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How to spend the money
November 17, 2008 - John Stack
This last week has shown just how complicated this economic downturn is. Some people keep insisting on government sponsored bailout plans. This might possibly be helpful, but in its current form, it seems completely unviable. Some banks have actually come out and said that they use the money to not to loan more, but to tighten credit! Of course, other banks will use the money to pay for bonuses, and of course AIG uses their’s to throw managers high end retreats that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Now, more and more industries want in on the money. The auto industry is asking for a bailout. Will money be diverted from the bank bailout, or will this be another few hundred billion dollars extra to add onto our deficit? I say let the automakers ‘fail’. None will actually ‘fail’. Someone will come in and buy up the automakers and run them again. Someone said we should bail them out, but make sure they don’t again run such poor management schemes. Who on earth is going to decide if the management is good or not? What a foolish idea.
I don’t think another ‘stimulus’ package will work. The one this past summer only seemed to add to the national debt, and delay the actual recession for another quarter, but only by a gimmick. Maybe the federal government does have to do something with deficit spending. But, they have to get some plan. The current one seems to change by the week.
New York is different though. We can’t deficit spend. There was an article last week about how much AMC will lose with the state dropping Medicaid reimbursement by 10%. This will add up to over a million dollars of lost revenue for AMC. This causes a big ripple effect throughout the North Country, specifically. What does AMC do? For me and many people on insurance, my copays don’t change to help them out. They have to find something to cut. These means fewer people will be doing more work. More people out of work. They can also increase payments on people who don’t use Medicaid, and those that don’t have copayments. Can they increase enough there? Just cutting doesn’t always have the desired effect. I’m not saying Paterson shouldn’t make cuts, its just that be prepared for some much bigger sacrifices than you expect. We cannot afford to lose an incredible asset like AMC. A lower quality of care might be unavoidable.
Finally, the state has to start saying no to every environmental request. The millions spent recently on Lyon mountain was head scratching. We agreed to buy it years ago, but it was put off. Why would they choose to close the deal during our worst financial times? And we paid a lot more for it than the Nature Conservancy paid for it. Also, to avoid a lawsuit, the satte is considering expanding the Forest Preserve outside the Blue Line (and the Catskills). Adding in Saratoga Spa??? How does that make sense? In no way is that a viable forest preserve. Adding more land to the preserve cannot bode well for NYS taxpayers.
Finally, we have to somehow renegotiate NAFTA. Its called ‘free trade’. It should be more towards ‘fair trade’. Make other countries that we send our factories to at least conform to some type of quality control. We can’t bind an American companies hands with environmental laws, and then the company goes to Mexico or China and pollutes 10 times as much. I’m not saying relax pollution laws here, but make it harder for companies to leave because they have more lax labor, pollution and child labor laws.
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