Get informed about what’s happening
I talked with friends recently about politics, unusual since we don’t agree. One issue discussed by a former vice-president of an international company was the stock market. He was happy with the level of the stock market and, therefore, happy with the president.
Another friend mentioned that not everyone had money in the market. My first friend said they might not know they do, but their pension is probably invested in the market. The second friend said many people no longer have pensions.
A corporation files for bankruptcy and there go peoples’ pensions. First friend spoke about the nearly full employment numbers. Second friend mentioned that many of the new jobs were service jobs that do not pay a living wage, which is why people have more than one job and have no pensions.
Just as people have different views about the financial health of the country, people have differing opinions about impeachment.
If you don’t believe America should exemplify the rule of law, support our allies and shine a light into the world, then maybe you don’t care about the sessions. However, if you believe that wealthy and powerful America must be a force for good, you probably found the suggestion that our president has bypassed trained, loyal staffers to be represented by Rudy Giuliani in working with a critical ally, both astonishing and terrifying.
Asking for personal favors, not national favors. Pay attention. The impeachment outcomes will affect our country’s future and influence our dealings with the world. Be informed.
Set weight limits to limit truck traffic
The recent Gazette article regarding the Glenridge Road bridge hits notes that commercial GPS systems tell drivers where there are roads that have weight limits. But the municipality has to set a weight limit on the street for it to be flagged.
The residents of Dean and McClellan streets in Niskayuna have been pleading to officials for years to place limits, but officials at both the town and county have refused. So tractor-trailers, tour buses and cement trucks continue to rumble through our neighborhood, putting pedestrians at risk and degrading the road at a much faster rate.
This speed, high volume and truck traffic is a chronic townwide problem, and more needs to be done to address it.
Speed signs were installed last summer. And yes, they help, but only in the area where they are seen. The village of Colonie had its speed problem solved overnight with speed bumps. Why can’t we?
Balltown Road is a congested mess and is one of the main reasons why traffic is spilling into our neighborhood. Town and county officials need to follow Sen. Jim Tedesco’s and Supervisor Chris Koetzle’s lead and advocate to the state to address this.
This problem is not going to go away on its own, and any traffic engineer will tell you when you mix speed, high volume and truck traffic with pedestrian traffic, you have a recipe for a disaster. But if officials wait until after someone dies to address these problems, they are too late.
Attempting a crime is against the law
I got my best laugh of the day, when I heard a Fox News person say that Trump did not commit a crime. “The Constitution does not mention attempted bribery” Dur. It doesn’t mention attempted murder or attempted robbery, either. Tell that to all the prisoners serving 10 years or more for attempt.
Entitled teachers should stick to jobs
Having worked as a school business administrator over my career, I have seen so much of an entitlement mentality by teachers and their union.
You have a contract and the administration is following it. Let the administrators do their jobs and teachers teach. Physical education classes are important, but prep time is minimal compared to most other subjects. Contractually, the administration has every right to require what they are presently.
Not all teachers stay great at their jobs, and many develop a poor attitude later, especially after receiving tenure. The cost of getting rid of a bad teacher, even if they do something incredibly wrong, is well over $300,000.
And that is taxpayer money we are talking about. That is why some feel they are entitled and untouchable. I don’t believe in tenure. No other career offers this type of protection. Niskayuna is fortunate to have so many excellent teachers. The district performs extremely well, and my children benefited greatly from graduating from here.
My experience has taught me that some teachers in school districts often have the mentality and goal to do as little as possible while receiving the most money and benefits possible.
So here we have just another example of just that. The president of the teacher’s union talks about what should have happened during negotiations, but she was totally part of these negotiations.
Would have-could have-should have syndrome. Just teach already and stop appearing to be big whiny babies.
Upstate not getting the help it needs
John Cropley’s Nov. 26 article on the per capita income was interesting. This letter offers additional commentary on the data he reported. I annualized the population and income change over the 20-year period. That provides numbers that are more relatable to things like school tax increases, consumer price index, etc. On an annual basis, incomes have increased from 4.1 percent for Schoharie County to 6.5 percent for Saratoga County. Saratoga County is an outlier in many respects. I do not believe it’s much higher-than-average income growth can be attributed to 3,000 well-paid employees. That is fewer than 2 percent of the total population of the county. Saratoga is the only county that increased both population and income at a rate greater than New York state as a whole.
In fact population growth rivaled the overall U.S. number. Without Saratoga County the data yields a population growth of 2.8 percent and an income growth of 4.6 percent.
So what is it about Saratoga County? The county has been known to have a lower tax burden. Communities in Fulton and Montgomery counties have made the news recently with their difficulties in funding schools. Given that these counties have lost population and have seen the lowest increase in income, it shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Many state and federal representatives have pledged to improve the economic situation of upstate New York. Except for Saratoga County, the statistics say they failed. Perhaps our representatives will offer their assessment of the statistics.
Trump tax cut most help to corporations
When you do your taxes next year, I think it might be a good idea to consider what corporations did with their tax cut.
Trump said it was a “middle class cut,” but the truth is that FedEx paid $1.5 billion in taxes in 2017. In 2018, under the effective tax rate in the next year, it paid nothing. The effective tax rate for FedEx has gone from 34 percent to less than 0 percent. Read the business section of the Nov. 29 issue of The Week to verify my numbers. How will you explain this to your grandchildren? (1,000 million billion dollars in deficit spending this year alone.) What did FedEx do with the money? It bought $2 million in FedEx stock, proving one more time that supply side economics doesn’t work.
FDR said, “The test of our progress is not whether we add to the abundance of those who have much, it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”