An Important Relationship in Trouble
December 13, 2008 2 Comments
by the Squid
According to Sharon Rivkin, there are seven signs that a relationship is in trouble, and in reading it, I began to feel that I am in trouble with a very important relationship in my life: my relationship with New York State.
I was raised in upstate New York and so was my extended family. A few of us have left the state to live, but we all came back. Now, with the sagging economy, dysfunctional legislature, massive $12 billion dollar deficit, general low wages and industry leaving the state in droves, I have begun to seriously look at this relationship and I am beginning to think it is about over.
1) Fighting has become the rule rather than the exception
Who would have thought that once the bulldozer called Eliot Spitzer left office, soon followed by the tough Republican Joe Bruno, that New York state legislature would become MORE dysfunctional. New York’s State Senators all seem to be petty, power-hungry egomaniacs who are looking to serve their own self-interests before those of the citizens of this state.
2) You find yourself looking outside the relationship for comfort, care and understanding
While New York was getting pounded with an ice storm, Charlotte, North Carolina, had temperatures in the 50’s. Taking the Presidential election in context, North Carolina was in play for the Democrats because people are leaving NY and other Northeast states for the South with its low taxes, pleasant weather, low cost of living and perception of growth both in industry and social prosperity.
And if you look at the tax rates for other states, five have no taxes at all, while others allow personal exemptions or overall lower tax rates.
Why would someone want to stay in a place where jobs/companies are leaving, taxes are high, weather is fickle and people running the state are self-serving pariahs?
3) You can’t remember what attracted you to your partner in the first place
Much like point two; I have forgotten why I came back to this state.
4) There is little intimacy in the relationship
As a resident, I believe New York has forgotten about me and the other upstate residents. The top three leaders of the state are from one of the five boroughs or Long Island. There has always been a downstate vs. upstate rivalry, but that was partially kept in check by the very powerful upstate Republican Joe Bruno. Since his retirement, I believe the upstate voice has been diminished considerably.
5) Spending little time together
Like an abused spouse, I stay because I feel I don’t have many options because of familial obligations. But emotionally, I have already left the state.
6) Reactions to situations are disproportionate
With every local or state election my mantra is “THROW THE BUMS OUT!” That is not a positive reaction.
With every talk of a raise in taxes or an announcement about company layoffs or company giveaways, I say: “WHAT ELSE OF MINE CAN YOU TAKE AWAY AND MISUSE?” Again, this is not a positive reaction.
7) Feeling helpless and hopeless to change anything
As Wall Street collapses, and New York loses that tax base, as companies leave the state, as wages are strained under the increasing weight of taxes, as there are more and more revelations that the taxes that are collected are misspent or misused, as more of our tax dollars are promised to companies just to move into the state tax-free for a period of time and as no new industry seems willing to come to New York without this tax incentives, I feel hopeless about the future of New York and upstate New York.
Upstate New York and New York as a whole are two dying entities. We have a tax cancer and no one seems willing to acknowledge this fact nor is anyone acknowledging the fact that New York is no longer competitive.
This relationship is on life support and it may be time to pull the plug.