I freely admit to using a double standard here because I've never been
poisoned by legislation suggested by an environmental group.
Alternative response: If politicians expect incentives, then everyone has to
play by their rules. I doubt many legislators get into the game just for the
Ah...what was obvious is admitted at long last... :)
Again, the bias and impugnment of motive thing. It's clear you don't
know very many (any?) of even your legislators personally. If you did,
(with a very few exceptions) I expect your personal respect for them
would change drastically even if you didn't agree with their position
taken on some particularly piece of legislation.
I suppose here's a good time to confess and let this pointless squabble
Since retirement from active consulting several years ago, one of my
ways to "keep a hand in", so to speak, has been with local State
Representative who happens to be Chairman of State House Committee on
Energy and Chair of an Governor's Committee on Transmission and
Generation and also recognized as a leader in energy policy and
legislation at a national level. In this process, one soon learns how
very much the reality of how stuff happens "behind the scenes" differs
from the public perception and that it's mostly drudgery and lots and
lots of hard work combined w/ seemingly endless committee meetings,
hearings, position papers, meetings, hearings, ...
And that's all I have to say about that. :)
I find that very surprising given your previous comments. Do you find
them to be dishonorable people answering to the bidding of the corporate
robber barons? If so, it's clearly time you need some new
representation. Somehow, I'm thinking that isn't your perception of
those you know well, however.
If so, what makes you think these guys/gals are principled public
servants while those from elsewhere are somehow different (other than
you disagree with them on some issues, of course)?
No response needed, just some food for consideration...
Every one of them is probably twisted by a broken system which (unless you
believe Ron Paul) requires huge amounts of money to get elected. Example:
Town board member uses his position to invent a totally unnecessary project
that will lose millions of dollars for taxpayers. Why? Because his biggest
donor was a commercial construction company, and the donor expects something
in return. Otherwise, why donate? Because they're big believers in the
So this one council member can dream this project up and commit millions
on his own? Seems unlikely that's actually the way it came down.
Clearly your town needs you on council to be looking out for their best
I have no idea how he influenced the others, but it went as far as spending
a hundred grand for consultants to do a "study", and the supervisor
trumpeted the benefits of the project for a couple of years. Finally, an
insider informed me that the project died an "appropriate death", very
There's local sensitivity to such things because during the last few years,
the city of Rochester lost millions in taxpayer money, with a project
involving a fast ferry from here to Toronto. Unfortunately, something
important was missing: A business plan and research. It died in its first
year of operation. No explanation is forthcoming because everyone involved
suddenly became mute. The ferry was sold, and we're left with an eyesore of
a terminal. You know who did OK because of the project though, right?
That may happen next year. I probably won't last more than one term in
office, though. I don't believe in growth for growth's sake.
And, if it were to occur that you were to make it, I will predict before
the end of your term you'll be wondering to yourself how people could
possibly not understand your pureness of intent and question "Who got to
Joe?" in making a vote on a particular issue...
They're just like you--they're human w/ all the foibles pertaining
thereto (well, maybe not just like you; you seem at least by your
self-description to be of more nearly divine cloth although far too
loathe to cast stones than was taught, methinks.) :)
That's about the only theory I *MIGHT* entertain. Just one problem, though:
It automatically indicates incompetence for the job they're doing. No
private venture capitalist would give you more than 5 minutes of time
without a business plan. Wishes do not constitute a plan.
Well, it goes w/ the territory. What training and qualifications
testing and certification will you have to pass in making your bid to
replace one of the existing? Undoubtedly the same as they did.
There's also a big difference between government entities and business.
Not all government ventures are ever intended or even thought
possible to be run at a profit but are willingly subsidized if seen as
being a benefit "for the greater good". Having not been to Rochester in
well over 20 years, I can't comment on anything recent.
(I did used to attend an annual conference there for quite some number
of years and had cousin and her husband who were on faculty/research
staff at the med school. They actually lived outside Bergen on an
acreage w/ a late 18th-century farm house. Attending the conference was
mostly just an excuse for being able to get up there to visit them. I
suppose that was just being like a politician, too...)
We each have our own form of gratification.
There's a long list of things that need to be explained. The same slobs are
pushing for an arts center, once again with absolutely no business plan, no
numbers to prove the need for the facility, or theories to project where
business will come from. The only explanation is that it will "revitalize
Just one problem: That assumes there are customers. The fast ferry project
began the same way. It was based on the assumption that there were plenty of
customers who were dying to take a boat to Toronto, instead of driving
there. Unfortunately, neither of those two customers showed up more than
once. Nobody checked to see if the Canadians were building a facility for
passengers, so people were left standing in the cold rain when they arrived
in Toronto. And, nobody checked to see if Canadians were interested in
coming here for our world-class restaurants (all two of them), our baseball
team (when they could see the Bluejays whenever they wanted), etc.
Incompetence is one explanation. But, I choose another. When people are not
held personally responsible for the results of their decisions, you get bad
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