Niagara Gazette


January 10, 2014

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


Niagara Gazette — It seems to me that if we regionalized power production AND its use, then it would lead to an abundance of cheap, regional electricity. With regional use of natural assets, our upstate growth, particularly in Western New York, would be that systematic reversal of the causative factors of the loss of our economic engines of industry and business, and yield an associated increase in population and political clout; thereby negating the need for corporate tax breaks.

So then, if political clout is the last manifestation of upstate’s economic weakness, how do we reverse and accomplish the growth of Western New York, when Buffalo was the nation’s 10th largest city, and Niagara Falls the state’s tenth largest?

It is something that has to be done by constitutional design. In the infinite wisdom of the founders of this nation, both the people of the America and their several states have an equal balancing of power. They designed a congress that gave the population of Rhode Island as fair representation in the House of Representatives as Virginia had, and equal representation to every other state through the U.S. Senate.

If we kept the state Assembly as it is currently configured, every assembly district in the state would equally represent its population. And if we gave each county the representation that the founders gave each state, then even the lowly populated, 73,000 citizens of Madison County would have the same voice in the state senate as does the 1.6-million citizens of Manhattan, as Rhode Island now has with California.

If we systematically reverse the elements that ultimately gives a region its optimal economic stability, with political power being the last of the lost factors, then by giving each of New York’s 62 counties their own senators, rather than the 63 population-based senators that we now have (which is merely two assemblies), then we begin the process of empowering upstate counties to have state laws that will facilitate our growth, and mitigate the regulations that work well in NYC, but hamstring upstaters. It will provide an opportunity to increase population, if that is what they chose, and to moderate their own economic development.

Anything less than that is just tinkling in the wind, and, if we cannot control that, then perhaps a visit to Dr. Somayaji may be in order.

Contact Ken Hamilton at

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