Dreamers should not settle on mediocrity

By Clyde Davis: Local columnist

In response to a number of reader inquiries, I want to update readers of this column on a story which I submitted several weeks ago.

The story concerned an entrepreneur, whose name happens to be Brice Hoskins, and his struggles with the zoning commission of the town of Silverton, Colo.

Brice is the guy who started the sled shop, making custom built snow sleds.

Responding to a number of reader inquiries asking for updates and info on how they could help, I contacted Brice, who believes that letters to the editor of his town’s paper actually do make an impact. The newspaper, then, is the Silverton Standard, and an updated story can be found at this web address:

http://www.silvertonstandard.com/news.php?id=109

I think this touched a nerve because what seems to be at stake here is more than just one man’s business, important as that is.

I think the larger thread running through this issue is the right of a person to pursue his or her dream, and the unreasonable efforts of shortsighted people to interfere with that, which is something that strikes at the core of our American viewpoint.

Yes, I deliberately use the word American, because I think our Canadian and Mexican neighbors also have that streak pretty strongly embedded in them; the North American Continent has not bred us to be a massive movement of passive sheep.

I’m not an economist — not even someone who had the luxury of taking an economics class in college — but I do feel, ever more strongly, the need to learn more about our economic realities, based in part on my belief that mediocrity should not be rewarded, when practiced by those who are capable of more.

The implication there is that, when rules set up to protect freedom of enterprise are used to intimidate and cancel vision, they become counter productive.

Last week, we were watching Anderson Cooper’s “360” expose of what had happened to some of the stimulus money, and the investigation turned to a state department — I believe in Ohio, or was it Maryland, that had hired a company, with an abysmal record, to do some construction work.

This made no sense at all to me until my wife clarified that state agencies, apparently in any state, are almost completely obligated to give a contract to the lowest bidder. No exceptions, no room for case by case consideration.

Okay, we all know how that can turn out, and if you don’t, just pull up the “360” archives and find the show I’m referring to.

There’s no disagreeing that, a great deal of the time, the low priced option may be the best- or at least, the best one can afford. Not too long ago, I spent my birthday money on a “new” bow (actually, used but new to me.)

Unable or unwilling to afford one of the number of Ben Pearson bows that were available, I settled on a Fred Bear compound. The point is, I did not go the absolute cheapest route and buy some Gmart knockoff brand. I bought the medium priced, but still quality, product.

Our economic system, like all pieces of our government, has been given to us as a gift. Here, as in other areas, “the price of freedom is constant vigilance.”