Granted Hayek has been dead since 1992 but seriously he’s in town right now! Ever read his book “The Road to Serfdom”? It’s were the concept of “cost” really made sense to me. The famous playwright David Mamet wrote in his outstanding book “The Secret Knowledge“, “My revelation came upon reading Friedrich Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom… there is a cost toeverything, that nothing is without cost, and that energy spent on A cannot be spent on B, and that this is the meaning of cost—it represents the renunciation of other employments of the money. He wrote that there are no solutions; there are only tradeoffs—money spent on more crossing guards cannot be spent on books. Both are necessary, a choice must be made, and that this is the Tragic view of life.” So what does this have to do with Lake Tahoe. Oh the bliss to live in a environmental wonderland. The bliss gets even better when it comes into conflict with the economic interest that brings people to town (hint-hin,t the bring money… and spend it here – which puts money in the pocket of business owners and lets them hire people who live in town). Hence the mess with the fireworks show. Now granted the number of people who were ticked off by the flotsam that washed ashore (unexploded in some cases, but waterlogged so not to worry) is small. But as good environmental stewards lets take it for what it is… a Lake pollutant that ought to be addressed… right? Well I can just hear some you sneer, “come on now! that’s going overboard!, I mean give me a break! Lets be reasonable!!! It’s the 4th of July, and business depends on things like the Fireworks!” Reasonable might seem like the key word here but I’d argue that it is not. The key word is “cost”. If you want to take things like Lake clarity seriously… it comes at a cost. It may cost things like Fireworks. In life we’d like to (and often yell and scream that we want and deserve it all) but like free lunches and sending people to the moon. You can’t.
As fun as it is to sit and watch the fight… It’s a good opportunity to reflect on our own lives. We can’t have it all either. We have to make choices and in saying ‘yes’ to one thing always means saying ‘no’ somewhere else. The wise person recognizes this and it spares them a lot of unnecessary whining.