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Doing The Numbers On Universal Basic Income

COLUMN • View from Fly Creek

Doing The Numbers On

Universal Basic Income


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.

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.

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/

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.

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.

12 Net-Zero Apartments Planned On Chestnut St.


12 Net-Zero Apartments

Planned On Chestnut St.

Josh Edmonds, principal in Simple Integrity builders, briefs the Cooperstown Village Board last evening on “The Grove,” 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 Tuesday. “And I see a need for more energy-efficient construction.” He was advised to take the plans to the Historical Preservation & Architectural Review Board (H-PARB) and the Planning Board.  Facing the camera are, from left, Trustees Jim Membrino, MacGuire Benton and Jeanne Dewey; with back to camera are Trustees Jim Dean, left, and Richard Sternberg.  (Libby Cudmore/



Lofts On Dietz Parking, Energy Raised As Issues

Lofts On Dietz’s

Parking, Energy

Raised As Issues

SEQRA To Start Next Month;

Groundbreaking Next Summer

Addressing the city Planning Commission, from left, were Michael Stolzer and Mark Drnek, who raised concerns about parking; David Hutchison, who called for net-zero energy use in the proposed Lofts on Dietz, and weaver Liz Shannon, who asked if the size of the proposed units – about 800 square feet for single units and 1,000 for doubles – was sufficient; Kearney’s reply appeared to satisfy her. Mayor Herzig is at right. (Jim Kevlin/

By JENNIFER HILL • Special to

Developer Ken Kearney outlines the project. Behind him is Dave Ohman from Delaware Engineering. At right, Planning Commission member Dan Maskin listens.

ONEONTA – Two citizens raised concerns about parking – a third called for “net zero” energy efficiency – when developer Ken Kearney outlined plans for a 64-unit art colony, The Lofts on Dietz, to the city Planning Commission last evening.

Vice Chair Overbey presided.

“As an artist, the building is an excellent concept, one we should embrace,” said Michael Stolzer, who lives in the Town of Oneonta but owns rental properties in the city.  “But parking spaces are valuable.  It seems kind of on the absurd side to build it on the parking lot.”

Mayor Gary Herzig saw it another way: “I truly hope we have a real parking problem, because it will mean we’re thriving and our businesses are successful,” he said as the meeting wrapped up.

BOUND VOLUMES: September 17, 2020


September 17, 2020


Infallible Cure for the Whooping Cough – Dissolve a scruple of tartar in a gill of water, and ten grains of cochineal, finely powdered; sweeten it with a fine loaf or brown sugar. Give an infant the fourth part of a tablespoonful four times a day, and from four years old and upwards, a tablespoonful may be taken. The relief is immediate and the cure in general is effected in four or five days. Let the patient’s drink at night, and when in bed, be water-sweetened with brown sugar. This drink is also recommended in all cases of tickling, irritating coughs when in bed – giving almost instantaneous relief.

September 18, 1820


Cabaret Guest Conductor Contest


GUEST CONDUCTOR – 7:30 p.m. 3 candidates compete for YOUR vote at the Annual Cabaret Concert featuring the Mambo Kings. Alumni Field House, SUNY Oneonta. Call 607-436-2670 or visit

CRAYON CARNIVAL – 11 a.m. 3 p.m. Enjoy food, games, prizes gift basket raffle, the “Cake Walk” the Junior Cupcake Boss Competition, displays from Oneonta World of Learning, more to support the PTA. Cooperstown Elementary School. Call 607-547-8181 or visit

U-Haul Growth Survey: NY Drops Four Places

U-Haul Growth Survey:

NY Drops Four Places

New York is the No. 43 Growth State in America, slipping four places from 2018, according to U-Haul® data analyzing U.S. migration trends for 2019.

New York backslides four spots from its No. 39 ranking a year ago, registering as a slight net-loss state for procuring U-Haul truck customers. It ranked in the same vicinity the previous two years – 44th in 2017 and 35th in 2016 – after climbing to the No. 7 state for growth back in 2015.

Cuomo, Schumer Favorability Drops Sharply, Poll Says

Trump Nudges Up In NYS

Cuomo, Schumer

Favorability Drops

Sharply, Poll Says

Governor Cuomo’s job performance rating plummeted in the last month, and U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer also saw a significant drop in how voters feel about him, according to a Siena Poll of New York State voters released yesterday.

President Trump’s ratings actually edged up a bit.

The governor’s favorability rating fell to negative 43-50 percent, down from  51-43 percent last month. His job performance rating fell to 35-64 percent, down from 43-56 percent.  Schumer saw his favorability rating drop to 47-46 percent, down from 53-39 percent in January, the Siena pollsters found.


Performance of ‘Love Letters’


THEATER – 2 p.m. Performance of ‘Love Letters,’ by A.R. Gurney, which tells the story of Andrew Makepeace Ladd III and Melissa Gardner via the letters they exchanged over their lifetime. The Production Center of the Foothills Performing Arts Center, 124 Market St., Oneonta. Info, (607) 432-5407 or

QUILT SHOW – 11 a.m.-4 p.m.. Thru Sunday Feb. 26. Cooperstown Art Association, 22 Main St., Cooperstown. Info,

PLAY READING – 6:30 p.m. Reading of “Lord of the Wilderness” by local playwright Ron Nash. Telling the story of William Cooper and the founding of Cooperstown. Based on Alan Taylor’s book “William Cooper’s Town.”Fenimore Art Museum Auditorium, 5798 NY-80, Cooperstown. Info,


Cancellations Possible



CANCELLED!! TREP$ MARKETPLACE – 1-3 p.m. Come support CCS students bring their businesses alive. Cooperstown High School. Info,

CONCERT – 3 p.m. Oneonta Community Concert band presents its annual “Summertime in Winter” concert featuring numbers like “Hail to the Spirit of Liberty”, “I’ve Made My Plans for the Summer”, and “Our Flirtations.” Free and open to the public. Fox Care Center, Oneonta. Info, 437-1052

TOURNAMENT – 4 p.m. Valentine “Hearts” Tournament to benefit Susquehanna Animal Shelter. Trophies and door prizes awarded, with beverages and food available. Cooperstown Beverage Exchange, 73 Main St, Cooperstown. Info,


Mozart Concert For 

Hans & Edith Wilk


MEMORIAL CONCERT – 7:30 p.m. The Oneonta community remembers “Hans & Edith Wilk.” Features the combined voices of the Hartwick College Chorus and SUNY Oneonta Concert Choir performing Mozart’s Symphony #35 Haffner and Requiem with the Catskill Symphony Orchestra. Hunt Union Ballroom, SUNY Oneonta. Info,

SPIRITUAL ARTS & PSYCHIC FAIR – 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 2 day fair featuring reading by psychics, vendors, and workshops to help you heal, and find direction in your life. Oneonta Holiday Inn, 5206 State Highway 23, Oneonta. Info,

HOMETOWN HISTORY, September 13, 2013

HOMETOWN HISTORY, September 13, 2013

125 Years Ago
Most of the stores owned by our Hebrew merchants were closed last Thursday night and they and their families observed the inception of the Jewish New Year. Thursday was the first day of Fishri, the first day of the year 5649, according to the reckoning of the Jewish calendar, and from then until after the tenth day of Fishri ensues the most solemn period of the year. Rosh Hashohah, day of remembrance, is celebrated with imposing ceremonies in the various synagogues. The penitential season which this day opens culminates on the 15th of September, which is the Day of Atonement – Yom Kippur – a day of a resolute fast and the holiest of the year. Stores will close on Friday night at sundown and remain closed for 24 hours.
September 1888

100 Years Ago
Record gross earnings from rail operations may be predicted for the Delaware & Hudson Company this calendar year says the Wall Street Journal. Present prospects and the earnings of the first half of the calendar year indicate also the largest net in the company’s history. For the six months ended June 30, 1913, railroad operating revenue was $11,716,339. This compares with $10,135,354 in 1912; $10,210,804 in 1911, and $9,628,645 in 1910. In each of the three preceding calendar years gross was larger in the second than in the first half. Should this prove the case in the current year, railroad operating revenue for 12 months will run between $23,500,000 and $24,000,000. In no previous calendar year has it exceeded $22,500,000. The company’s net after taxes for six months in 1913 was within $162 of $4,000,000, comparing with $3,078,106 in 1912 and $3,476,970 in 1911. The 1912 earnings were low on account of the strike, but the gain over 1911 exceeds 15 percent.
September 1913

80 Years Ago
Frank D. Briggs of Jamaica Estates, Jamaica, Long Island, who is visiting at the home of his niece, Mrs. W. Clinton Noble of 274 Chestnut Street, was a former stagecoach driver on mail and passenger lines some 58 years ago around Oneonta, Cooperstown and Morris. His driving time with a two-horse team was four hours between Oneonta and Hartwick. A few days ago, a friend drove him between the two points in 20 minutes by automobile. At the age of 16 in 1875 Mr. Briggs entered the employ of L.P. Richmond of Morris, who had the mail contract between Cooperstown and Oneonta. He worked for Mr. Richmond three years until the contract expired. Leaving Cooperstown at 5 o’clock in the morning, Mr. Briggs’ schedule required that he reach Hartwick at 7 o’clock, Mt. Vision at 8:30 and Laurens at 9 o’clock. The mail was due in Oneonta between 10 and 10:30. About the same time was made on the return trip, the stage leaving here at 1 o’clock and reaching Cooperstown at 6 o’clock.
September 1933

60 Years Ago
Oneonta will be following the trend already established in Utica and other northern regions of the state when many local grocery stores will raise the price of bread from 19 cents a loaf to 20 cents. The Spaulding Bakery Co., the sole bread manufacturer in Oneonta, will hike the wholesale price on its nine varieties of bread one penny, according to Herbert G. Price, Manager. Ward’s, distributor of Tip-Top Bread, raised the price one cent on Tuesday in the Oneonta area. No price announcement has been made by two other wholesale bread distributors in the Oneonta area, Curly Top Bakeries, Inc. and the United Baking Co. The manager of the Spaulding Bakeries explained the increase of the wholesale bread price by stating that the cost of materials and ingredients in making bread has mounted over the past year.
September 1953

30 Years Ago
The city’s new Wilber Park pool created a big splash in its first season of use and made it through the summer with just a few minor problems, Assistant City Engineer Bruno Bruni said. “The main pool held up fine,” Bruni said, adding, “The wading pool was the one that gave us the most problems.” The wading pool was closed twice because of a broken part in the filtration system and on another occasion when there was a problem with chlorination. The cost of constructing the pool was $433,200. Attendance over the past summer reached nearly 45,000. More than 1,000 people turned out on several extremely hot days and holidays. The Common Council voted to keep the main Wilber Park pool open on weekends past Labor Day on Saturdays and Sundays from 1 p.m. to dusk as long as weather permits. The wading pool was closed after Labor Day.
September 1983

20 Years Ago
Someday, people from all over the world will come to Oneonta to play soccer. They’ll play in a 10,000 seat stadium, or a larger indoor arena. They’ll stay in dormitories just a short walk from seven state-of-the-art playing fields and a huge museum honoring the world’s soccer legends. For 15 years, Oneonta’s Wright National Soccer Hall of Fame Campus was mostly talk, blueprints and the dream of a handful of local soccer enthusiasts. A promise of $4.5 million to build a stadium is an indication that other people believe in that dream. The state is also promising $250,000 to promote the Hall when World Cup games come to the U.S. next fall.
September 1993

10 Years Ago
The annual southbound migration of birds through the upper Susquehanna region and the Catskills has begun signaling the local Audubon Society’s hawk watch at the group’s sanctuary on Franklin Mountain near Oneonta. This season marks the 15th consecutive year of counting raptors at the site. “We get excellent numbers of red-tailed hawks and golden eagles,” said Andy Mason, conservation chair of the Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society. Franklin Mountain is considered one of the prime observation spots in the eastern United States for raptor species. The first wave of hawks is expected between September 10 and 21. Last year’s total count was 4,764 raptors of 15 different species, well above the 3,000 bird average.” Just the sight of one soaring eagle makes it all worthwhile,” Mason said.
September 2003

Cuomo Adds Detail To Benchmarks That Must Be Met To Open


Cuomo Adds Detail

To Benchmarks That

Must Be Met To Open

ROCHESTER – At his daily briefing, Governor Cuomo outlined additional guidelines that met precede the reopening of the state’s 10 economic development regions, including the Mohawk Valley, which includes Otsego County.

“Reopening is more difficult than the closedown,” he said.  “…When you go to restart, the reopening, now knowing what we know, it’s more nuanced. You have to be more careful. And again, no one has done this before, and no one has been here before. So, first, start by learning the lessons that we did learn through this experience.”

DAILY BRIEFING: Absentee Ballots Issued To All New York Voters


Absentee Ballots Issued

To All New York Voters

ALBANY – Governor Cuomo today said he will direct the state Board of Elections to  automatically mail every New Yorker a postage-paid application for an absentee ballot.

Earlier this month, he issued an executive order allowing all New Yorkers to vote absentee in the June 23 primary

In his daily 11:30 a.m. briefing, the governor also said state revenues are expected to decline 14 percent, or $13.3 billion, from the executive budget forecast.  By FY 2024, he expects a decline of $61 billion.



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