I exited college during the severe recession of the early 1980s, making graduate school seem attractive, and then exited graduate school during the housing bubble of the late 1980s. Having had a housing markets class in graduate school, realizing the bubble (like this one) would burst, but unsure how long it would take, my wife and I had a plan. We would live as cheaply as possible, save our money, and then move to a metro area in reasonably-priced Upstate New York, where we had attended college and actually liked the cool summers, lovely falls, and snowy winters (we won’t talk about March, April, and May). For a variety of reasons – our increasing ties to the city and the end of the bubble here included – it never happened. But one factor was we found that none of the Upstate metro areas had a large and diverse enough labor market to allow us to have careers. Perhaps we could get a job, but it might be the job, and it would be very difficult to get another one without moving. In other words we didn’t move to Upstate New York, in part, because none of the Upstate Metro areas, by itself, is a significant place anymore. That is a problem Upstate will have to overcome.
Let’s start out by saying that this election is nothing like 1994 or any other wave mid-term election, whether or not it has been nationalized by events or issues. In reality, to think of ’94 as a wave caused by a couple of bad years for the Clinton presidency combined with a revolution involving a shift of ideology in the electorate to a more conservative agenda is too simple.
Those two factors were a part of the reason so many seats changed sides, but reapportionment of district lines and party organization were more responsible for making the win so big; and those later two facts are making it hard for the Democrats to repeat the Republican success in this year’s election. It also exposes a continuing problem for the Democrats.
Because of all sorts of technical difficulties (pls excuse our mess; we're upgrading the site), we present you only half of today's scheduled LunchBox performance - in the raw and uncut.
Vanderhoef proposes sales tax hike for 2007
By SARAH NETTER THE JOURNAL NEWS
You can read all about it, here.
via the Examiner
"We have not had a delegation that has been as organized as the delegations of other states in focusing on what we need to bring back for New York," said Spitzer. "We have to do a lot better at getting our fair share from Washington."
On September 26, 2006, I became the first prominent partisan NY Democratic blogger to declare he could not vote for Alan Hevesi’s re-election. This was two days before Rock Hackshaw, who given his September 18 endorsement of Jeanine Pirro, is obviously somewhat less driven than I am by rigid standards of ideology (and given that he still supports Pirro, is also seemingly somewhat less driven by rigid standards of morality, at least on subjects other than same-sex marriage)[OK Wonk, you owe me dinner].
1) Who is Adam Green and where did he come from? I've been very amused by the LunchBox and look forward to it each day. But, I repeat, who is he and where did he come from? Was he lurking on the blogs since the Politicker was the only game in town, only to recently reveal himself? Is he related to John Stewart? Does he think maybe it's time for a haircut? Is he really a computer generated character, a 21st Century Max Headroom if you will, created by Gur? Hmmm, maybe he's the elusive Gatemouth? I must know! (and not just cuz I have a little crush going on).
How does this sound for an economic development slogan: “Upstate New York, we’re just like everyplace else, except we’re older, we’re colder, we have lots of toxic contamination left over from the industrial era, we have high taxes not for services but to pay for the debts and pensions of the past, and we are highly unionized and expect higher pay and more restrictive work rules than other parts of the country.” Well, that’s the truth isn’t it? It isn’t the whole truth, not by a long shot. But if Upstate New York continues position itself in the economy based on being “just like everyplace else,” it is the only truth that matters.
Perhaps the only underreported byproduct of John Spencer’s ruminations on Hillary Clinton’s alleged physical transformation is that it opened a door for the soon-to-be two-term Senator to act in a way rarely seen since she blew through upstate on her Senate “listening tour” in 2000 and captured a supposedly impossible chunk of votes from north of New York City – she seemed, well, real.
There is little doubt that the former first lady is wildly popular throughout the state and will win re-election be a healthy margin in two weeks. But if one complaint consistently crops up from the barrooms of Buffalo to the steakhouses of Staten Island, it’s that nothing comes out of her mouth until it’s been polled, mulled and triangulated to death.
What's gotten into George Soros? Why does this holocaust survivor seemingly hate Jews, hate Israel, and hate America?
We all know about Soros' famed hatred of George W. Bush. But how many know that he provided money for the legal defense of Lynne Stewart? Lynne Stewart, the woman who received 28 months for treasonous acts?
Soros also supports the Human Rights Watch. (See my prior posts on that.)
This is from Hillel Halkin's "Tsuris From Soros" in today's New York Sun:
Before we left New York City, my wife suggested that we take one of those $50, hop-on/hop-off bus tours. I could spot the tour guide's errors for a mere $100! I declined. [Years ago, I did give my "Big Apple" work to Apple Tours--for free.]
Not to be missed is Douglas Feiden's Sunday Daily News article, "Tall Tales & Ticket Sales: Tourists pay big, but get sham history." Central Park is biggest than Liechtenstein? All the city's guns are stored in the Arsenal in Central Park? Irish immigrants formed the NYPD after they built Central Park? Central Park workers are required to sleep in the park 10 days a year? Edna St. Vincent Millay wrote the poem on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty? Bad history, all of that!
On LunchBox today, host Adam Green on: Alan Hevesi, Chris Callaghan, Eliot Spitzer, Andrew Cuomo, Jeannine Pirro, Scott Sala, Urban Elephants, Paul Robeson, Jr. and more...
While Republicans lack all sorts of moral authority on matters of scandal, the extent to which New York Democrats have so wrongly played the Hevesi card is astonishing.
Unlike scandals of past, Hevesi provided Democrats a clear opportunity to show the world that they actually understand right from wrong. He did this by confessing to his own wrongdoings, at least $83,000 worth, and that should have been the end of it!
But no. In what seems a concerted effort to run out the clock on this election, Democrats would rather let all sorts of backroom "when should Hevesi resign" -processes play out first then take Alan Hevesi at his confession now.
THOUGHTS ON THE SEPTEMBER 12, 2006 PRIMARY ELECTION
The September 12, 2006 Democratic Primary was a masquerade carried out by the Democratic Party machine in collusion with the mass media. The nominating and electoral processes were rigged so that no independent candidates who represented the people's interests could have a fair chance of getting elected. The issues of paramount interest to minority communities were deliberately submerged (the Atlantic Yards development proposal, the war in Iraq, minimum wage, single-payer universal health care, repeal of the Bush tax cuts, the export of jobs, immigration, the impeachment of President Bush),and the machine candidates were careful not to call attention to them.
What would the change in fiscal structures and priorities I have outlined thus far mean for the economy of the one part of the state whose economy people talk about: Upstate New York? It would mean the ability to have a much lower cost structure, provided Upstate was willing to live with lower public expenditures, by localizing decisions about revenues and expenditures on the margin. Upstate could choose to go on spending more if it wanted, but without draining Downstate to pay for it.
Consider the school aid formula I suggested. It would allow Upstate New York – everyone in every part of it – to have a national average level of public school expenditures per student with little or no local tax burden. Zip. Nothing. And, since incomes and spending are higher Downstate (whether that buys a higher quality of life is an open question), a substantial share of the state income and sales taxes used to fund that education Upstate would be collected outside the region, in Downstate New York. Meaning an average level of spending would cost Upstate a below-average level of state and local taxes. Even if spending were increased to 25% more than the national average, state taxes would still cover 80% the total, keeping local property taxes low.