Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Saturday, July 3

PHOTOGRAPHER:

Greed is the enemy of strong economy

Regarding Vince Alescio’s June 20 letter (“Wealthy contribute to economic vitality”), the dictionary defines greed as “a selfish and excessive desire for more of something (as money) than is needed.”
Your greedy entrepreneurs contribute nothing to the greater welfare of society or the promotion of free enterprise as a viable economic system.
They are the ones that give capitalism a bad name. A true businessperson cares about the welfare of his employees, and the quality of his product.
Donald Trump was never a successful businessman. Bankrupt six times, he stiffed countless contractors and tradesmen who built his buildings. He skated out on his taxes and his obligation to serve his country. He’s a conman still promoting his “Big Lie.”
Every economic system has its advantages and disadvantages.
Capitalism gave us the opioid crisis and the financial collapse of 2008, with its subsequent bailout. Nobody had a problem with socialism then. Greed poisons the soul. It destroys families, businesses and those who indulge it.
Such people are never content.
Would you call Donald a happy person? Is this the kind of man you want your children to emulate? Amazon may employ 1.6 million people, but they have an employee turnover rate of 150%.
Those people don’t work for Jeff Bezos. They work for a computer algorithm, it’s dehumanizing. All work should have some respect and dignity associated with it, even the lowest most essential jobs.
As we have seen throughout this pandemic, essential workers are the backbone of a functioning economy.
Greed is the enemy of that.
Frank DeSantis
Gloversville

 

 

Progressive income tax needed in U.S.

I often hear conservatives asking if we have the money for the ambitious infrastructure programs Biden and progressive Democrats favor.
That is the wrong question.
We should be asking if we have the human capital and natural resources to meet the goals of hard infrastructure programs such as road, bridge and public water supply repairs and upgrades.
And do we have the resources to provide improvements in human infrastructure, such as publicly supported childcare and pre-school for working families?
We would be a lot closer to that goal if we had a real progressive income tax and eliminated the loopholes that allow men like Bezos, Buffet and Trump to get away with paying little or no federal income taxes.
The question I ask is: What is more important: safe bridges, roads, air and preventing physical and mental harm to our children, or enabling Bezos to control so much of our nation’s resources that he can rocket into outer space for a thrill ride?
Anthony J. Santo
Rotterdam

Barber shows his artistry in photos

Big fan of Gazette photographer Peter Barber here.
His June 23 photo (“From the oven”) of the Bountiful Bread worker removing bread from the oven is just flat-out delightful.
The movement of the worker, the position of his arms and the intensity of his gaze compose a beautiful bit of choreography, reminding me of “The Sower,” a painting by French painter Millet.
The Dutch master painters are here, too.
Think of similar movement in Brueghel’s paintings of peasants at work and play.
And sure enough, there is a window at the left, bathing bread and baker in Vermeer light.
Just gorgeous!
Sandra Flint
Scotia

 

Great job to all on Spa High graduation

I wish to publicly thank the Saratoga Springs High School and district staff along with the SPAC personnel for making the graduation on June 25 such a success.
SPAC looked phenomenal and ready for the summer. The ability for the district to make this ceremony a reality was a dream come true.
The audio and video complements in-house were appreciated by those in attendance. But the professional grade livestream and production was enjoyed by family and friends far and wide. I hope that this digital complement to the ceremony will be here to stay. It was an excellent use of resources enjoyed by all.
Great job SSHS. You won the day!
Darren Drabek
Wilton

Town of Niskayuna lacking in leadership

In his June 28 letter (“Major changes are needed in Niskayuna”) Stephen Benton pointed out there are too many issues in the town citing his concerns. I have for weeks stated that the lack of leadership is apparent with the mismanagement of personnel and budgetary issues.
The latest Wall fiasco is just another example.
The Gazette printed articles about Police Chief Fran Wall and an article regarding the hiring of a clerk for the department. This comes on the heels of Wall’s recent resignation letter citing the lack of a secretary as one reason for resigning.
A week after the resignation, the town hired a clerk for the department while the supervisor stated this was not a coincidence. Really?
Even if this was not a coincidence, the optics are very bad. The town hired a secretary for the comptroller. The supervisor has a secretary and a deputy supervisor, but the first WOMAN police chief does not have one despite that the other chiefs had secretaries.
Her resignation letter was called incendiary to deflect from a workplace violence investigation.
Another town investigation was conducted, but no beneficial town policies. The supervisor was surprised by Wall’s letter. How could this be? They are both housed on the same floor.
Why is the police department being decimated? Don’t the residents deserve better? Didn’t Fran Wall, who served our town as a police officer for 30-plus years, deserve better? Why all the town drama?
My answer is a lack of leadership in town government.
Linda Rizzo
Niskayuna

End foreign aid, put U.S. interests first

If your child is playing in the park with another child and both fall and get hurt badly, who do you run to first?
In the 60’s, the civil rights problem was horrific. Rather than try to help with that problem, we’re in Vietnnam fighting a war for some strangers. No wonder there was much protest at home. The civil rights problem is still as bad this year.
On top of that we’re dealing with the immigrant situation, gun violence and homelessness. It’ll be costly to attempt to remedy.
Instead of using all our resources here at home, we continue to send billions overseas to once again help strangers. The funny part is most of those people still hate us.
All foreign aid has to stop. It’s unfortunate about their problems but why must we continue to be our “brothers’ keepers.” We can also increase our nuclear weapons warehouse. Any country should know that we have the capability to wipe them from the face of the Earth if necessary. It’s important to get our house in order before we should attempt to aid another house. Civil unrest isn’t out of the question.
Great civilizations crumble from within. We’re headed that way.
Pete Pidgeon
Scotia

Congress needs to get control over NSA

A whistleblower has come forward employed by NSA to reveal the NSA is spying on Tucker Carlson, FOX. This is not unique. This is the same NSA that did not see 9/11 coming.
In 1980, Solidarity was formed in Poland, the tip of the spear for Polish freedom from Soviet domination. America (NSA) was pro-Solidarity.
I was a frequent ‘flyer’ in Polish-American newspapers with an English edition. I was appreciated in a particular paper located in America’s heartland for my defense of Solidarity.
I received a letter from a book dealer in Alexandria, Va., commending me for an upcoming article. This was pre-internet for me. I always appreciate a compliment, but wonder how he knew of this sense the paper had not gone into print yet. I wrote to the man and asked him how he knew. The answer, “My wife works at the NSA.”
With 17 intelligence agencies in existence in the United States, imagine the spying going on in the United States. The spying on us is not benign.
I don’t know if the man’s wife was a custodial engineer at the NSA or sitting at the right hand of the president. “What difference does it make?”
Fear is a gateway to wisdom. Fear the government. Hate the sin and not the sinner.
Only Congress can correct miscreant behavior of the NSA. Don’t hold your breath.
Edmond Day
Rotterdam

Left, media ignoring American prosperity

Listen to the left and you’d think we are all poor. Bernie Sanders talks endlessly about the “crisis for the working families.” For AOC, it’s so bad, she wants emergency cash payments forever.
If you so much as hint that most Americans are in fact doing quite well, you’re just a callous elitist. You’re out of touch. No, it’s the left that’s out of touch. They deliberately ignore our widespread prosperity.
If things are so bad for so many, how come so many young people are using their emergency pay to gamble on stocks? Where is the “crisis for working families” in those 26 states which have rejected those emergency payments? They wouldn’t turn down money if the people in those states were really hard-up.
Where is the crisis when we are saving more than at any time since World War II?
There’s over $2 trillion in bank accounts, and we’ve paid off ton of credit card debt. And then there is the gigantic wealth creation machine known as the stock market — $44 trillion worth of stock market wealth has been spread out to 100 million American investors. Just because it’s not equally spread out, doesn’t make it bad. The left constantly repeated its poverty and crisis claims.
And of course, the media has played along. It’s a grim picture but it’s not accurate of the country as a whole. American is flush with cash, your 401k’s are well.
Celebrate the financial truth. Ignore the left’s propaganda.
Sherrill Smith
Voorheesville

 

 

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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

22 Comments

LOUIS RESTIFO

Sherrill Smith, it’s pathetic that you apparently live in your bubble of financial contentment and have total disregard for those less fortunate than you.

The world and the people in it are one big team that should be playing together for the greater good of all. – Sad to see so many greedy and indifferent, because the reality is we all will eventually lose the game.

FRED BARNEY

“And do we have the resources to provide improvements in human infrastructure, such as publicly supported childcare and pre-school for working families?”

Perhaps you could explain way some members of the team are exploited for the benefit of others. In todays world motherhood is deemed to be a private choice. Thus it follows that the costs of this private choice are also private.

ANTHONY J SANTO

if Bezos has control over enough resources to rocket into outer space, wouldn’t the money spent on those resources do more good if directed toward replacing water supply pipes tainting municipal water with lead? Or perhaps, supplying third world countries with the vaccine necessary to fight covid 19? If we don’t do this and the infection continues to spread it will come back to us, in a likely more contagious form. I’m really not certain what you mean, but I hope you consider more thoughtfully the points I am making.

FRED BARNEY

In this country private funds historically have been spent for private purposes. Public money is spent for public purposes. Given that local School Boards are greatly interested in the race of their teaching staff but are closed lip about what student achievement is obtained under their direction it is fair to wonder why student achievement is not more highly touted as the complexion of the teaching staff.

Joseph Vendetti

Mr. Santo:

Assuming you are referring to the Biden Families Plan. It’s an important piece that lists how far the progressive left wants to go in expanding government’s reach into American family life. Federal child care, government paid family leave, free community college, a $3,600 tax credit per child, a permanent expansion of ObamaCare premium subsidies, universal pre-K, permanent expansion of the earned-income tax credit to workers without children, and more.

All of these programs aren’t intended as a “safety net” for the poor or those temporarily down on their luck. They are explicitly designed to make the middle class dependent on government handouts.

Social Security benefits have increased often since the program began, and its formula based on the increase in average wages means benefits rise faster than inflation. Medicaid was once a safety-net program but now covers 37% of Californians. Food stamps and nutrition programs started as help for the poor but now cover tens of millions of Americans. Medicare started as coverage for seniors but now Progressives want it to cover anyone over age 55.

You may be fooled by projections that say tax increases on over $400,000 will pay for this but this only accounts for the current fiscal year, as programs exponentially expand faster then inflation payment for the programs (like SS) become unable to stay within the boundaries of that original budget projection. So what will occur by year 5 there will be massive tax increases on the middle class.

Mr Vendetti that’s common sense and I will guarantee you that the people above screaming the loudest do the least to help those in need. There is a reason that churches and private entities do the greatest work for the poor and those with the least usually do the most to help.

ANTHONY J SANTO

Mr. Vendetti: In my opinion we need a certain degree of socialism, government regulation of the economy, to soften the cruel outcomes of pure capitalism and thus preserve the basic benefits of capitalism. Certainly a public system of education has helped in not only achieving that goal but expanding our economy. Medicaid , medicare, and social security have improved the lives of countless millions of Americans. Where to draw the line on socialist intervention is a fair debate. But to claim, without foundation, that people who favor the progressive agenda do less to help those in need, as Zachary asserts does not do a thing to advance rational discussion of the topic. I feel it is also unfounded to assume these programs are designed to make the middle class dependent on government and thereby, presumably, subject to government control.

My goodness, the attacks on the middle class and American workforce (not under your beneficent corporate umbrella) continue. I know I’m repeating myself but I’d like to directly ask you why all the other developed countries of the world provide generous support of their workforces, yet here in the US it’s ‘thoughts and prayers should be enough’. Do you think they’re mollycoddling their people into complacency?
It’s highly suspicious that so many engaged in business feel the workforce should be the target, and not, say, the hundreds of billions in subsidies given to the fossil fuel industry each year? Or how about the tax-exempt status afforded organized religion, even as it becomes more and more politically involved?

It seems the IMF disagrees with you too, regarding the “Biden Families Plan”:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
United States of America Concluding Statement of the 2021 Article IV Mission
The unprecedented fiscal and monetary support, combined with the receding COVID-19 case numbers, should provide a substantial boost to activity in the coming months. Savings will be drawn down, demand will return for in-person services, and depleted inventories will be rebuilt. Growth in 2021 is expected to be around 7 percent, the fastest pace in a generation, with modest risks to the upside. This strong economic performance should continue into 2022, with growth of around 5 percent.

It is worth noting that these forecasts are based upon an assumption that the American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan will be legislated during the course of 2021 with a size and composition that is similar to that proposed by the administration.*

The U.S. external position is judged to be modestly weaker than the level implied by medium-term fundamentals and desirable policies.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So again, what is it American Conservatives (such as yourself) think they know about running a country that ALL the other developed countries don’t?

FRED BARNEY

Boy Scouts reach $850 million settlement with tens of thousands of sexual abuse victims

The Democrats have brought us justice that involves the innocent paying for the crimes of others. I find that the toleration of this view of justice will undo the country

LOUIS RESTIFO

Fred, what would you be saying if your grandson was raped by a good old American “Scoutmaster,” pedophile pervert? – I’m sure you would change your tune because all you seem to care about is what is directly related to you. – How’s that for saying something?

LOUIS RESTIFO

“The national organization has proposed settling all the claims with $120 million of its own funds, $425 million from the 253 local Scout councils and at least $625 million in insurance. It is not clear from court papers how much each council would pay under the current plan.”

If the Boy Scouts go “belly up” (no pun intended) how’s that costing you money? I’m ignorant of that, please enlighten me.

Joseph Vendetti

Mr Santo/Lou/Chuck/Matt:

100% agree we need socialistic type programs because we will always have 2-5% maybe as high as 10% (because of life longevity) that will need government assistance. We need regulatory agencies to enforce rules for the Environment, court systems, but you want to turn over more money to the gov’t?

The original toll road system was supposed to be for road & bridge up keep – you see how well that worked out because politicians during election years would raid the authority funds for “pet pork” projects. So then Mario Cuomo came up with “fuel surcharge” to pay for roads & bridges – that drove all the transport companies to PA, NJ & OH. The lottery originally supposed to go to NYS education- again raided to pay NYS aircraft???

Do any of you have enough faith in any government (State or Federal) to run anything efficiently? The VA worst run care, SS is bankrupt Ponzi scheme (you put money in get zero% interest & get less out), the US Post Office (bankrupt), our Military was paying $85 for door handles and $1000 for toilets? NYS Legislature & Staff (part time sessions) costs more then FL, TX and CA who are larger and full time.

So even if you want inept people with more control of more dollars for health care and education- consider that when people in Canada or Europe or NZ needs any good/great health care they come to the US for treatment. One system means queues and unless you have 98% blockage or Stage 3 cancer you are in a queue. Is that what you want?

Right now .71 cents of every tax dollar collected is going to an entitlement program. We have created a system that rewards single mothers to continue to have children because they get more government assistance? If they live with the babies father it impacts the formula and they get less or none? Yet we know children of single parents have lower graduation rates, higher drug use, higher potential for HIV, higher rate of incarceration & are more likely to become pregnant and be a single parent themselves.

So instead of correcting that – the progressives want to double down – we are going to double child tax credits for non workers? And give childcare $3,600 payments to people that aren’t working – why would they need child care if they aren’t working? What is being proposed his getting a tax refund if you don’t pay taxes??? Currently if a single mother of 3 children is living at Yates village in Schenectady – with her food stamps, subsidies for housing, heat, transportation and medical -she is making $33.75 per hr for a 40 hr work week without working. Of course kids drop off when they are 18 unless they are handicapped.

So how many people do you think want to break that cycle? Have you seen the new places on Yates?

Mr Vendetti because you speak the truth and you are not a blind liberal on the plantation you will continue to be attacked as not good enough. What is happening to you happens to conservative African-Americans, the left calls them sellouts and uncle Tom’s. Ben Carson or any African-American who stands up to conservative values is shouted down. that’s the real racism and it’s all from Democrats.

Ok Joe. Personally I’m not up to rebutting what amounts to a firehose of misinformation, half-baked assumptions and presumptions, and extended whine.
Suffice to say, I’m pretty sure Progressives are all about believing MOST people don’t want to live on the dole and do want to have meaning in their lives. And Progressives feel it’s time to properly support them.

Joseph Vendetti

Chuck:

Misinformation? Whine?

None of the above –

I think your lack of any rebuttal is that you see that we are rewarding single parenting with $’s and know that single parenting perpetuates certain ills (teen pregnancy, higher dropout rate, more incarceration, etc) but yet we can’t “understand” the generations of people that continue to use these entitlement programs? I don’t believe that & I don’t think you do either.

If I just spoiled children with gifts, toys, and money as they moved to adulthood what I would tell you as a parent, they would continue to expect more money, more gifts, and more toys, and if and when I cut those off, they would have no idea on how to go out and get those things on their own, unless along the way I made them work (mow the lawn, clean the house, do the dishes, etc) for those gifts.

This reminds me of a running debate i have with a Republican friend, an elected official. It gives me hope there’s a possibility of agreement. For him, it always seems to come down to ‘those people’ who seem to be the only ones on government assistance. My take is, there are far, far more people across the country, of all races, in rural, urban environments, in Native American reservations, even middle-class suburbia who are in need. But for Conservatives, it seems to be a fixation on ‘those people’, who it’s implied, are lazy, unproductive and looking for the easy way. Those people (who are real people) who fit their nightmares’ imagery.
Of course there are problems with government assistance, and of course there are people who will abuse the system. But the difference between my friend and i is just how many there are, and it always seems he thinks the majority are abusers. He’s told me so.
Another problem, a huge problem, is underfunding of those systems to better serve people, and to enforce and improve the rules of the game.

Of course there are problems with the way government runs. What’s your plan? Shut it down?

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