Niagara Gazette

Columns

January 10, 2014

HAMILTON: The Upstate state of "Tinkling in the Wind"

Niagara Gazette — As badly as our federal government is run, and that is all four parts — the presidency, the House and the Senate, and the sometimes activist Supreme Court — it is still an ideal model by which our New York state government (which runs no better than the Fed) can actually better operate, but it too needs a major tweak.

Here’s why.

Dr. Prabhakara Somayaji is a urologist whose business is only a 10-minute walk from the proposed Hamister hotel. He was “tinkled-off” with the prospects of him likely having to pay more property taxes than the new-coming Hamister hotel people, and he believes that tax breaks only put an unfair burden on other area taxpayers.

While tax breaks may be judiciously necessary in some cases, as is some unfairness, they both are still unfair.

So then, in Gov. Cuomo’s State of the State Address, the governor pointed out what he believed were a couple of items that he thought would increase the failing economy of upstate New York state. They were corporate tax breaks and greater electrical power distribution to downstaters. Both of them filled my thought-bladder with concern.

Much of my working career was in chemical process manufacturing. I learned that there is an optimal, ideal way that processes run. If a system is already producing, then by making experimental changes to it to increase production will likely cause a calamity, if all other factors are not taken into account. When that system begins to show signs of stress and failure, the way to correct it is to systematically reverse the changes that have been made until the system recovers.

Applying this to the governor’s belief that upstate New York has lost manufacturing and other businesses, so much so, that it has not only lost its economic engines, but also has lost its working populations and their political clout, why then would he proposed an improvement to the efficiency of the electrical grid that conducts the cheap and clean upstate power to downstate New York City-area, and a corporate tax break to businesses that relocate to a power-starved upstate. I say that we should stop sending power downstate and use it here.

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