Sunday, February 22, 2009

The State of New York

I was flipping through a local news site that gathers posts and articles about my immediate area the other day, looking for tidbits about the ambulance service that's being discontinued. (Good idea no? Way to save money by cutting out the frivolous.) While scrolling down I happened upon the following article:

Steve Hawley Calls For Study On Splitting New York Into Two States

I posted it as a link on Effbook and it's been racking up the comments so I'm interested to see what it'll do over here.

The article states that all sorts of people have been putting forth all sorts of division ideas for years. While many think them ludicrous, there are a lot of people putting serious thought into it. My idea when I was in college in the area was to make the greater NYC area, out to about Greenwich, CT its own state. My own friends cite the northern boundary of the city to be anywhere from where the Tappan Zee Bridge crosses the Hudson to as far south as Yonkers or as one person believes: 34th Street.

Anyway, having seen the millions crowded into Manhattan, and repeatedly driven through the woods of the Southern Tier on my way back to my home town in Almost-Canada it's been hard to ignore the disconnect. An island of hipsters, corporate giants, crack addicts and immigrants way down at one end of a long stretch of wooded farm land where the second biggest city is home to only a third of a million (and shrinking).

It's hard to believe that the policy that's hashed out in the capitol can be fair to both the folks who inhabit the 27,000 person-per-square-mile neighborhoods and the folks who live on unpaved roads. (Three miles down on the left side, it's the first house.)

I'm reminded of some friends who lived out of state for a while that ran into a New Yorker.

"Oh, you ain't from New York, you from up-state."

"Oh yeah?! Why don't you go back to your ghetto and smoke some crack while my taxes pay for your everything!!!"

"Oh... I guess you is from New York then."


I for one will be interested to see if there are any bites on this invitation. Would NYC be able to support itself without the rural tax base. Would the farmers even notice if the Big Apple fell off the cart? Could upstate just become part of Canada? Could Gotham become it's own country? Let me know what you think?




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1 comment:

  1. Having lived in both places I had to comment. I think it is a wash. Remember that NYC's pay city tax and those that live outside but commute to the city pay commuter tax. Also, down-staters pay exponentially more in property and school taxes (for a three bedroom house about $~20,000 a year in Westchester County vs. $~3,300 in Cortland County) While there are many more services that down- staters receive, public transportation for one. Their taxes help support upstate because all of that money goes into one pot.

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