It takes a lot for me to write a letter to the editor, but the cartoon by Brent Brown in the Dec. 3 Mountain Xpress was the last straw in a long line of economic commentary by people who seem to have trouble with the concept of supply and demand.
If you missed it, the frame has a stereotypical rich couple noting that Asheville is now listed as the city with the most smart people. The wife adds that her waiter and valet have advanced degrees. In the background, a busboy hopes we can become known as a city where educated people can find higher-wage employment.
Things just don’t work that way. Employers hire employees who bring specific skills to a task where there is demand. If those are high-paying jobs that require smart people, smart people figure that out and go there. Saturating a low-demand area with unfocused educational credentials only increases the competition for relatively few positions.
Asheville is a wonderful place for culture, lifestyle and family. It isn’t the smart place to be if you want to get ahead and don’t have specific skills for available opportunities. It is a matter of priorities, and you need the smarts to recognize that.