Sunday Morning Coffee

“I see the Capital Region Quarterly Sales Tax receipt numbers are in for this Second Quarter of 2009 and the area is down from 4 to 10% in tax revenue,” was my first comment to my wife over Sunday morning coffee. I continued, “Saratoga County led the decline with 10.27% less taxes collected over the same period of last year, equating to about 2.5 million dollars.“ Cathy replied, “Didn’t you write about that last week?”

I wrote in a Letter to the Editor of our local Express that sales tax revenue increases are not about to offset any give-a-ways for PILOT Programs to developers of the Esplanade Project in Mechanicville. In the letter I said, “If you want to build it, pay for it; don’t ask us taxpayers to foot the bill.”

Someone asked me why I bother to write Letters to Editors or commentary articles on various subjects. “Generally nobody really cares about anything except their own job and family,” was a comment. I explained simply, “If not me, who?” But with that response I also questioned my motive. Was I the type of person who just wanted to see his name in print? Searching my soul, the answer was much more than, “no.” I’ve had my fifteen minutes of fame supposedly allotted to us all, in fact many times over. I don’t need recognition but I feel a need to speak out when I recognize a problem. I guess I have a need to comment thinking if I don’t, who will? I’ve never been one to leave it up to the other guy to get rid of the dead skunk in the road.

I have found that very many young people today do not know what is happening around their lives. Very few young people, I put young at under 45 years old, read a daily paper or watch the evening news. They seem to be too busy with daily life. However, they usually know what is going on in the work place, in their or their friends’ neighborhood and at school. But in politics outside their hamlet, in history about town and of State and Federal proposed policies and laws, most kids don’t have a clue. Ask who the Vice President is or the name of their representatives to the State Legislature are and more than not a blank stare will be your answer. But politics is what drives each of our lives, shapes what we can and can’t do and generally figures how much money you will get to spend on what you want next year and in the future. Elections have consequences and knowing who and what policy to back are important to your future.

This morning I am especially enjoying the Sunday newspaper, though I must say, comics aren’t what they used to be; I got more chuckles out of how the Schenectady politicians and city lawyers are trying to stifle new businesses and curtail private parties. If the proposed laws were in effect years ago I wouldn’t have been able to go into business. When these things are thought up they seem so reasonable, being their purpose is to curb crime, burglaries or drug use, all good targets of concern. You probably don’t even know of these crime fighting attempts, so let me shed some light.

The Schenectady City Council wants to pass a law that will allow their police to crash a private party held in a commercial building, ostensibly to stamp out drug use because there were three homicides at private parties last year. There must be hundreds of pros and cons on that issue. Probably more a problem of who is having the party instead of the function in general. The problem seems to have solved itself though, private party bookings have moved out of Schenectady; great business outcome.

If the “Fenced Goods Law” goes through, small businessmen will have to prove to the City that they have enough money to operate a “legitimate” business. Object is, that if you intend to buy any “used” items from the public for a business of resale, then you must show you have enough capital so you won’t be enticed to buy stolen or “fenced goods” so you can make exorbitant profits. In other words, people who have a lot of money are good; people with little money are bad. I wonder who decides between the good and evil among us. The City would control this by not simply leveling a proposed $250.00 fine for being engaged in this larceny but also by credit checking and determining whether the prospective business person has enough cash. They would not issue a “certificate” unless one passed their test. Way to go, bro!

My solution; why not just lock up the filthy burglars in the first place and hide the freaking key! Problem solved. I started my business career with a rug of green outdoor carpet, a metal cash box and $50.00 for change when I opened my first retail outlet; plus a little inventory of course. Point is I could not have passed their test for capitalization. Since then we have been successful in amassing … well, let’s just say it’s more than a million. But not from that friendly business city, Schenectady.

I ran a gun show within the City limits some years ago and it was the only time I had to jump through hoops, pay extra cash and obtain permits to do so in over 25 years in my Show Promotion business. Haven’t run one there since. Being run by a Democrat majority I guess they just have a need for control; kind of like Obama insisting his unhealthy health plan is “going to be” shoved down our throats whether we like it or not. When our Congress and Federal workers try it out first for a year or two, talk to me then!

The health care debate is supposed to be around 50/50 for or against, according to some polls. I ask, how can spending several trillion dollars to insure 40 million people (a lot who don’t want it or need it) benefit the 300 million who already have one form of good health insurance or another? Or, do you see folks flying to England or Canada for medical aid? Wake up folks, smell the roses at home before you whiff the cesspool leaking out of Washington. To the young folks who probably won’t read about this today, either here or in your local daily, you may find it too late when you reach my age. Let your voice be heard now.

“Cathy, I need another cup of coffee, please! Reading about these Unions is drying my throat!” Now, Carl, I thought to myself, what are you chiding about today? I love Carl Strock when he agrees with me but he can be a real … well, pain sometimes. And I thought I may have converted him about guns when I invited him to one of our Saratoga Springs Arms Fairs. He did show up and said hello. “Carl, we’re having another at the end of August, pop in!” At least he told it like it was with this Union bid to abolish elections at non-union work places. What a crock! Gun sales would probably go even higher if that proposed legislation got wings.

I wonder, could it be that this lingering small amount of unionized workers in the private sector and the overwhelming number of governmental unions combine so that it generally costs a million dollars a mile for roads? What ever happened to the ditch digger for $5.00 an hour? That wasn’t supposed to be a career job that required a “living wage” as the liberals like to say. Flinging burgers wasn’t supposed to be a lifetime opportunity but rather a part-time or entry pursuit. No wonder there is so much unemployment today, the brainwashing of living minimum wages precludes workers from taking a menial job … or two, to get by while working towards something better. Let a small businessman legally hire help at five bucks an hour without all the red tape involved of “living wages” and see how many folks could get a job. It is not a permanent solution but it would put money in some pockets right now. It should not be up to the business owner to create careers out of dead end jobs. It should be on the back of the individual worker to make him or herself move up the line from burger flipper to the flippin’ manager. Well, not likely to be much incentive to look harder when one can now get 72 weeks of unemployment benefits; that is some paid vacation. “I know, Cathy, sometimes things are tough,” I mused. She saw what I was writing.

Uh, oh! I got to the Opinion Section; skip that. If I wanted your opinion I would have given it to you. Cathy says I got to get off my duff and mow the lawn. Women, they just don’t understand what a Sunday morning is supposed to be. At least I can hide in the bathroom and finish the paper. I still have the financials and the rest of the comics but may only have time for the most important. Just like the cherry with a sundae desert, I leave the best till last. I’ll go with “Dilbert.”

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