Heading for the Utah Symphony concert on Friday evening, I drove past Pioneer Park and saw all the forlorn tents of the Occupy Salt Lake movement. I parked at the Salt Palace parking lot, which was filled with BMWs, Mercedes and half a dozen or so Rolls-Royces.
To get to Symphony Hall, I walked through the Salt Palace, past a tuxedoed, bejeweled crowd of the town's richest. They were on an actual roped-off red carpet, invitees to Gov. Gary Herbert's glittering fundraising gala where individuals were dropping as much as $25,000 into the kitty. I understand Herbert raised about $1 million that night.
As one of the uninvited, I turned my thoughts to the widening disparity in our country between those who are invited to the "gala" and those who aren't. For most people, the struggle to get by is getting tougher. More and more of us are unemployed, fearful, desperate and discouraged — as symbolized by the pathetic tents in the park. Meanwhile, from the Salt Palace up the street, you can still hear the echo of the laughter.