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Tom Morgan

MORGAN: Our Vast, Throwaway Nation

MONEY TALK

Our Vast,

Throwaway Nation

By TOM MORGAN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Many visiting Europeans are stunned by the huge number of derelict and otherwise empty buildings we have. They ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.

Most of our cities show signs of manufacturing blight. Especially northern and rust-belt cities. In this state, a city does not qualify as a city unless it can show several shuttered factories, an empty mall, vacant storefronts, office buildings half-empty.

Tom Morgan, the retired Oneonta investment counselor and national syndicated columnist, resides in Franklin.

Maybe an armory. Many of our small towns suffer the same blight with old school buildings and industrial caracasses. Upstaters have grown up with the sight of them. To them they are as much a part of the landscape as maple trees.

European visitors are shocked by the same sight. This is because Europeans do not have enough spare space to allow this. They cannot afford it. So they knock down or reuse old buildings.

We, on the other hand, are rich enough to leave the bodies where they collapsed. Gilbertsville, where I graduated high school, is still home to the remains of a factory that failed in the 1930s.

We are in the midst of adding to the body count of unused buildings. Before the virus struck we were losing shopping malls. One big bank predicted we will lose 25 percent of our malls by 2022. About 9,000 stores closed last year. Many were in malls.

The Wuhan Virus will surely steepen the decline. Victoria’s Secret announced this week it will close 250 stores. Already shaky Macy’s reports sales are down 45 percent. Bell-ringers are warming up the muffled bells. JC Penney and J. Crew have filed for bankruptcy. Lord & Taylor is looking at liquidation. Neiman Marcus is bankrupt. Nordstrom is closing 15 stores. Etc, bloody etc.

Meanwhile, small businesses are vacating downtown and mini-malls. Many colleges and universities are shrinking because the pool of available students has shrunk.

Some may go under.

Office buildings in cities are somewhat empty. Because so many office workers are lately home workers. Facebook, Google and Microsoft say most of their workers will work from home until 2021. I have to believe many companies will simply occupy less office space in the future. How’re you gonna lure them back to the office, after they’ve seen home cooked lunches?

Don’t forget movie theaters. They are dark now because of the virus. Many will never reopen. They were already edging toward the abyss. The virus is jettisoning them into it.

Old line churches have struggled for years. This virus may have people on their knees. But the praying has been at home. Some churches will perish.

The country will see thousands of clinics, shops, florists and mom and pops of all types close. Wait. They are closed now. Thousands will not re-open. Banks that have cut their corps of tellers to the bone will – in many branches – saw through the bone.

Local governments will take similar measures. My county is cutting a million from its modest budget. It is closing one of its DMV offices.

My point is that this country is going to look like a cemetery for deceased buildings. Even when the economy grows healthy again. And I believe it will. We knew more of our economy would go online down the road. The virus has brought the road to us. Down the road is no longer down.

We are accustomed to seeing empty shops on Main Street. And empty factories here and there. And the odd shuttered shopping mall. Well, the view from the highway is not likely to improve.

If you were in charge of degree programs at a university I would suggest a new one. An MS in Building Re-use.

From Tom…as in Morgan.

PACHTER: The Answer, Choose People Over Money
LETTER TO EDITOR from JUDITH PACHTER

The Answer: Choose

People Over Money

To the Editor:

As a former registered nurse and a retired financial adviser, I see both sides of this horrendous dilemma. But in my mind, there is no amount of money that is worth one death that could have been prevented.

We sit in our isolated homes in rural Central New York and feel a bit sorry for ourselves because we cannot do or should not do what is usual. But what we really should be doing is feeling extremely fortunate that our numbers are few.

Why is that?

Because our governor chose people over money. The projections have changed because most of us are doing what we are supposed to do. The number of those who have “croaked” as Mr. Tom Morgan put it are much fewer than our federal government originally projected because many of the states took the lead.

Think of how many fewer cases there would have been if our president would have taken the warnings of the WHO (the truth and not the propaganda) and his experts seriously. If we had a leader who had locked this country down instead of relating this to the flu, we would not be where we are today.

I don’t know about you, Mr. Morgan, but I have family members affected by this virus. I have a cousin who is a New York City school teacher who has been very sick for four weeks. My brother-in-law’s brother is also struggling with COVID-19 (not “WuFlu”). My niece and nephew are physicians and they have been exposed through their work and have two small children and awaiting test results. I have many, many friends in Rockland County who must stay in their homes because of the thousands of cases and deaths in that area.

And I am on the Board of Directors of United Hospice Inc. that is now taking care of those with no hope of recovery, both in their homes and in a residential facility. We have had three or four staff that have tested positive. All of this might have been precluded had our government taken swift and country-wide action.

But instead, our leader is promoting civil disobedience that in itself is divisive and dangerous. He has not once talked about the people who have died – only about numbers. And Mr. Morgan, you would argue that the mainstream press has blown this out of proportion. I think not and I think that people are much more important than money.

I know that it will be extremely difficult for this area to recover from the closing of Dreams Park and, at first, I did not understand that decision and thought that a rolling closure would be a better solution. But I personally would not want my grandchild in a dorm with dozens of other children that have come from all over the country in just four to six weeks’ time. Would any of you?

As a financial adviser, I never sat with a person who was gasping for air, but as a nurse I sure did. Feeling like you are drowning is probably the most horrendous feeling (yes, ladies, worse than childbirth) in the world. We need to continue to heed the advice of our scientists and not our business leaders and stay home and away from each other.

We need to thank our Governor for caring and we need to thank our first responders who are getting sick and we need to thank all those who are working hard to take care of the sick, sitting with the dying. And most of all, we need to thank the scientists who are working hard towards medication, testing and finding a vaccine so that we go back to life as we know it. And we need to listen to those experts who care about our well-being.

JUDITH PACHTER
Oneonta

MORGAN: Bad Numbers, Good News

MONEY MATTERS

Bad Numbers,

Good News

By TOM MORGAN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Let us call it The Finger-Pointers’ Dilemma.

The toll of the virus has been less than what we were promised. The WuFlu medical experts assured us the sky was definitely falling this time. Maybe 2 million of us would croak.

Tom Morgan, the retired Oneonta investment counselor and national syndicated columnist, resides in Franklin.

These experts convinced themselves of this. They convinced our public health officials. They convinced Big Media. All of them teamed up to convince our leaders.

And so, our leaders shut down our economy. They turfed over 17 million Americans from their jobs. And we are still counting. Upward. They cut the legs from under hundreds of thousands of small businesses. They sentenced many of them to bankruptcy. They pushed us into, likely, a recession. And, perhaps, into a depression. They saddled the country with trillions in new debt, to try to buffer the damage to workers and businesses.

Our leaders did this because experts demanded they do so. There was no alternative, they and the experts insisted. The prospect of 2 million deaths makes it imperative, they said.

After a few weeks the experts lowered their estimates. They now proclaimed that only 1 million or so Americans would die from WuFlu. Still a pretty daunting figure.

Then the experts lowered their estimates again. Only 240,000 of us would die from the virus. They were really serious about this number, they said. Pay attention to this number.

Then the experts lowered their estimates to 100,000 or so. Then 80,000. Then 60,000.  And they admitted that lots of people who were tagged as virus deaths were actually victims of such diseases as pneumonia.  They concluded this because far fewer folks were dying this year from pneumonia than die normally. Given that, maybe the WuFlu deaths would be in the 50,000 range.

Well now, this presents a lot of critics with a predicament.

This is because the President will probably claim that he and his crisis team must be miracle workers. After all, the experts told us 2 million would die. But after his crisis team went to work on the problem only 50,000 died. If that. He will suggest we toast his success. With a cocktail of that drug he touted. You know, the one the experts said nobody should take.

All hail to the conquering Trump. He and his team saved way over a million and a half lives.

WAIT! We can’t have that. No, no. We absolutely cannot give these guys such credit. Remember, half the country hates Trump. Thinks him an idiot.

Big Media cannot possibly give him or them credit. Not after declaring Trump’s every move was wrong. His every utterance a lie. His optimism unfounded. They claimed he had blood on his hands. They wailed that thousands of people were dying because of his decisions.

Trump was wrong on allocating supplies. On suggesting medicos look at that hydry-cholor, whatever, drug. He closed down travel from China too soon. No, he was too late. He was too late shutting down European travel. No, he was absolutely wrong to do it at all.

Given that mountain of vitriol and criticism Big Media cannot now give the sod credit. His political opponents, who called him racist and xenophobic and idiotic – for starters – they cannot afford to give him any credit. No. Absolutely not. Trump successful? Impossible!

So the question begs: If he and his team did everything wrong…if their efforts were not successful… how do we account for the much lower numbers? Oh dear.

It must be the experts. Let’s attack those experts! Yes, yes, good plan. But, but, but…those experts who were wrong include Dr. Fauci, who is now sainted. Canonized. Headed for a Nobel. They include the venerable World Health Organization. These experts told us, and advised the President, that the virus was no big deal. Travel bans were not necessary.

A dilemma. That is what the critics face. They assure us Trump & Co. screwed up everything. Trump was wrong about everything, everything! Until, that is, the unthinkable happened: We got a good result. Compared with the predictions of the experts, we got a miraculous result. To go from 2 million deaths to 50,000 is like a reverse Loaves and Fishes.

In the musical “The King And I”, the king declares he is confounded. “There are times I almost think nobody sure of what he absolutely know,” he sings. “Everybody find confusion in conclusion he concluded long ago.  And it puzzle me to learn that tho’ a man may be in doubt of what he know. Very quickly he will fight.  He’ll fight to prove that what he does not know is so!  Is a puzzlement.”

Indeed.

MORGAN: Nothing To Fear – But Flu Itself

MONEY TALK

Nothing To Fear

– But Flu Itself

Tom Morgan, the retired Oneonta investment counselor and national syndicated columnist, resides in Franklin.

Are you frightened by this virus?

You should be. Consider these scary figures please.

Consider up to 45 million Americans infected by this virus.

Yes, 45 million!!! With three exclamation points!

Consider from 350,000 to 560,000 Americans so sick with it they have to be hospitalized. And consider from 18,000 to 46,000 people dying from the virus. This, according to our Center for Disease Control.

These figures describe the situation in the U.S. The World Health Organization offers global figures that should frighten you more. Figures such as 3 to 5 million people severely ill with the virus. And from 250,000 to 500,000 dying from it.

Wait! It gets worse. Recently the CDC and other prestigious organizations upped the world numbers to 650,000 deaths.

Such staggering numbers justify the flight cancellations. And the zillions of masks. We can hardly blame countries for closing their borders. Or for quarantining cities.

There is no mystery why stock markets around the world would crash. Looking at these numbers, we welcome the news that responsible countries and states have declared states of emergency.

Before you stick your head in the oven, let us consider an additional fact. The virus I refer to is not the current coronavirus. It is our annual flu virus. The one for which so many of us cannot be bothered to get a shot.

Repeat. I am not here writing about the latest virus. The one that has turned the world upside down. No. I write about the ho-hum annual flu and its season.

Yes, up to 45 million Americans were sick with the flu this season. That is, between last Oct. 1 to Feb. 22 this year. And, yes, up to 45,000 of us died from that flu.

We barely noticed. Well, our big media barely noticed. And so we, not informed, took the flu season in stride. We barely noticed that those strides took us over and past 45,000 dead folks.

We and our media took little note of this calamity because it was nothing new. The figures are daunting every flu season. For instance, look at 2017-18. Up to 45 million flu patients. Just in the U.S. Up to 1.4 million people hospitalized. Just in the U.S. Up to 95,000 Americans died from influenza.

The media did not scream these figures at us. Politicians did not blame their opponents for them. Nobody blamed Trump for the 95,000 deaths. Nobody shutdown anything while this contagion raged.

We lost 95,000 Americans to one virus in the 2017-18 flu season and as a nation we yawned. Thus far we have lost fewer than 100 lives to coronavirus, and all hell has broken loose.

What is going on to cause this? A few things.

One is that this is a new virus. The world’s disease experts did not know much about it. Therefore they could not predict where it would go. Nor how quickly. Nor could they predict how deadly it would be. Or not be.

By the time they got a decent look at it, it had the appearance of a bomb. That is because the secretive Chinese kept the world and their own people in the dark about the outbreak in Wuhan. Until it was too late to contain it. Had they been open and transparent from the start the world might never have had to hit the panic buttons.

There is a further big factor in this. We should realize that FDR’s warning lives on because it was the truth.

Yes: The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

Why did this fear grow so quickly and so great amongst us? Did our medical researchers proclaim the end of the world was nigh? Did they fling about predictions that millions would perish from this flu? Did they proclaim that various leaders screwed up? And thereby condemned millions to illness and death?

Nope. Most top medical guys were pretty cautious. It was Big Media that hyped this epidemic. It was Big Media that flooded our screens with urgent news. It was Big Media that wheeled out the so-called experts to warn us this virus was deadly and dangerous and scary and horrendous.

They did it for the clicks. The more they scared us the more we clicked on their news. And the more money they hauled in from their advertisers.

This virus is no small matter. We should not turn our back on it. Our experts need to learn much more about it. We should take it seriously. Especially if it surges way beyond where it is at the moment. But thus far it pales when you compare it with our annual flu epidemic.

Big media disagree. And the more they disagree, the more money they make. They get paid to scare the hell
out of us.

From Tom…as in Morgan.

 

MORGAN: ‘He Lied Under Oath.’ That’s It

MONEY TALK

‘He Lied Under Oath.’ That’s It

By TOM MORGAN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

The bloodbath-cum-circus in Washington these days? It awakens memories. Of how a notorious American ambassador handled a similar brouhaha – the Clinton impeachment.

He deployed a simple device. With it, he brought a certain order to the mayhem of the thinking of his friends. In one stroke he turned their murky thinking to crystal
clarity. I am certain he would use the device today.

Tom Morgan, the retired Oneonta investment counselor whose “Money Talk” column is nationally syndicated, lives in Franklin.
Godley

G. McMurtrie Godley – “Mac” – retired to Gilbertsville from his distinguished career in our diplomatic corps. The Clinton impeachment proceedings had saturated the nation’s air, airwaves and print with debate and downright wrangling: He said this. No he didn’t. He did this. No. It is not important. It is vitally important. He broke the law! Rubbish!

The arguments raged in offices, bars, coffee shops and millions of homes. They certainly raged in Mac’s home. Where he entertained retired diplomats galore. Along with great and lively minds from academia to business to government.

His dinner parties were often bedlam. That was the case with parties during the Clinton impeachment. That is, until he daubed a four-foot sign and draped it over his television for all the combatants to see. HE LIED UNDER OATH!

“HE”, of course was President Clinton. And clearly, he lied to a judge in a federal court case. He committed perjury.

Case closed. To Mac this ended all discussion of the Clinton impeachment. He believed there was nothing more to consider.

Our president had taken an oath to preserve, protect and defend our laws. He was the nation’s chief law enforcement officer. He had violated one of our most sacred laws. He had lied to a federal judge after swearing to tell the truth.

Mac’s sign hit me like a bucket of ice water. It had the same impact on his other friends. It sobered us to a reality we all knew. A reality we had overlooked in our debates. The reality that truth before a judge is utterly essential. As essential to the running of our country as gas is to our car’s engine. To perjure is to dump sand into the fuel tank.

Mac, by the way, had voted for Clinton. He contributed to his campaign. That did not matter. Once he learned Clinton lied under oath the president became a pariah to the old ambassador.

For me, Mac’s sign floats above today’s debate concerning the intel agencies and their spying mess. This was criminal. No, it was an innocent mistake. They did this. Nah, that’s an exaggeration. I read the IG report and it said this. Well, I read it and got exactly the opposite impression.

Whenever I see Comey, Clapper or Brennan on my television, the sign flashes: HE LIED UNDER OATH.

Each lied. That much is clear. People can argue over a hundred other issues. They cannot argue that these guys did not lie under oath.

Not important? It shouldn’t matter? After all, everybody lies. It’s only politics. It was an attempted coup. Rubbish!

People said the equivalent during the Clinton impeachment. Hey, it was only sex. It didn’t affect his job performance, did it?

Mac devoted his working years to serving this country. To him, oaths were sacred. To violate an oath was unthinkable to him. Anyone who did so instantly sullied his own character. A person who lied under oath no longer deserved to be trusted. Every other of his or her activities would be under a cloud, in Mac’s view.

  MORGAN: Fracking Bust? Or Fracking Boom?

MONEY MATTERS • Column

Fracking Bust?

Or Fracking Boom?

By TOM MORGAN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Who you gonna believe?

When people argue over contentious issues today they often follow a predictable pattern. He cites a scientific study that says blah blah about climate change. She cites a scientific study that claims the opposite.

Oh yeah? He says her study was published in a junk journal. Oh yeah? She lists the scientist’s credentials. And claims his scientist has the wrong degrees.

Oh yeah? He says her scientist is sponsored by oil companies. Oh yeah? She says his scientist is paid by government grants that pretty much require compliance.

They Google in their sleep to bolster their arguments. They greet their partners good-mornings with snarls. “By god I’m right. Her so-called scientific expert worked at a Mobil gas station in high school.”

All of this opens a can of worms. The chief worm is the question: Can you believe what you read or see or hear on a contentious issue?

Here is an example of what I mean.

Governor Cuomo banned fracking in this state. After six years, his environmental department backed him up with several reasons.

Fracking could and did pollute. With particulate matter. And with methane and organic chemicals.

Fracking could and did contaminate drinking water. With methane and fracking fluids. Because of improper wells.

Fracking contaminated soils and water by way of surface spills. It also caused earthquakes.

A fancy institute weighed in by pooh-poohing the so-called economic boom fracking brings. The promised jobs don’t come in the number that frackers promise. Studies that describe the boom are flawed.

Meanwhile….comes another study published in a big science journal. Its results are the opposite of what New York’s environmental officials declared.

The study was funded by the National Science Foundation and U.S. Geological Survey. Researchers from Penn State studied 21,000 water samples from areas near gas and oil wells in their state.

They found virtually zero methane contamination of the water. (Methane occurs naturally in lots of the state’s groundwater.)

The same researchers earlier studied 11,000 samples of water. From near 1400 gas wells in just one county. They found no problems. Actually, they found the opposite. There were trends of improving water quality in the county. Despite all the fracking.

“Since 2010 two dozen independent studies have not found any systemic impact caused by the 110,000 oil and natural gas wells in the U.S.” This from the Heartland Institute.

Our EPA spent $29 million and 6 years to find fracking has little or no effect on groundwater.

How about the boom that wasn’t? One consumer group estimates the lower gas prices saved Pennsylvania folks and businesses $31 billion over ten years.

Economists from three big universities say the average household in Pennsylvania gets up to $1900 per year in benefits from fracking. They cite healthy rises in average income and wages. They credit fracking with a 10 percent increase in jobs in the state.

A big Chamber of Commerce study estimates fracking added $13 billion to the state’s GDP. And $7 billion in new wages.

Heartland cites other studies that debunk the “myths” that fracking pollutes water or air. It assures us that major fracking states of Pennsylvania and Texas have lower rates of asthma, birth defects and cancer than many states that have no fracking.

Whilst opinions on fracking may be divided, it cannot be denied that there is a constant demand for oil and gas resources. Due to this, it’s vital that operators consider the most beneficial method to ensure that the impacts on the population and the environment are limited. By contacting a company like NCS Multistage, operators could try and find the best strategy to ensure they are able to collect more oil and gas through using a safe technique.

And the institute cites studies that claim earthquakes in fracking areas are of little significance.

I imagine some readers are Googling away already. They want to prove or disprove one side of this issue or the other.

It is a pity that it is impossible to find the truth in this and other vital matters. After all, a lot of up-staters would love to see an economic boom. Even if it was half what Pennsylvania’s is. The only booms upstate has experienced lately come during hunting season.

My grandfather reckoned the truth was usually half-way between the opposing arguments. Maybe that is where it is.

In the future maybe we will use artificial intelligence computers to resolve such issues. One side will input its data. The computer will spit it back as bull-tweedy. It will proclaim the other side’s argument worthy of five stars.

Yeah, but you can’t trust that robot. It was made by XYZ Company. Its pension fund owns energy stocks!

From Tom…as in Morgan.

Tom Morgan, retired Oneonta investment counselor and nationally syndicated writer of this column, lives in Franklin.

NORTHRUP: America, Conceived In Slavery? Bunk!

Column

MONEY TALKS

America, Conceived

In Slavery? Bunk!

By TOM MORGAN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

And you thought America was “conceived in liberty”?
That is what Abraham Lincoln suggested. Well I’m here to tellya that is bunk.
This country was conceived in wholesale medical cruelty. And medical malfeasance. So there!
Doctors of the 1700s treated illnesses by blood-letting. Got a pain? Slash a vein. Dysentery? Try an artery. Migraines? Let us drill holes in your skull. To allow evil spirits to escape. Your baby was born blind or retarded? Toss him in a river.
That is the evil that birthed this nation. Our Founding Doctors committed the unforgivable. Early Americans accepted and practiced their nostrums. This nation is stained with their evil from its conception.
Does this sound stupid to you?

Well, many prominent folks suggest the equivalent these days. They stand solidly behind the 1619 Project. The New York Times promotes this as its most worthy project. Presidential candidate Kamala Harris calls it a masterpiece.
The project is named for the arrival of the first 20 African slaves in the New World. It claims that from that sordid point onward America was
illegitimate.
Because its parents were sinful slave traders and owners.
This new reason to hate America is coming to a school curriculum near you! (It already has, in some form.)
Or so the 1619 Project folks dream. It certainly will come to
forums which influence policy-making in Washington.
In other words, please practice
hanging your head in shame over
slavery. There is plenty more self-flagellation on the menu for us. Your penance is to spit upon tributes paid to Washington, Jefferson and assorted Founding Fathers. They were a pack
of racist hypocrites. Everything they promoted and achieved was tainted with their sinful acceptance of slavery. America’s DNA is polluted with slavery.
Right.

Here are a few scraps on which the 1619 crowd might nibble.
Americans did not invent slavery. Hardly. From ancient Greece onward it was as normal as rain. All over the world people enslaved and bought and sold people. If we could time-travel to the 1700s, people would tell us we are nuts to say slavery was sinful. Lisbon, for instance, was 10 percent slaves in the 16th century.
By the way, only 5 percent of the slaves shipped across the Atlantic came to the U.S. Millions more landed in Brazil, Cuba and other countries and territories.
In America we had many freed black slaves. Guess how they harvested their cotton. They owned black slaves! That is how people thought in those times. Slavery was a normal condition. Just like leeches for scurvy.
The 1619 Project crowd despises a country because of its history with slaves? Then let us add dozens of countries to its hate list. And remember, America was late to the game.
The crowd claims the sin of slavery is in America’s DNA? Then let them
consider Africa’s DNA. Africans
from north to south built their nations on slavery.

Is this an attempt to excuse or dismiss the evil nature of slavery? No more than an attempt to dismiss the evil of slashing arteries to cure cancer. They both belong in eras of ignorance. We should view them in that context, period. And not in our relatively enlightened times.
Let us leave the 1619 Project crowd to wallow in what they feel are original sins of America. A few centuries ago docs would have drilled holes in their heads to release such evil thoughts.
Let us, instead, celebrate that Americans rose above such ignorance. Celebrate that Americans were courageous enough to declare to the world an ideal that was absurd in its day: That all of us are created equal. Celebrate that Americans fought a bloody war and other battles in pursuit of that ideal.
While slave-trading continued elsewhere. Indeed, there are 10 million people enslaved today.
From Tom…as in Morgan.

Tom Morgan, retired Oneonta investment counselor who writes a nationally syndicated column, lives in Franklin.

Some Indicators Suggest Recession Not Looming

COLUMN

Some Indicators Suggest

Recession Not Looming

By TOM MORGAN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Are we staring at a recession?

You have surely seen or heard reports, opinion and speculation to that effect. Gloom has been a mini-rage lately.

A few questions are in order. Are economists able to accurately predict recessions? No. If their accuracy percentages were batting averages you would bench them.

Why is the subject of recessions in the air so much lately? The Left salivates at the hint of a recession. Because a recession would inspire voters to kick Trump from office. Thus, critics fill our air waves and opinion columns with gloom and doom.

Entertainer Bill Maher openly dreams of one. NY Times columnist Paul Krugman reckons “Trump Boom to Trump Gloom.” He is anxious to scuttle praise for Trump’s economy. Because he predicted horrible endless worldwide calamity right after Trump’s election. Good economic news embarrasses him.

MORGAN: Why Must Presidential Bids Go On Forever-And-A-Day?

COLUMN

Why Must Presidential Bids

Go On Forever-And-A-Day?

By TOM MORGAN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

      If there’s one thing we’re good at in this country it is expanding things. From our waistlines and hamburgers to the NBA season, we know how to make things bigger and longer. Please note I do not imply necessarily better.

The Baseball Hall of Fame serves up a good example. In 1980 I went to its big induction ceremony in Cooperstown. When they welcomed the Detroit Tiger star Al Kaline into the Hall.

They held it on a side lawn of the Hall. There were maybe 300 of us. You could shake hands with Al, or the Duke or Yaz or any other star you wanted to. There was one star for every 10 fans.

Punishing Present For The Past

COLUMN • Money Matters

Punishing Present

For The Past

 By TOM MORGAN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Join me in a grand political correctness crusade! Together we can punish the present for the past. This crusade has already racked up several victories. Many more lie ahead.

Our most recent victory: We beheaded Kate Smith. The New York Yankees and Philadelphia Flyers destroyed her recordings of “God Bless America” they used to play. The Flyers hauled her statue from its stadium. They did this after the crusade unearthed two of her recordings. From 80 years ago. They had racist lyrics.

By today’s standards they did. Those are the only ones that count. Today’s standards.

Onward!  Let us demand the NY Yankees close down. Kate used to sing racist lyrics. The Yanks practiced racism. Big time. They downright banned African-Americans from their entire organization. This, for many years after the Dodgers hired Jackie Robinson. The Yanks might as well have painted a sign on their stadium: BLACKS NEED NOT APPLY.

Onward!  Let us demand that all of Major League Baseball go out of business. Yes! We pulled down statues of generals who fought for the Confederacy. We chiseled names from buildings. We re-named parks and schools. Those that honored guys who owned slaves.

Well, for 50 years baseball would not let a black man don a Major League uniform. Banned them. For the color of their skin. Down with baseball! Destroy the Hall of Fame with its tributes to all those racists of old.

Down with the bigoted racist U.S. Senate. It was certainly that for a few hundred years.

The Senate honored Sen. Robert Byrd for 51 years. Mourned him as a hero of that esteemed body. Well, for many years Byrd was a Grand Cyclops of the KKK. While a senator. He fought bitterly against civil rights for black Americans.

As did Sen. J. William Fulbright. Yes, these mentors to Bill and Hillary were downright racists. Active racists. Let us take down their portraits and statues.

Let us extinguish the Fulbright Scholar Program. Let us remove Byrd’s name from the countless buildings and parks and highways in West Virginia. Leave it only on the sewage plants named after him.

Kate Smith only sang a few racist songs. These guys labored to deny rights to millions of Americans. They kept segregation and racism alive.

Let us close down the Congress that tolerated these racists. That lauded and honored them. Let us start anew. The whole structure was racist from its founding.

Onward! To more practical goals. Destroy the New Yorker magazine. For decades it ran disgusting cartoons.  Disgusting by today’s standards.

They lampooned women with big chests, blacks, Jewish merchants, fat women, flat-chested women, stupid blondes. They portrayed women as idiots. For their driving, their shopping, their looks, their looseness after a few drinks. One of their top cartoonists was obsessed with women’s breasts. His characters leered down blouses. They cheered when discovering breasts floated in the bath.

The New Yorker cartoons targeted Indians, Native Americans, gypsies, Italians, Arabs, Mexicans, Chinese, black cotton-pickers. They portrayed blacks with huge white lips. They featured Africans as ignorant savages with spears and grass skirts.  One cartoon featured a gentlemen’s outfitter store that displayed a range of KKK robes in its windows.

Down with the New Yorker, I say. It was a racist, sexist rag for 50 years. It deserves more punishment than Kate Smith. She sang. The New Yorker humiliated millions and openly encouraged racial and ethnic prejudice.

Close down NBC and other networks. They kept blacks off the air for decades. They made millions on the Amos ’n’ Andy show.

That program invited millions to laugh at the depiction of laziness and ignorance of blacks. It mocked blacks’ dreams of improving their lot. One critic called it a mean-spirited exploitation of racial stereotypes. Its characters mangled the language. What was most humiliating to blacks was that the characters on radio were whites, impersonating blacks. They wore blackface for publicity shots.

Join the crusade. Along with today’s rap groups.  Yes.

I asked a few rap groups for support for this crusade. I cannot print their responses because they were filled with profanity. Lots of variations of the N word and “ho’s” and “white MFers.” From the translation it looks to me as if they are really opposed to racist stuff, man.

One thing I know for sure. All this virtue-posturing is pretty ridiculous, isn’t it?

From Tom…as in Morgan.

    Tom Morgan, a retired Oneonta investment counselor and author of the nationally syndicated Money Matters column, lives in Franklin.  You can reach him at tomasinmorgan@yahoo.com.

Let’s Build Great Future On Great Past

COLUMN • MONEY MATTERS

Let’s Build Great Future

On Great Past

By TOM MORGAN •  Hometown Oneonta & The Freeman’s Journal

Was America ever great?

Former Attorney General Eric Holder poses the question. “Exactly when did you think America was great?”

He competes with Governor Cuomo.  Cuomo told us “We’re not going to make America great again. It was never that great.”

Let us look at that question. But first, let us admit these politicians are simply trying to dilute the impact of “Make America Great Again.” Because Donald Trump wields it at the moment. (Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton did in campaigns past.)

What’s The Matter With NY? It’s Just Spending Too Much

MONEY TALK

What’s The Matter With NY?

It’s Just Spending Too Much

By TOM MORGAN • Syndicated Columnist

What is the truth about New York State? Why do we lose so many good people? Why do our businesses struggle, especially Upstate? Why do our schools, cities and towns struggle? Why are parts of our infrastructure dilapidated?

Our politicians offer us a blizzard of reasons. Every government department explains.

Here is a truth that cuts through it all: New York State spends too much.

Reparations? How Much Can We Afford?

MONEY MATTERS

Reparations?

How Much Can We Afford?

Reparations are all the rage again. A lot of people reckon we taxpayers should shell out reparations. To descendants of American slaves. And to Native Americans. (Some of our candidates for the White House call for these reparations.) This presents a few problems.
Problem: The average African-American has from 20 to 30 percent white blood. Native Americans on average have lots of white blood. So, should we pay less blood money to those with high white content? Elizabeth Warren would collect 25 cents.

MORGAN: Downstate Controls, Doesn’t Care About Upstate

Column by Tom Morgan for November 9, 2018

Downstate Controls,

Doesn’t Care About Upstate

Tom Morgan

Yawn.
Upstate’s recovery from the Great Recession is the weakeast of any U.S. region. According to a recent study. You can examine all the nooks of Upstate’s economy. Most every one is daubed with lackluster. Papered with anemic. Writ large with blah.
Yawn.
Upstaters grew accustomed to this long ago. Our motto should be “We’re Number One at being Number Fifty!”
Most of us know what would help revive Upstate. Lower taxes would. Fewer regulations would. Fewer mandates from an out-of-touch Albany bureaucracy would. A much slimmer state government would. Because the slimness would suck less money from Upstate taxpayers. The slimness would reduce the number of state government fingers in Upstate pies.
We tend to lead the nation in taxes and regulations. We lead the nation in making life difficult for businesses large and small. Don’t you wish we could lead the nation in something else?
There is one move that would help Upstate.
Getting rid of downstate would.
Yawn.
The idea excites few. Lethargy pervades. (Maybe we lead the nation in lethargy too?) This is because upstaters know downstaters in the legislature would never allow us to split. And downstaters call the shots.
In other words, the guys who know and care nothing about Upstate decide Upstate’s fate. A good example of this is that Greens in the Big Apple are major voices in blocking fracking in our Southern Tier. Can you imagine Upstaters blocking projects on Staten Island? Upstaters opposed to tree-culling in the Hamptons? C’monnn.
Downstaters really do know nuttin’ about upstate. This is more than a laugh line at a party. Folks in Glen Cove and Oyster Bay really think Jamestown is only in Virginia. Utica really is another country to denizens of Commack. Syracuse and Binghamton are Fuhgettusville to dwellers of Brooklyn.

Oh yeah? Well, vice-versa to you too, buddy! Really. I mean, tell me all you know about the latest problems in Amityville and Islip.
Truth is, we don’t know and we don’t care that we don’t know. We feel so little allegiance to each other.
We New Yorkers have scant connections. We have no state TV or radio network. No statewide newspaper. And Upstate doesn’t even get its fair share of the state’s greatest industry: corruption. We don’t get no respect.
Splitting the state in two would work. Surely it would.
First, we would have less corruption in government. Because no new state could ever compete with the sleaze that oozes up the Hudson to Albany from the City and Long Island. Downstaters are simply too practiced in corruption for us.
Second, an Upstate government would be sensitive to Upstate issues and challenges. Its legislators and bureaucrats would more likely know how to locate Canandaigua without GPS.
Third, a separate Upstate might well end up with two political parties. As now composed, New York State has one.
Two parties, competing ideas? Hey, it might work!
This column goes to some heavies in the Big Apple. At this point I could write that they are all slobs. None of them would respond. Because none of them will have read this far. As soon as they saw the word “Upstate” they fell asleep.
A prime minister of Canada once mused that living in the attic of the U.S. was like sleeping with an elephant. The big fellow kept the bed warm, but when he rolled over…
This is the predicament of Upstaters.
If we all voted the same way and organized and outright demanded…
Oh, forget about it. Yawnsville. It would never work. We have met puny and he is us. Even in the corruption business. We could all contribute to raise a mountain of money to buy off the downstate legislators and governor. Yeah, but it would flop. Those birds are too accustomed to the big bribes. They would laugh at our paltry efforts. Not that they wouldn’t take the money.
From Tom…as in Morgan.
Tom Morgan, the retired Oneonta financial adviser and syndicated columnist, lives in Franklin. His new novel, “The Last Columnist,” is available on amazon.com

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