Push always comes to shove before there can be change
Kudos to you and The Daily Gazette team! Somehow you always seem to nail it — most recently with your Feb. 27 editorial, “Little Leagues merge to survive,” then again on March 1 with Froma Harrop’s column, “A GOP tax plan worth supporting.”
The common thread is that change is difficult and hard to come by, but reality wins in the end. The reality is that consolidated government and tax reform must happen, and will eventually. The only real question is how much pain will we collectively endure before the reality becomes clear?
Motives and methods aside, Gov. Cuomo clearly sees the future in these regards. The problem is, methods matter and political motivations rarely seem to produce desirable outcomes.
Change happens because it must happen. This is as true in governmental reform as in business and in nature.
Nevertheless, politicians focused only on the next election cycle will resist tax reform until a groundswell of the electorate demands it. Consolidations will occur as a critical mass either continues to be driven away and/or comes to the realization that a community is not defined by lines on a map.
Jeffrey L. Schworm
Safety first for C-R’s suspended students
We live in Schoharie County. It came to my attention that when middle school children (in Golding Middle School, Cobleskill-Richmondville School District) has in-school suspension, they spend the day in a room and get to play on their phones, play on computers, talk to each other, go to the gym and play — generally hang out and have a good time.
This, in itself, is a bit concerning, but the school also brings in the high school children who are serving in-school suspension to spend the day(s) with the middle-school children. So 13-year-olds are spending days on end bonding with “cool” 17-year-olds, and this is supposed to deter these children from misbehaving.
I lodged a complaint concerning this absurd practice, but my concerns were not taken seriously. Mixing high-schoolers and middle-schoolers is a recipe for disaster. A four-year difference in these children is a huge gap and a dangerous one. Their development is totally different at these ages; it’s too easy for the middle-schoolers to be persuaded to do things that they do not understand the consequences for.
The Cobleskill-Richmondville School District is playing with fire. Is there no room or staff to monitor high-schoolers at the high school for in-school suspension? Your child is supposed to be safe at school; Golding Middle School children in-school suspension are not safe.
America’s railroads too vital to sacrifice
Railroads move America. From the Redwood Forest to the New York island, from the Adirondacks to the Bakken, they are all the same.
Besides hitchhiking, rail travel is the cheapest mode of transportation for all methods above ground. One train cart needs only one gallon of diesel to travel 492 miles. If diesel costs $4.92 [per gallon], 35,000 gallons of oil gets to travel at the cost of one penny per mile.
Take away rail and you take away America’s predominant global advantage: the cheapest mode of transportation.
How important is your car? Does not your car provide you great freedom? How important is your phone? Does not your phone provide you the vehicles in which to transport your communications, your ideas, your uniqueness, yourself?
Removing the rail lines between Big Moose and Saranac Lake will serve but one purpose: engendering a future without proper, efficient means of transport. Removing rail lines for bike trails is selfish, shortsighted and foolish.
The writer is a candidate for New York’s 21st Congressional District.
Federal policies make life unbearable for all
EPA-approved fracking has been prevented in New York, appreciably raising our energy costs. The stonewalling of the Keystone Pipeline moved its total capacity of 800 million barrels a day to rail tank cars, resulting in more pollution and catastrophic train wrecks. Preventing Western homeowners from clearing combustibles safely back from their homes has resulted in thousands being burned out of their homes.
In California, Sacramento’s water is reserved for fish, bankrupting drought-stricken Central Valley farmers and ballooning consumer prices for produce. Environmentalism is depriving a richly resourced state from reaping the benefits of abundant water and energy resources, exacerbating municipal bankruptcies initiated by unaffordable employee benefits.
Small businesses hamstrung by thousands of new regulations have not produced the expected jobs, as past recoveries have. Our federal, liberal-dominated education system, once the envy of the world, is ranked below most developed countries and does not produce the educated, competitive workforce demanded in today’s world. The result, a huge percentage of jobless and part-time Americans living on welfare, has pushed the national debt to record, unsustainable levels.
Our once-envied health care system is in shambles. Multiple unfortunates with serious diseases previously treated on commercial health plans are now victims who seem doomed to bankruptcy and/or death because of the Affordable Care Act.
Liberals/progressives seem oblivious to the unforeseen hardships their successes produce. Indifference, baffling now, will likely be judged unconscionable by future generations.
Wallace J. Hughes
Boehner critic’s logic right on jobs, wages
Don Steiner [Feb. 18 letter critical of House Speaker John Boehner’s assertion that raising the minimum wage destroys jobs] reasons that Mr. Boehner should cut the minimum wage to create more jobs.
As cruel as it sounds, it is economically sound. For example: If GM wants to sell more vehicles, they run a sale, hoping more people will buy at lower prices. Lower prices increase sales, higher prices decrease sales.
This simple analogy works not only with cars, but with the employment of people: The higher the wages, the fewer the jobs; the lower the wages, the more jobs.
The Congressional Budget Office has stated that increasing minimum wage to $10-plus would cause a loss of 500,000 jobs.
When the rules of economics are applied to people, that’s when the battle begins. The left become self-righteous and disagrees with economic facts, casting Republicans as Simon Legree-types. They label them as heartless, greedy capitalists. This name-calling brings in the votes to ensure the liberal agenda.
Instead of solving the employment problems, they divert attention to name-calling and extend the food stamp population.
The Gazette wants your opinions on public issues.
There is no strict word limit, though letters under 200 words are preferred.
All letters are subject to editing for length, style and fairness, and we will run no more than one letter per month from the same writer.
Please include your signature, address and day phone for verification.
For information on how to send, see bottom of this page.
For more letters, visit our Web site: www.dailygazette.com.