For whatever warped reasons, I can understand having a tourist trade in areas of extreme cultural heritage or natural beauty. Asheville’s tourist trade, to me, seems contrived. If its drawing power is so weak it needs branding and education and outreach, maybe its people should try to make money another way. Sure, we’ve got a lot of nice, green scenery, we keep getting more subsidized beer, and tourists can watch kids spend a lot of money to masquerade as Third-World bohemians.

Anecdotally, one of my sister’s business associates recently had his car vandalized while visiting the area. You see, when government prefers subsidizing a faux culture to protecting individual rights, criminals can damage property, creating more jobs for repair men and all their suppliers, hairdressers, and shoe shiners; and so on, and so on.