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Doing The Numbers On Universal Basic Income

COLUMN • View from Fly Creek

Doing The Numbers On

Universal Basic Income

By ADRIAN KUZMINSKI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

As the economic insecurity of a large segment of the country continues without relief (debts, taxes, low wages, health costs, education costs, etc.), some big new ideas (like the Green New Deal) are getting attention.

Andrew Yang and his T-shirts are becoming visible in Iowa,where the first caucuses of the 2020 presidential campaign will be held Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2020.

In my last column, I examined one of these big new ideas: the proposal for a universal basic income (UBI) put forth by presidential candidate Andrew Yang, who proposes to give every US citizen over 18 years of age $1,000 a month. He calls it the Freedom Dividend.

Yang argues that automation and robotics are relentlessly eliminating wage-labor jobs, hence the need for a UBI. He may be right. I speculated that a UBI might be paid out of corporate profits, but it turns out that that’s not where the money is.

To see how it can be funded, let’s do some math:

The current adult (18 plus) population of the U.S. is about 250 million people. Giving $12,000/year to each person would cost about $3 trillion. To put that in context, the federal budget is about $4 trillion/year, including $700 billion for the military, while total annual U.S. corporate profit is about $2 trillion/year in an economy of about $21 trillion.

The total net financial assets of American households, according to the Federal Reserve, are much greater than that. They add up to about $70 trillion. What are net financial assets? They include stocks, bonds, funds and other financial instruments. That’s where the money is.

The major asset for most Americans is their home. Net financial assets don’t include your personal property (your home, vehicles, furnishings, art, etc.); nor the debts you owe.

ONLINE Daily Newspaper Launched

ONLINE Daily Newspaper Launched

Editors with ink in their veins thrill at the news that traditional books are rebounding (10 percent as of mid-2018) and Kindle appears to have peaked, and is now declining (3.8 percent).

Happily, Otsego County’s newspapers – the 211-year-old Freeman’s Journal and Hometown Oneonta, now 10 years old – are stable, profitable and ever-striving to serve the reading public, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

But www.AllOTSEGO.com is growing in leaps and bounds.

As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9, AllOTSEGO.com becomes Otsego County’s Daily Newspaper/ONLINE, with world and national news, crosswords and more.

Since implementing a new strategy Oct. 1 – when news happens, we post it – traffic, annualized, has grown 50 percent – 50 percent!  That’s 592,716 users, 1,867,988 sessions, and 2,957,100 page views – in a county of 60,094 people and 23,627 households.

So beginning today, we are relaunching www.AllOTSEGO.com as:  Otsego County’s Daily Newspaper/ONLINE, with the goal of giving readers everything you expect in a local newspaper, up to the minute and at your fingertips.

Effective at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9, you can access all the breaking local news you now find on  www.AllOTSEGO.com, plus world and national news, and such features as a daily crossword, comics (including color comics on Sundays), horoscope and Dear Abby.

Plus, for the first time, you will find all the material that appears weekly in Hometown Oneonta & The Freeman’s Journal – hard news, features, editorials, columns, letters to the editor, obituaries, great photographs.  The works.

By LIBBY CUDMORE • for www.allotsego.org COOPERSTOWN – The law says that there is to be no standing or parking within 20 feet of a fire station driveway. But when Fire chief Jim Tallman tried to pull the aerial truck into the station on Chestnut Street after a call, he saw an OPT driver smoking a cigarette, waiting for his passengers. “He saw me,” Tallman told the Village Board Tuesday at its May meeting at 22 Main. “But I wasn’t able to get into the driveway until he left.” It’s been an ongoing issue – buses parking too close to the fire station driveway even being repeatedly asked to move forward. And now the Village Board has stepped in, asking the county to relocate the bus stop to the 197 Main St. entrance of the county office building. “This was addressed in 2010 and 2011,” said Trustee Cindy Falk. “We would ask buses to pull forward, and within weeks, they’d be parking on the apron again.” But the relocation, some feared, would cause more trouble. A letter from the Schlather & Birch law firm, located at 192, read, “We would call your attention to the extreme congestion on a daily basis, especially when court is in session,” and suggested that a bus stop be relocated to Railroad Avenue. “A bus stop between the Agway building and the railroad would work quite well,” they wrote. Paul Patterson, OPT transportation director, was at the meeting, and suggested that, instead, a cement pad be poured a few feet up so that the buses would park closer to the corner of Leatherstocking Avenue, but the shelter could remain in place. “People are familiar with that stop,” he said. “Putting it on Railroad Avenue or upper Main is away from where people congregate.” “Some people might have trouble walking up that hill to the County Building,” said Paul Clark. “The bus and fire companies should be able to solve this.” Trustee Jim Dean also had a suggestion. “The bus stop is in the wrong place,” he said. “Move it to the other corner of Leatherstocking. A straight line is the best line.” But Tallman brought up concerns that buses there might cause problems with people turning right off Leatherstocking, pulling out of the Doubleday Lot or off Fowler Lane. “You’re taking your life in your hands at that intersection,” he said. The board decided ultimately to table the vote and take it back to the county to continue looking for a solution. “We’re trying to encourage public transportation,” said Dean. “This stop is the face of public transportation in Cooperstown.”

Cooperstown Board Debates

Whether To Move Bus Stop

Key players at the bus stop before Tuesday's Village Board meeting.  From left are County Rep. Rick Hulse, R-Fly Creek, Fire Chief Jim Tallman, OPT Director Paul Patterson and Firefighter Glen Falk.  (Ian Austin/allotsego.com)
Key players at the bus stop before Tuesday’s Village Board meeting. From left are County Rep. Rick Hulse, R-Fly Creek, Fire Chief Jim Tallman, OPT Director Paul Patterson and Firefighter Glen Falk. (Ian Austin/allotsego.com)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • for www.allotsego.com

COOPERSTOWN – The law says that there is to be no standing or parking within 20 feet of a fire station driveway.

But when Fire chief Jim Tallman tried to pull the aerial truck into the station on Chestnut Street after a call, he saw an OPT driver smoking a cigarette, waiting for his passengers.

“He saw me,” Tallman told the Village Board Tuesday at its May meeting at 22 Main.  “But I wasn’t able to get into the driveway until he left.”

It’s been an ongoing issue – buses parking too close to the fire station driveway even being repeatedly asked to move forward.

And now the Village Board has stepped in, asking the county to relocate the bus stop to the 197 Main St. entrance of the county office building.

AllOTSEGO Reborn As ‘Otsego County’s Daily Newspaper/ONLINE’

AllOTSEGO Reborn As

‘Otsego County’s Daily

Newspaper/ONLINE’

Check Out World, National News,

Features Like Crossword, Dear Abby

Editors with ink in their veins thrill at the news that traditional books are rebounding (10 percent as of mid-2018) and Kindle appears to have peaked, and is now declining (3.8 percent).

Happily, Otsego County’s newspapers – the 211-year-old Freeman’s Journal and Hometown Oneonta, now 10 years old – are stable, profitable and ever-striving to serve the reading public, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

But www.AllOTSEGO.com is growing in leaps and bounds.

Since implementing a new strategy Oct. 1 – you may have noticed: when news happens, we post it! – traffic, annualized, has grown 50 percent – 50 percent!  That’s 592,716 users, 1,867,988 sessions, and 2,957,100 page views – in a county of 60,094 people and 23,627 households.

So as of 5 p.m. today, we relaunched www.AllOTSEGO.com as:  Otsego County’s Daily Newspaper/ONLINE, with the goal of giving readers everything you expect in a local newspaper, up to the minute and at your fingertips.

Dist. 3 Candidate Jumps Claim On Independent Line

OTSEGO COUNTY 2019 PRIMARIES

Dist. 3 Candidate

Jumps Claim On

Independence Line

Caitlin Ogden

LAURENS – Rick Brockway, Republican candidate for the county board from District 3, expected to coast onto the Independence Party line yesterday, Primary Day in Otsego County.

Instead, Laurens-Otego Democrats packed the polls and, by 30 votes to 4, seized the line for their candidate, Caitlin Ogden.

“Our campaign has a great deal of momentum and we’re looking forward to November,” MacGuire Benton, Cooperstown village trustee and Ogden For Otsego campaign manager, in an email.

Simple Integrity Plans Net-Zero Apartments: 2 Stories, 12 Units On Chestnut Street

Simple Integrity Plans

Net-Zero Apartments

2 Stories, 12 Units On Chestnut Street

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www. AllOTSEGO.com

Josh Edmonds, principal in Simple Integrity builders, briefs the Cooperstown Village Board last evening on a net-zero 12-apartment building he is planning at 10 Chestnut St. in the village, next to the Inn at Cooperstown. “The village needs long-term rentals,” he told trustees at their monthly meeting. “And I see a need for more energy.” He was advised to take the plans to the Historical Preservation & Architectural Review Board (H-PARB) and the Planning Board. (Libby Cudmore/AllOTSEGO.com)

COOPERSTOWN – For Josh Edmonds, the lot at 10 Chestnut St. represents a chance to solve two problems in the village – adding housing and reducing energy consumption.

“The village needs long-term rentals,” he said. “And I see a need for more energy-efficient construction.”

Edmonds, a passive-house consultant through, Simple Integrity, his contracting company, has proposed a two-story, 12-unit building on the lot at 10 Chestnut St, next to the Inn at Cooperstown.

At the Village Board meeting on Tuesday, May 28, Edmonds revealed details about the proposed project:  12 two-bedroom units, with the six apartments on the first floor designated as handicap-accessible. There will also be 24 parking spaces.

Village Should Buy Former CVS, Make It Downtown Hub

EDITORIAL

Village Should Buy CVS,

Make It Downtown Hub

During New York History Day, a Rockland County family strolls past Cooperstown’s downtown CVS, once an anchor, but vacant since November 2017. (AllOTSEGO.com photo)

Editor’s Note:  This is reprinted from this week’s Freeman’s Journal and Hometown Oneonta editorial pages. Click here for related editorial.  What do you think? Letters to the Editor welcome at info@allotsego.com

In a couple of weeks, we won’t remember that Cooperstown’s Main Street is a ghost town from Columbus Day to Memorial Day.  The 500,000 visitors will begin arriving in earnest with Dreams Parks’ June 1 opening.

By the time we again become Coopers(ghost)town, the opportunity will have been lost.

The opportunity, of course, is 100 Main St., a gap in the village’s set of most perfect teeth since CVS moved to the southern edge of the village in November 2017 –yes, it’s almost been two years.

Auto Dealers Bullish As Showrooms Reopen

Auto Dealers Bullish

As Showrooms Reopen

With People Avoiding Airplane Travel,

Travelers May Drive On Local Vacations

Ben Guenther surveys his Five Star Subaru lot, where 20 of 100 cars have been sold since the pandemic started. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By LIBBY CUDMORE – Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Tom Armao discusses implementing the new state guidelines at Country Club Automotive.

INDEX – Kevin Harris believes that the road trip is due for a resurgence.

“There’s reluctance for people to fly or do cruises,” said the proprietor of Kevin’s Royal Automotive here. “But they still want to travel, and I think that bodes well for us in the third and fourth quarter.”

In a surprise to many, on Thursday,

May 7, Governor Cuomo lifted restrictions on auto dealerships statewide, allowing in-person sales – by appointment; sales had previously been restricted to online only.

On Democratic Ballot Line, Fernandez Not ‘Endorsed’

On Democratic Ballot Line,

Fernandez Not ‘Endorsed’

Democrats Debate Over ‘Distinction’ In Sheriff Race

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

The candidates are Bob Fernandez, left, and Richard J. Devlin, Jr.

COOPERSTOWN – While Democrats have allowed Republican and county sheriff’s candidate Bob Fernandez to run on the Democratic ballot line in the Nov. 6 general election, it seems they fell short of an outright “endorsement.”

“Mr. Fernandez has not received the endorsement of the OCDO,” Mike Henrici, the Democratic county election commissioner and county committee secretary emailed after this week’s Hometown Oneonta & The Freeman’s Journal hit the streets.  “…He does not appear as an endorsed candidate on the OCDC website or anywhere else.  In fact, no motion has even been made in the committee to even consider an endorsement.”

‘Tip Line’ Planned As Students Return

‘Tip Line’ Planned

As Students Return

Herzig Also Plans  College,

City Hall ‘Working Group’

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA – With 7,000 SUNY Oneonta and Hartwick College students ready to come back to school at the end of the month, Mayor Gary Herzig is taking no chances when it comes to the community’s health and safety.

Mayor Herzig

“We’re working on a dedicated tip line dedicated to COVID health concerns,” he said. “It’s not just for students, it’s for anyone with a public health concern.”

The phone line will go directly to the Oneonta Police Department, and reports can be made anonymously. “When that phone rings, whoever is there knows that it’s a public health emergency,” he said. “The person won’t have to fill out a report, and action can be taken immediately.”

Herzig is in the process of forming two working groups, one for each college, to keep on top of concerns for both students and city residents. “We want to monitor how we’re doing,” he said. “If we run into problems, we come up with a solution.”

Called the “SUNY Control Room” and modeled on the Mohawk Valley Regional Control Room that Herzig serves on, SUNY students, faculty and City Officials will hold a virtual meeting once a week to discuss concerns on and off campus.

A second group will be formed at Hartwick College, though Herzig stresses that the majority of students live on campus, rather than in off-campus housing.

“The colleges did a great job on their safety plans,” he said. “If we don’t have the same expectations of the students downtown, why should they go through all the trouble? The virus doesn’t care if you’re on campus or off.”

The ultimate issue, he said, is monitoring the number of COVID cases, but there will be ongoing discussions of compliance with state regulations. “The big concerns are house parties, over-crowding in bars and restaurants, and large groups downtown not wearing masks,” he said.

Bars and restaurants are already limited in capacity under state regulations, but among the proposals the Control Room is looking at is limiting Oneonta Public Transit runs in the evening to only the “essentials.”

“We don’t want to facilitate or encourage nightlife,” said Herzig. “We are all forgoing dining in restaurants or having a few drinks at a bar. Crowded buses are not something we want to see, and we don’t want so many people coming downtown that it gets overcrowded.”

There is also concern about house parties, which, Herzig said, is where the tip line comes in.

“Enforcement will fall to the Oneonta Police Department,” he said.

If a bar is found to be out of compliance, police can ask people to leave in order to bring the numbers into compliance. However, if the overcrowding is “extreme,” police are allowed to close the bar for the night and call in the State Liquor Authority the next day, who may pull the bar’s liquor license.

Herzig is also working with student associations to determine what bus routes and times meet those essentials, which include shopping, the library and night classes, and which can be limited.

However, he said, if there is no increase in cases, the Control Room can begin to relax restrictions, such as adding additional bus routes.

“My hope is that we get good compliance from everyone,” he said. “We all recognize the importance and the risks involved, and I think for the most part, the students want to do the right thing.”

 

 

 

 

6 Lawyers Line Up For Judge Vacancy

CLICK FOR LIST OF CANDIDATES

6 Lawyers Line Up

For Judge Vacancy

GOP Committee Meets Sunday

To Pick Brian Burns’ Successor

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

County Judge Brian D. Burns was chosen Tuesday by a Sixth Judicial District convention to fill a state Supreme Court vacancy. (AllOTSEGO.com file photo)

COOPERSTOWN – Things are moving quickly:

  • Tuesday, Aug. 11, a Sixth District judicial convention in Binghamton named Otsego County Judge Brian D. Burns of Oneonta to succeed retired Michael V. Coccoma of Cooperstown as state Supreme Court judge. Burns plans to remove his name from the county judge line on the Nov. 3 ballot.
  • In anticipation, six local lawyers had already come forward over the weekend to announce their interest in filling Burns’ seat. “At this point, I don’t expect anyone else to jump in,” said County GOP Chairman Vince Casale.
  • And the 75-member county Republican Committee is scheduled to meet at 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 16, in The Otesaga ballroom to interview the candidates and select a new county judge, who will run unopposed on the Nov. 3 ballot.

The six candidates are attorneys Richard Brown, Jill Ghaleb, Mike Getman, Will Green, Susan Lettis and Michael E. Trosset.

The succession of judges, because they are elected every 10 years, usually allows candidates more time to line up.  “This is unique,” said Casale.

When the county committee meets Sunday, it first will address routine business – for instance, supporting GOP Elections Committee Lori Lehenbauer of Worcester for another term.  (Virtual connections will be available to members uneasy about attending in person.)

The six candidates will gather in the hotel’s Oak Room, and the committee will call them in one by one to be interviewed. Whomever the committee choses at afternoon’s end will become judge, Casale said.

In 2008, when Coccoma, then county judge, ran for Supreme Court, there was plenty of time for the county committees to line up the contest between Republican John Lambert and then-Democrat Jill Ghaleb, who had been appointed to the Coccoma vacancy by then-Gov. David Paterson.

This time, when Coccoma announced his retirement in June, Burns was in place to run for reelection to what would have been his third term on the county bench.

Because of Burns’ popularity, the Democrats hadn’t fielded a challenger.  It’s too late now, so that turns this fall’s judicial election into a Republican coronation.

Mayor, Council Member, Police Chief Set Record Straight On Flag

Mayor, Chief, Deputy Mayor

Aim To Calm ‘Blue Line’ Furor

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

The online furor began when Chief Brenner furled the “Thin Blue Line” flag after it was discussed in a Common Council committee.

ONEONTA – The removal of a “Thin Blue Line” flag from the pole in front of the Public Safety Building has caused a local social media uproar, and the mayor, police chief and deputy mayor issued a joint statement tonight seeking to calm the discussion.

The men are in agreement on the issue, the statement said.

“Locally, we have enough problems to solve without creating ones that do not exist,” said Mayor Gary Herzig. “Many of the recent accusations, spreading through social media and email, have been both painful and false. We want to set the record straight.”

The controversy started during a meeting of the city’s Legislative Committee last week.  Deputy Mayor Dave Rissberger, Third Ward, brought up the flagpole in front of the Public Safety Building, which had flown the “Thin Blue Line” flag since the summer.

Facing Trade War, Let’s Buy U.S. Pork, Apples, Wine

Editorial April 13, 2018

Facing Trade War, Let’s

Buy U.S. Pork, Apples, Wine

Strike a blow in the trade war: with a nice loin of pork.

When did tariffs become a dirty word?
In the early days of the Republic, tariffs were used liberally to allow the development of such mainstay domestic industries as coal, iron and textiles in the face of Great Britain’s overwhelming advantage.
When Henry “The Great Compromiser” Clay died in 1852, obelisks were raised in his honor: Not for saving the Union, but for championing the tariff.
Beginning with Mexico’s addition to NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, in 1994, manufacturing jobs began to stream out of the U.S. Predictably, since wages were so much lower south of the border. (In 1992, president candidate Ross Perot had famously predicted that “great sucking sound.”)

SUNY Oneonta’s Ford Hall Picked As ‘Net Zero’ Project

SUNY Oneonta’s Ford Hall

Picked As ‘Net Zero’ Project

First-In-System Redo Paves Way For 500 Dorms Statewide
SUNY Oneonta’s Ford Hall during Eastman & Associate renovations a few years ago.

ONEONTA – “Net zero.”

That term refers to a building “that generates all its energy onsite, producing as much energy from non-fossil fuels sources at it consumes each year,” SUNY Oneonta’s Lachlain Squair, chief facilities planning and safety officer, said yesterday in announcing 213-room Ford Hall will become the first such building on the local campus.

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