Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Latest RINO Meme . . .

An interesting juxtaposition of subject matter yesterday from the Republican camp . . .

First this post on Facebook from our own Congressman Hanna . . .
"Today my House Committee on Small Business subcommittee examined the impact of occupational licensing laws on business startups and the economy overall. 
For many workers and would-be entrepreneurs, licensing requirements are presenting a barrier to economic opportunity."
This was soon followed by this video from Sen. Marco Rubio on CNBC Squawkbox . . .
Both Hanna and Rubio talk about the need to get rid of burdensome regulations to foster entrepreneurship . . . and who could disagree with that? We have all seen how New York State's heavy handedness (along with high taxes) has driven out our Upstate manufacturing base over the years . . . but there seems to be something more going on here . . .

A day earlier Rep. Hanna posted a link to a video of an entrepreneur being arrested for braiding hair. It would seem to most people like a pretty outrageous situation that needs fixing. But then one has to stop and think:  Occupational licensing (such as in the cosmetology area) is generally a STATE responsibility, not one of the Federal Government.  Should it not be the STATE's responsibility to clean up its own overly burdensome regulations?

The Rubio post also seems to be targeted at STATE regulations.

While it is a valid point that States must not unduly impede interstate commerce with their own regulations, there is already a mechanism for dealing with that:  The Federal Court System.

States have a responsibility to protect the health and safety of their citizens. And, yes, some states may use their regulatory powers to protect their own resident businesses. . . . but that may be protecting small businesses.

What the RINOs seem to be doing, under the guise of protecting "small" businesses, is setting things up to have the Federal Government supplant or regulate State and local regulations on business. . . . which would favor BIG (national and multinational) businesses.

Rep. Hanna and Sen. Rubio both seem to suggest that we need increased Federal involvement in our lives.   The "one-size-fits-all" "top-down" approach is contrary to our Founding Fathers' concept of a Limited Federal Government . . . and usually hurts the average citizen.

If States want to mess themselves up with regulations, so be it . . .

We do not need the Federal government -- the level furthest from its citizens -- becoming more powerful to "fix" things.  

Sunday, March 23, 2014

SUNYwhatchamacallIT . . .

Per the Rome Sentinel

State overseers have approved the merger of the SUNY Institute of Technology and the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering. . . .
"The merger of CNSE and SUNYIT sets a high bar for what a 21st-century entrepreneurial college campus can achieve for the Capital Region, Mohawk Valley, and the entire State of New York," said Zimpher. "We are bringing together two institutions with similar missions and existing partnerships to create a high-tech academic and economic development juggernaut that does not exist anywhere else in public higher education."

"Bringing these two institutions together is exactly the type of forward thinking we need here in Upstate New York," said County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. . . .
State Sen. Joseph A. Griffo, R-47, Rome, said, combining the two institutions into one makes sense.
"Both recognize this growing industry needs people in the Mohawk Valley and Capital Region who are educated and trained – and they're doing their best to meet that demand," he said. I see this as a wonderful opportunity for our local university to become more attractive to prospective students, without sacrificing other disciplines that are needed in this area as well."

Assemblyman Anthony J. Brindisi , D-119, Utica, said the consolidation is a boost to economic development .

"By further positioning Utica as a dynamic economic driver for New York, the merger will prime our region to become even more competitive in global markets and further revitalize the local economy," he said.
While everyone is toasting this as a good thing . . . and it may be . . . where are the questioning voices exposing potential downsides to this?

It is important for the public to remember the original name which revealed the original purpose of that college up on that hill:  SUNY Upper Division College -- a place where students from MVCC and HCCC could continue their studies and earn Bachelors and Masters Degrees.

While the expansion to a four year institution was welcome, and the addition of engineering and contemplated PhD programs is looked forward to with anticipation,  the original mission must not be forgotten.

Where will governance of this new SUNY-XYZ be located?  What will be its focus?  If governance  is out of Albany, you can be sure that the original mission will become lost.   And that must not happen.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Billions for Nano-What?

Headline Albany Business Journal: Tech boom isn't stopping 'out migration' :
Thousands of new jobs have been created in recent years, and billions of public and private dollars invested in the region's growing tech economy. Still, out-migration continues . . 
So, even with the practically recession-proof economy in Albany (because government is the main industry) and the much-touted, heavily taxpayer-financed, tech "boom" there, more people still leave the region than come in.

This is proof positive that the heavily-government-involved model of economic development simply does not work.

What does work? What has always worked:  Leverage our natural/public assets to lower overall costs of doing business, and then leave private businesses alone to figure out their own way.

New York's assets a century and a half ago were (1) lots of natural, low-cost hydropower and (2) a natural route to the West (the Mohawk Valley) .  NY leveraged the latter by constructing the Erie Canal.  With Cheap Transportation and Cheap Power, New York (driven by Upstate NY in particular) became a magnet for industry and thrived.

What has happened since?  We now tax transportation in NY (the Thruway) -- turning transportation into a liability.  All the cheap hydropower is sent Downstate to cheapen electricity rates there (where cost of electricity is likely a smaller percentage of income), which has the effect of raising Upstate's rates -- turning cost of power into a liability here.

Upstate will never regain it's role as an economic engine for New York State while policies are forged in a Downstate-dominated state government.

Returning to a form of government that gives Upstate more control over its destiny will solve economic problems, stop the out-migration, and benefit the entire state as a whole.