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Being Affirmative

July 2, 2015

On this 2015 Fourth of July weekend, we can allow ourselves to be affirmative.

Tax receipts are up. The state fisc is solid. Unemployment is at its lowest level since ’06. Crime is down in NYC and statewide.  Our cities aren’t torn apart by racial problems. We’ve avoided floods, droughts and other calamities so far this year. Tourism will set a new record this summer.  And the Yanks are tied for first.

Yeah, our government has petty corruption – most of it without a victim. (Who exactly was harmed in the Malcom Smith matter?)  And yeah, our politics features a lot of in-fighting. (This is what you get with the Dems are in charge.)

But overall, things aren’t bad in our state. Moreover, they might be poised to get better, not worse.

HRC might, indeed, be ascendant, and if she is, she and Bill would split their time between DC and NYC. This is not an insignificant thing. And if she wins and there is a bump for the Dems, Schumer might be Majority Leader, further enhancing the state.

Were this to happen – a president and senate leader both from New York – our state would become a focal point at just the right moment.  We need to explain this, but, first, a digression:

It’s ridiculously popular now to trash Obama. The main thread of it is that he has presided over a decline in the stature of the U.S. on the world stage. With any kind of objectivity, it occurs to you that the notion of the U.S. being a dominant force forever is ridiculous. Yeah, we can invade countries like Bush, and we can blow trillions on defense and pretend that we’re the world’s beacon, but China and other countries would still be focused intently on competing. And nothing a GOP presidential candidate or anyone else will ever say can change this.

The bottom line is that the era of international competition, duh, is upon us. And in this new era, it’s possible that New York stands out and becomes resurgent.

Why? Well, we’re already an international place by virtue of immigration. Notwithstanding Trump, we love immigration here. While everyone else has conniptions over immigrants, we welcome them. We see diversity as a virtue, as a strength.

Beyond that huge plus, we have other advantages. Our schools – we spend more on them than any other state, and although the results aren’t as good as they should be – they actually do the job they are supposed to do. In fact, they do it well for new immigrants, who then join the workforce and have a drive and commitment spoiled white kids just don’t have. Be real about that.

In addition, we have the best universities in the world: Cornell; Columbia, NYU, UR, RPI, RIT, SU and SUNYs Poly, Bing and Stony Brook, which are led by immigrant post-grads. Be real about that, too.

Another digression: It seems absurd to mention it, but we have, drum roll, water. No joke, it matters.  Development is hard capped in the West and South, but not here. We have clean water. Lots of it and it’s completely unpolluted by the scourge of fracking. (That part’s a crock, but we might as well try to take advantage of it.)

You get the point here. New York has some things going for it. You don’t have to reach to come up with some real positives.

Of course, there are still those who want to run down the state, but the reality is that we’re not doing that bad and there are some legit reasons to be affirmative.

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