Most New Yorkers would agree that poverty and inequality are bad, and the data confirms that both are far above average in New York City. Advocates for the poor report this constantly. Their solution: more money for their organizations, and more places for the poor to live.
As I wrote here, poverty and inequality may be explained by economic and social conditions and public policy at the national level. At the local level, however, the level of poverty is primarily a product of migration: who moves in (or is kept out), who moves out (or is pushed out), who is born and who dies off. Local changes in the poverty rate may have nothing to do with whether individuals are getting richer or poorer whatsoever. Even if the city succeeded in helping every poor person within its borders to advance out of poverty, its poverty rate would not go down if those formerly poor people moved out and were replaced by new poor people seeking to move up. When people advocate for more low-income housing in New York City, they are advocating for the opportunity for more low-income people to live here, and thus a higher poverty rate. Places with low poverty rates are generally affluent suburban jurisdictions that seek to exclude the poor, through zoning rules that keep the price of housing high (more on that in future essays). Thus, the city’s high poverty rate is an inevitable by product of its accessibility to the poor, something that is in other ways desirable.
Does anyone know any details about the alleged Tish James scandal that's breaking? I heard third-hand that a radio station announced something about Councilmember James being in trouble over a trip to Jamaica.
MUST TO AVOID:
Village Voice: But, What Have You Done For Me Lately? (Worthless Rag ’06). Those who dismiss paranormal phenomena be on notice. During last week’s sixth diss of Chris Owens I took the opportunity to use the release of Owens’ new song as the occasion for a loving parody of writer Robert Christgau. While the Dean of New York political bloggers oft times cites Michael Kinsley as the seminal influence upon his writing, the truth is the Dean of Rock Crits is his secret hero. And though the influence is sometimes hard to spot - the soul of brevity influencing the king of verbal diarrhea- (but then again, see Christgau’s endless essays on the Annual Pazz and Jop Product Poll), the plentiful puns, cultural reference, piles of facts upon facts, and inside jokes had to come from somewhere, right? Then last week, the Voice fired the Dean while an unknowing Gate was channeling his spirit for fun and spite. Is this a Celestine Prophecy moment, or what? Is Hentoff next? Well, every cloud may indeed have its silver lining, but this is the most disgraceful act committed by a New York weekly not owned by Ed Weintrob since the New York Press wimped out on the cartoons. E-
"You are as much a resource as google"
The subject of judicial selection traditionally draws a lot of hew and cry, but little passion. The first piece I ever did on Room 8 was about Judicial selection, and drew exactly zero comments, despite the fact it was written to offend the delicate sensibilities of nearly everyone (I’ll try to minimize repetition with the ground covered there).
Here's a little informal poll:
Which is more pathetic?I'm not talking about politics, i.e., would Republicans vote for a moderate New York governor (no). Or whom do you agree with more. I am talking about each of these guys personally, and their résumés and accomplishments. From that standpoint, which one is a bigger loser? The choice might be obvious, but in any case, here's my analysis.a) John running for president in '08; or
Note: This is the second post in a series about Charles A. Gargano, President of the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) and Vice-Chairman of the New York-New Jersey Port Authority. The first post is here.
"AUGUST 27, 2006 / NEW YORK - Senators Jeffrey D. Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) and Martin Connor (D-Brooklyn/Manhattan), today proposed legislation that would modify existing law to require merchants who sell alcohol or tobacco products to use advanced ID scanner systems to validate driver licenses and non-driver ID cards presented as proof of the buyers legal age. The original law, which was written and introduced by Senator Klein in 1999, encouraged the use of the scanning devices, however did not require them. The new legislation will make the scanning devices mandatory, and make it easier for merchants to identify counterfeit IDs - thus reducing the occurrence of both underage drinking and tobacco sales to minors...
NY1 ("the Al Sharpton Channel") must have an ombudsman. Yes, I've said this before here. Yes, Al Sharpton was on "Inside City Hall" again last night, offering the same insights we've already heard 50 times this year.
It's a disgrace that NY1 broadcast a McFarland-Spencer U.S. Senate debate, but not a Tasini-Clinton debate. The public lost out.
I wrote to Tasini--at least he got a NY1 response! I just received this e-mail from a Tasini staffer:
I had to call them many, many times before I finally got an answer from them, and you know how that turned out. The interesting thing is that they are a subsidiary of Time Warner, which has donated $100,000 to Hillary Clinton.
Gawker has been talking about this (but I don't link to outside websites as a rule-- it takes you away from all the other excitement going on here.)
chrisowens.com is apparently some other guy named Chris Owens. Gawker seems to think Chris Owens, the candidate, has a lot of time on his hands and has recently been on a photo essay assignment all over the freakin' world, including Austrailia.
The alleged big story this morning is that perennial losing candidate Charlie King is again dropping out and endorsing Andrew Cuomo.
Since nobody he hasn't bought lunch for was supporting King, the story isn't that interesting.
Except for the reason that Charlie gave for his decision according to the NY Times blog -
“I am doing this primarily because I am interested in unifying the Democratic Party at a time when we will face a strong Republican challenge,” he said.
Huh? Strong Republican challenge? Doesn't Charlie read the papers?
This is my penultimate “Grapevine” column, as I tie up loose ends here on Room Eight; and as you know, I try to bring you the stories and speculation that you won’t see, read, hear or find, in the mainstream media. So here goes an abbreviated version.
In the 11th Congressional race I took only slight ragging for endorsing Chris Owens. Some Caribbean-Americans thought that I could have cut Yvette Clarke some slack, after the story broke about her not having a B.A. degree, and also not graduating from Oberlin College. I had to explain that as an educator I couldn’t take that stand, since it would have been contradictory to my general educational objectives and philosophical viewpoint. I also had to explain that if anyone working in the public or private sector, had been caught embellishing their college records, fudging on their qualifications, or lying about their true credentials, that such a person would have deservedly been relieved of their position, and/or at least disciplined in some way, shape or form.
"The Dean, and the premier source of legitimate information"
As a public service to the perplexed I am providing links to the posts of mine most relevant to each of the contested races in this year’s primary. I’ve also written something resembling commentary concerning each of those races I’ve not already given any attention on Room 8 (although some comments are adapted from posts I’ve made elsewhere). This article is intended to be comprehensive, and covers every race for public office where a contested primary is taking place in the City of New York (as per the Board of Elections Website on September 1, 2006).
The Manhattan Institute, the Public Policy Institute, and the New York Post continually moan about the extent to which New York State’s economy and population grow more slowly than the national average. The reason, they assert, is because New York’s state and local taxes are high, and the solution is to cut taxes on people like themselves until they are near or below the national average. Since New York has more pension obligations and debts than the national average, and the federal government covers a lower share of Medicaid and social services costs here, this would require spending on public services and benefits that were much lower than the national average. In other words, all public services in the state, or at least those outside certain affluent suburbs, would have to be funded like New York City’s schools.
I work in Brooklyn and people in politics have been giving me info that hasn't been making the papers... I thought I'd blog the hell out of them...
Hakeem, Carl, and Tish James?
The tabloid daily papers have been working on a story which I will break here instead.
Letitia James has lent out her Deputy Chief of Staff to Hakeem Jeffries and Carl Andrews to help on their respective campaigns... while on city time and the city dime. Unethical? Illegal?? Let us hear it in the comments section...
Jesse Hamilton and Chris Owens
Jesse Hamilton, running for the Assembly in the 43rd, who unendorsed David Yassky in Brooklyn's 11th CD, has been out campaigning with Chris Owens. Speaking of Senator, I mean, Congre-- I mean, Councilman Yassky ...
Happy Labor Day. I began the day looking through the news, and seeing the usual round of Labor Day stories about the New York economy. There is no doubt New York State’s economy is not the strongest in the country. There is no doubt there are people in this state with economic problems. And there is no doubt that bad state and local government policies play a role in creating those problems.
And yet, hearing what is said in the media, by interest groups, and by elected and would-be elected officials, I find that the state’s problems are generally vastly exaggerated and misdiagnosed. Some of the purported problems are inherent conditions which cannot be remedied; others are the flip side of good things New Yorkers would be loath to give up. Some of the exaggerated problems are little more than a disingenuous excuse for more public money for interests that aren’t necessarily the most in need – a plea for the continuation, or even expansion, of policies that were bad to begin with. Meanwhile the state’s actual economic problems, as I see them, are generally not on the state government agenda, mainly because there isn’t an organized group giving campaign contributions that is interested in them. I’ll discuss the real problems, and my suggested solutions, in later essays (probably next week). First, however, I’ll go over what I see as phony or exaggerated problems: slow job and population growth in New York City, poverty and income inequality in New York City, the high cost of living in the Downstate Suburbs, and job losses and decline in Upstate New York.
In part one of this column, I told you about residency as a way by which incumbents eliminate challengers. I also told you about the residency challenge of incumbent assembly member Noah (Nick) Perry (58thAD), against his businessman challenger Wellington Sharpe. I will get to that a bit later on. So far this year there have been quite a few casualties going the “residency” route. Let me examine some of them.
In the 55th AD in Brooklyn, Caribbean-American challenger Royston Antoine (Uncle Roy) was eliminated based on residency. In a previous “Grapevine” column of mine, I mentioned that an insurgent was running from an address outside the district; he was the insurgent. Also going down with Uncle Roy was his co-runner (Parker), who was on the ticket as male-leader. Believe me when I tell you that I tried to alert them to the problem and to the ramifications; all to no avail. I also apprised them of their options. When people refuse to take advice in this game, they pay big prices. You can ask Saquan Jones about this. He tried to run in the 43rd AD, but really didn’t understand what was being said to him about the pitfalls. He too was knocked off the ballot (signatures). Hopefully he learned and stays in the mix.