As I pointed out in this space last week, if Colorado and Colorado Springs continue their historic growth rates for the next 83 years, in 2100 we'll be a sprawling city of 6 million people in a state of 34 million inhabitants.
That's not a cheerful prospect. Such growth will irrevocably change the city and the state, and there's not much we can do about it, short of seceding from the Union, securing our extensive borders and limiting families to 1.4 children.
Distasteful as it may seem to many, He Whose Name Must Not Be Spoken is the president. If this unfortunate turn of events fills you with dread, anguish and disbelief, it's still only four years.
It could be worse — how'd you like to be drug billionaire El Chapo, looking at life in the slam? Four years? C'mon, we can do that sitting on our hands.
We're prisoners of fate and circumstance, so rather than obsess over the feral billionaires who now run things, let's work on creating a better future for our state and city.
[pullquote-1] I know — you think I'm going to go all sustainability on you. Sure, it makes sense to rip up your lawn and plant a vegetable garden, garage your car and bike it, put up roof solar, turn the thermostat way down in the winter and eschew air conditioning in the summer, and lower your carbon footprint whenever possible. Alas, such behavior will only encourage more people to settle here, thereby negating any local environmental or social benefit.
Our goal: make our city and state unattractive. It won't be easy, but it can be done. Look at Detroit, which managed to lose half its population in a few decades, despite trying its best to retain them.
So here's an eight-step program to make Colorado the lamest state in the nation!
• Immediately enact a radically progressive state income tax, 50 percent on incomes above $300,000. No more doctors, attorneys, successful small businesses or wealthy entrepreneurs. Good riddance to all of you!
• Institute a confiscatory state property tax on second homes. Too bad, Vail, Aspen, Breckenridge, but we need the revenue. And if the richies depart en masse and abandon their luxo homes, we'll have plenty of state-owned affordable housing units.
• Abolish the Colorado Department of Transportation. No more billion-dollar highway maintenance bills. Who needs roads? They're just for tourists and business travel, and we need to cut down on both.
• No more unsightly cell phone towers. We're all going to be a lot poorer, so let's get rid of our phone bills — it'll give us more time to cultivate our vegetable gardens and repair our aging vehicles.
• Support a state-funded genetic engineering initiative to create larger, more vicious and more intelligent mountain lions, wolves and reintroduced grizzly bears. That'll keep hikers, mountain bikers and recreationists out of our treasured wildlands!
• Stop fluoridating our drinking water. Since we won't have any more dentists, that'll give us a toothless, shabby Deliverance vibe.
• Close Denver International Airport, and all other commercial airports. We shouldn't be travel enablers, encouraging potential new residents to check out the state. Colorado needs to be inaccessible, dangerous and inhospitable.
• Finally, don't be nice to visitors and new residents. Work on your menacing glare, carry your sidearm openly and force cars with out-of-state plates off the road.
None of this will be easy, and we'll need help from Washington. Somehow, the president will have to find funds in the federal budget to supplant our lost revenue as we transition from the most to the least desirable state.
So here's a suggestion. The president should immediately pardon Joaquín Guzmán (aka El Chapo), in consideration of the immediate payment of a fine of $2 billion. After all, Guzman is merely the CEO of a successful business enterprise, like Lehman Brothers or Volkswagen — why should he be singled out for such harsh treatment?
The fine would be used to establish the Colorado poverty mitigation fund, which we'll definitely need in the years to come.
Meanwhile, El Chapo would be an amazing director of the Drug Enforcement Agency and/or Chief Wall Builder. Choosing him would be a vital first step in making America ... oh, well.