinner appletinis went down a little TOO smoothly. Actually, the abundance of thoughtfulness and intellectualism that you profoundly opined in the comment section has made me reverse my position entirely! l don’t care if Richard Wright’s feelings are hurt because Leo makes much more sense!

  3. Leo, I don’t get *your* point. Who – in your opinion – is guilty of “backward thinking?” and why would you just say that, without pointing us in the direction where that thought is either leading, or where it came from? I agree, as usual, with Rich. The elected leaders of this city have catered for too long to the few at the ever increasing expense of the many, and that’s no way to run a railroad.

  4. I don’t get why that Developer (Stewarts from Miami?) would want to build in El Paso. Who is going to live in those lovely condo’s? For my money, I’d buy a ranch and a house. Or, a $2-$3 Million dollar house up high on the mountain. But worse yet, is El Paso’s past growth these last few year and future growth prospects.

    The I-35 Corridor….San Antonio to San Marcos to Austin is projected to be the Fastest growing area in the U.S.A And, last year, San Antonio was the fastest growing city, outpacing Phoenix and even Austin. And, people from Austin are moving to San Antonio due to the traffic congestion. Anyone who’s lived there or visited there knows what I mean about “Traffic Issues.” Either way, the developer could make more money–or at least a certainty of success outside El Paso.

    Not that I’m putting my hometown down. But the writing is on the wall (or the side of the Baseball Stadium). El Pasoans literally begged for a Whole Foods, and had a Facebook page requesting one. Guess what? Sales are WAY BELOW expectations. Mark Heinz got fired and the future for Whole Foods in El Paso does not look promising. Let’s just put it this way. The Westsiders are too frugal and the rest of the city can’t afford a Whole Paycheck grocery trip. On top of that, there is no Trader Joes, Total Wine, HEB, and a whole bunch of other stores that you can find in other parts of Texas. Heck, even Albquerque has the above mentioned stores (sans HEB).

    People constantly knock the El Paso Times. The thing is, its the only local paper that can be “semi-objective.” Sorry, El Paso INC. is a constant flattering of the local 1%. And as fluent as I am in Spanish, reading El Diario is exhausting. I need a cold one after reading it from start to finish. The Times, like other newspapers, is headed for extinction in is paper format. Eventually you can get it online as the only option. The Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express News are being merged so that everything can be done out of Houston. Online of course. And the SA Express News just laid off 75 journalists. That’s saying something for the fastest growing city in the USA.

    But, to throw all that development money into expensive high priced condos on the West Side of El Paso? I don’t get it.

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