Grand Bargain and lost opportunities

A parallel to selling art at the DIA.

A neighbor of mine and I are in a friendly argument about how best to pay for college for our children. We both have college degrees, retired and have much of our wealth tied up in physical assets such as real estate, vehicles and some art. He happens to be a collector of old books and I collect antique chess sets. Our homes are mortgaged to the limit and neither of us has liquid assets of any significance. Neither of us want to go further in debt.
He argues that it is not his problem and he is leaving it up to his children to figure out whether they want to go to college and how they are going to pay for it. His justification for not selling his book collection is he collected them so future generations in his family could enjoy reading the “classics” in their original format. If he sold them to pay for their education they would never be able to experience the joy of being so close to these classic writers.

I have a different attitude. The joy my children will receive from owning and using my antique chess sets can never replace the benefits and satisfaction of getting a college education and opening up opportunities for them concerning the improvement of their living standard and an increase in their self esteem throughout their entire life.

The art is owned by the citizens of Detroit. Shouldn't they be allowed to decide what to do with it? If the grand bargain is struck the opportunity will be lost forever without receiving fair value.


  1. I guess the author of this story believes that "it takes a village to raise an idiot." Most so called "troubled students," lack the drive and motivation to perform.


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