on February 18, 2009
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I am currently in Gatlinburg, Tennessee with the family for a few days. I have been wanting to teach my kids to ski and Gatlinburg is a great place for that--cheap lift tickets and equipment rentals. My kids have had a great time and are in love with skiing, so my mission was accomplished even though I did not get to ski myself.
Marla and I go to Utah every year or so to ski and we look forward to taking our kids with us to a real mountain someday (that is if we can find a way to pay for it). But in the meantime, Gatlinburg is just fine.
I saw something on this trip that I do not remember seeing before. Normally, when you rent skis, they give you two poles at the same time, and you return them at the end of the day. If you don't return them, you get charged for them. At this resort, they did not provide poles at the rental counter. Instead, they had a huge selection of poles at the first lift and everyone just took what they needed. In other words, there was no oversight of the poles at all.
Something I noticed immediately was how many ski poles were on the slopes. There were numerous poles underneath the lifts, poles thrown into the trees, and poles just abandoned on the trails. Many of the poles were abused, bent, and broken.
Whoever made the decision to provide unlimited ski poles with no oversight probably had a good reason, but I do not get it. The resort had better have a big budget for ski poles. Some things just do not work because they conflict with the natural way humans act.
And that brings me to Obama's stimulous bill. Throwing unlimited money around with no oversight is going to be a disaster in the long run. Individuals and businesses will find ways to waste money and abuse the system.
And that is a shame...