Big City, No Heart

Our city — being small and so big hearted — has more than a few folks who act quite against our mantra, and show little heart for the City– you know, New York City.
While folks travel from all over the world to the City, for us a mere 3 hours away, we’d rather forget the city. Indeed, we would prefer to secede from the state with our upstate brethren or let that city secede so we can be left to our own accord.
After all, we just know as upstaters that the City just sucks money away from us– that’s what I hear so it must be true. Who am I to doubt what gets repeated on the airwaves, at Stewart’s , decade after decade, year after year, day after day — you know the story: city folks think we’re hicks yet we have to pay for all those people with their welfare and stuff. If not for the city, we’d pay so much less in taxes– the city is just sucking money from us.
What’s hard to convey in words is the frequent contempt and derision held by our local big hearted folks for the ostensibly non-hearted folks in the city. If I may paraphrase, it’s basically a big f’ you to the folks in the city and such a big f’ you that our local airwaves cackle with laughter at the thought of rerouting one of the 9/11 flights into Sheldon Silver’s office in the city. How’s that for the ultimate f’ you?
Man, that’s funny. And big hearted.  (And no, I’m not making up what was said on the radio. To wit, it was actually expressed on 9/11. I kid you not )
Like most stuff I hear that rings of misinformation, I tried to dig a bit to see if there is an element of truth. Of course, there is not:

Long Island and the Lower Hudson Valley, also home to many high income taxpayers both corporate and individual, contribute far more to the state’s revenue picture than they receive in benefits.
Upstate communities, both urban and rural, are significant net recipients of revenue from downstate. While this finding is consistent with that of CGR’s 1999 study, the late 1990s brought vibrant economic expansion to the downstate economy and relative stagnation upstate, exacerbating these differences in fiscal contribution.

As a number of folks like to challenge my references, let me note a few caveats:
1) the study is from 10 years ago
2) the study is sponsored by downstate groups and agencies which do have political interests in the outcome
3) the capital district is excluded from some of the analysis even though it is a net recipient of aid
That said, at least I’m trying to delve into some data to see if what we say and hear relies upon facts or just opinion,hearsay  and ideology masking as facts. And yes, I’m annoyed that I have to explain and validate data which is something the other side never, ever has to do.
Still, it’s somewhat ironic that for all the talk of those people by these people that the situation is quite likely reversed. That’s the trouble with mirrors — sometimes you truly see yourself for what you are.

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3 Responses

  1. I’m also curious about how anyone can say we’re paying for the Noo Yawk City freeloaders when they’re pouring into Montgomery County thanks to an aggressive subway ad campaign and benefit requirements that are much different than every other county in the state. At least that’s what I hear on the radio.

  2. bob stern says:

    What about the lottery? That’s fixed too so all the downstate people always win it. Not fair.

    • bob stern says:

      And I forgot, all those prisoners from downstate that we have to take care of, we want all those prisons upstate closed right? Lets let downstate workers get all those good paying state jobs…right?

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