Helping New York businesses is fine, but don’t forget taxpayers

Friday, August 16, 2013
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Helping New York businesses is fine, but don’t forget taxpayers

Gov. Cuomo has been talking about making New York business-friendly and looking at different incentives to attract new companies. My advice to Mr. Cuomo is that he should first look into the way state agencies are currently operating.

I recently had the displeasure of having to deal with state unemployment and the Department of Labor. I tried numerous times to get questions answered to no avail — there is no one to talk to. The toll-freenumber is totally automated, with an option to have the call returned. Great idea, but no one calls back. I tried two days in a row last week, and am still waiting for that callback.

Not all questions can be answered through an automated phone system or on a website. What do folks without a computer do? Being extremely annoyed, I called the state Department of Labor. The person I spoke with put me back through to the same toll-free line.

So I had to call him back and he told me this is the only way to get an answer. I did explain there was no one there to answer my questions and I demanded to speak to a supervisor, so he hung up on me. Now there’s a professional state worker.

Feeling totally out of options, I called Assemblyman Jim Tedisco’s office. The gentleman I spoke with, Chris, was helpful, pleasant and professional, and within an hour I received a phone call from the Labor Department.

I don’t believe state agencies should be allowed to operate in this manner. There should always be someone available to answer questions.

To any company planning on locating to New York to do business, I hope the state agencies you deal with actually provide you with real customer service. Good luck!

Deborah Clayton-Trudeau

Ballston Lake

Truman’s choice to drop bomb defensible

Re Aug. 9 Robert Scheer column, “U.S. guilty of terrorism in Hiroshima”: The column was incorrect, it was not terrorism. That would have made Harry Truman a terrorist.

He reluctantly ordered the dropping [of the bomb] to save lives. Our military had estimated between a half-million and 1 million U.S. casualties, plus the Japanese, if we would invaded Japan the conventional, amphibious way.

Was it more wrong to incinerate Hiroshima than to incinerate Dresden? Both were horrible, along with Pearl Harbor.

Such is war.

George Summersell

Saratoga Springs

Cookson going in circles with same old argument

“There you go again” was Ronald Reagan’s refrain when he was debating Jimmy Carter in 1980, and Carter kept repeating one item over and over.

That is the same thought I had when I read Karen Cookson’s Aug. 11 op-ed: There she goes again. Cookson’s message is we have clean energy and can use it now to avoid fossil fuels. Unfortunately, Cookson has been exaggerating the quantity of clean energy available, repeatedly.

Her main point in this article is that the electric-powered Tesla car gets good mileage and doesn’t use fossil fuel. Yet she admits that electricity to power the Tesla comes from fossil fuels. Contradiction? She also ignores the fact that the Tesla sells for $70,000 to over $90,000 — which is out of the reach for most Americans.

I should not fault Cookson — she is entitled to her diehard opinion. But I do fault the editors of the Opinion section for allowing her to take up so much print with the same old message on clean energy, adding nothing new or relevant.

Don Cazer

Niskayuna

Greed is a given, even among politicians

Re Aug. 3 letter, “Greedy businesses, not government, to blame for the mess we’re in”: Frank DeSantis of Gloversville builds an excellent case for placing the guilt for our corrupt and bankrupt society on greedy businesses. But greedy and dishonest politicians in public office deserve a large share of this guilt as well.

Unfortunately, greed appears to dominate the entire society, right down to food stamp fraud.

In reality, business is America — from the wealthiest corporation to the poorest individual. We are all consumers and we all seek various ways to gain wealth to consume more.

The key for a fair and peaceful economy (supply and demand) is fair government regulation by public officials who are honest and can control their greed. The problem evolved when greedy politicians merged with greedy businesses to enact government intervention in business and suppress government regulation.

Our justice system does not tell us how to live; it tells us what not to do that would violate the rights of others — precisely the difference between intervention and regulation.

Greedy business interests created an artificial person (the corporation), which developed an artificial economy (“Wall Street”), which used an artificial medium of exchange (credit) to upset the delicate micro/macro balance, resulting in a massive debt that has the world on the brink of financial chaos.

Gene Whitney

Niskayuna

Even Warren, McCain agree: rein in banks

Do Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) actually agree on something? It would appear so!

Is it appointing Larry Summers, a man who embodies financial deregulation and the revolving door between Washington and Wall Street, to Federal Reserve chairman? No.

Rather, both are sponsoring a bipartisan financial regulation bill that would reinstate some of the Glass-Steagall Act, which was repealed in the late ‘90s and led to the risky “too big to fail” mega-banks we have today, which only continue to grow and become more powerful!

Further, it would encourage smaller community banks and credit unions to be more accountable to their customers. Warren even has a witty slogan for her bill: “Banking should be boring.”

The senators’ bill should be common sense to our elected officials, yet there will likely be steep opposition to it from both sides of the aisle. Even our own “senator from Wall Street,” Chuck Schumer, whose top nine donors come from the financial banking industry, is likely to vote against financial regulation — as he did to repeal Glass-Steagall. The difference is that today, his voting constituents know the consequences of financial deregulation and the casino gambling with taxpayer dollars it encourages!

Let’s make sure he doesn’t ignore our frustration watching our pensions and savings collapse.

Todd Emerson Bowers

Albany

Perfect compromise struck in Ellis editorial

Re Aug. 11 editorial, “A garage too high, too close”: Your editorial hit the nail on the head.

The Ellis Hospital proposal is to build parking spaces on spec, expecting demand to meet available space.

Your suggestion that the new garage should be built three stories high, as already agreed to by the zoning board, and 15 feet back from the sidewalk, as in the latest proposal from Ellis Hospital, gives both sides of the issue part of what they want.

I say this is a stroke of genius!

G.E. Scott

Schenectady

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comments

August 16, 2013
7:37 a.m.
wmarincic says...

Deborah Clayton-Trudeau, it makes you wonder what all oof those State Workers actually do don't you.

@George Summersell, look at a picture of Hiroshima then and one now. Even better take a look at Detroit then and now.

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