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There Ought to Be…

December 5, 2014

We have it in our heads that there ought to be a periodic feature of our blog entitled: There Ought to Be…

This would be an opportunity for readers to propose, anonymously, ideas on how to improve our fair state.

Ideas are what it’s all about. Commentary is fine, but ideas are the highest form. We have a feeling, a dream perhaps, that this could be a constructive thing that we could do together.

We’ve begun already and offline we’ve received some suggestions from our friends for this inaugural post. Here they are:

There ought to be an online platform that brings together all green initiatives in New York.  Several state agencies have green programs ranging from NYSERDA to the Department of State to the DEC. To find out what’s available, you have to visit each site. It’s time consuming and complicated. There ought to be a single portal that lists everything. That way, businesses and others seeking to go green would have a much easier time of it.

There ought to be a new state program, a public-private venture, that funds demolition of major eyesores in communities across the state. Think about it. Every community upstate has a monstrosity that has been there for decades and will be there years from now unless we do something. In Albany, it’s that massive warehouse off Broadway. Taking down that building changes the skyline. No more eyesore, and maybe even a little bit of hope for progress.

There ought to be a START UP NY 2 program.  START UP 1 is working – with more than 50 high tech companies agreeing to locate in New York. But it’s working so well that a least a dozen other states are creating similar programs starting in January.  To keep its advantage, the state needs to do more.

There ought to be a special initiative that drives emergency resources to the 100 neediest schools statewide. These are districts on the brink of insolvency where kids are not falling behind but being left behind and abandoned. It’s supposed to be a progressive state, but the fact this is happening is shameful.  The Governor needs to go beyond his fixation on charter schools. And education advocates need to stop carrying the union water and focus on kids in need.

There ought to be… please give us your suggestions, dear readers.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    December 6, 2014 10:40 PM

    There ought to be an end to Start Up New York. Start Up New York seems like a slap in the face to businesses that have been here for years and have paid taxes and continue to do so. Now we have a situation where our homegrown businesses have to compete with outside companies whom our state is subsidizing. So, our state is giving a competitive advantage to companies from other states, and thus putting local businesses at a disadvantage. What kind of a state puts its local business at a disadvantage?? Also, if a dozen or more states are now trying it, when does it become a race to the bottom? A race to a situation where few businesses are paying taxes for ten years? The program may be helping the economy in some ways, but these seem to me to be serious concerns. Also, the name itself–“Start Up NY”. It gives one the sense that these are local start ups that the state is helping. This doesn’t seem to be the case. Any thoughts? Am I wrong on this one? Any local business owners here, have any feelings on this issue?

  2. Anonymous permalink
    December 7, 2014 5:02 PM

    Here’s two thoughts:

    There ought to be a better way to regulate and promote NYS horse racing than the perennially scandal-plagued and bankrupt NYRA. Maybe instead of fixing it all the time, we should make it go out of business. We should let entrepreneurs resurrect the NY racing industry in a crafty, hipsterish way. Yes, there are high fixed costs and barriers to entry, so it’s not like they could do it with the same insouciance with which they’ve built a wine/spirits/microbrewing industry here. But I have to believe that if they successfully marketed grand dad’s drink, bourbon, to younger people, they can make it cool to bet on pappy’s ponies. We have a rich racing history in some forgotten corners of the state (check out Goshen); it’s sad that it’s languishing.

    There ought to be a way to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana, thereby bringing what I’d bet is a decent-sized crop in Orange, Sullivan and Columbia counties out of the shadows. Frankly, pot growing and processing would be a much more organic (pun intended) way to stoke the economies of ailing upstate counties than casino gambling. (You never know; the two industries might be synergistic.) It could also produce big-time tax revenues. In a 2013 report, the NYC Comptroller’s office estimated that taxing the marijuana market just in NYC would yield $400M annually, conservatively. (Yes, respected government economists crunched that figure, and they weren’t smoking anything.) Extrapolate that statewide. Liz Krueger’s bill might be the vehicle, if we could get our greaser governor behind this essentially hippy proposal.

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