I made pizza again a few days ago. It turned out well: just the right doughy texture. My status as a chef is somewhat restored.
When you make a burnt pizza, you can fix it by making another one. I wish it were so easy to fix the New York state government.
The state government has since Rockefeller had a policy of outrageous taxation. When its budget went into crisis, Governor Paterson’s suggestion was for more taxation, be it that much of the taxes are in the form of fees. Spending on such matters as education and mental health has been cut while state salaries have increased.
Last year, a group of legislators led by Senator Espada shut down the state government. For weeks the legislators held the state hostage, doing nothing but collect the salaries.
Governor Paterson may be well intentioned, but his ideas are bankrupt. And he hasn’t the strength to put in line the street thugs controlling the legislature.
Nor is he any worse than his predecessor. Eliot Spitzer may talk intelligently about economics now, but as governor he did a good job concealing his intelligence.
This is all particularly shameful considering that New York was once the state of social progress, the state of Al Smith and the Roosevelts. What can done to fix it?
I can only say that in the early 1990’s, New York city was also a mess. Dirty streets. Rampant crime. All conditions discouraging visitors.
By the late 90’s, it had done a 180-degree turnaround. Cleaner streets. The criminal scene suppressed. A revamped Times Square. It had become the city attracting visitors today.
The person who had done it was Mayor Rudy Giuliani. And if there is anyone on the horizon now who can clean up New York state, it is Giuliani. He doesn’t want to run for governor. Who can blame him? But he should be encouraged to do so.
Without him, we are facing more of the same.