Nic Leobold of the Manhattan Libertarian Party, Robert M. Cotton of the Hudson Valley Libertarian Party, and Brian A. Jones, consulting actuary, talk with Joseph Dobrian, Chair, Manhattan Libertarian Party (http://www.ManhattanLP.org), about money. Topics discussed include fiat money, Liberty Dollars, and commodity-backed money.
“Parent sues self; attorney wins fat fee.” Class-action attorneys have often convinced people to sue themselves. In such cases, the lawyer comes away with a hefty fee regardless of whether the plaintiff or defendant prevails. For example, stockholders are often encouraged to sue their companies. If they win, the company pays the award with the stockholders’ own money. The lawyers come out the winners.
The Campaign for Fiscal Equity presents a similar situation (“Billions of School Dollars Being Held Hostage,” Park Slope Courier, May 9). Residents of New York City, who provide the bulk of Albany’s income, have won a multibillion-dollar suit against Albany. City taxpayers, who represent half the population of the state and way more than half the income, will be paying the lion’s share of the award to themselves. City parents have sued themselves and won, but it’s the lawyers who come away with more money than they started with. ____________________________________
Ed Greenspan uses loaded words to describe a non-problem (“Unaffordable Housing,” Letters, Park Slope Courier, March 21). He claims that rents in Park Slope “should be deemed excessive” and that the “average person” cannot afford such rents. So what? I deem excessive the price of those fancy vine-ripened tomatoes. What should I do? Buy cheaper tomatoes? What should a person do who can’t afford Park Slope rents? Live somewhere cheaper? Mr. Greenspan faults Governor Pataki for weakening the rent laws. Well, I fault the governor for not having any tomato laws to protect me.
But be careful what you wish for, Ed. Some people might deem your income and wealth excessive, and call for strengthening the Ed Greenspan laws (taking tax money from you to pay for other people’s housing, food, child care, and health care). ____________________________________
The additional $5.6 billion per year slated for the New York City public-education system would bring the cost per pupil to more than $16,000 per year (“Peg Money For Pre-K, Overcrowding, Says UFT Chief,” Park Slope Courier, Dec. 20). Many children in public schools could get a better education at lower cost in a private school, if only the Department of Education would take advantage of the well-known fact that the private sector always produces goods and services of better quality and at lower cost than government does. Would you want the government manufacturing and selling your canned corn?
UFT chief Randi Weingarten doesn’t suggest how to use the additional money to relieve overcrowding. They never do, but it could mean building new facilities at enormous expense, money that could be spent instead raising teacher salaries dramatically so as to attract better teachers.
The experience of Milwaukee can be used to reduce overcrowding and save money at the same time. Simply offer each parent in an overcrowded school $3,000 per year to put toward private- or parochial-school tuition, or homeschooling, if they will take their child out and educate the child elsewhere. If the school is still overcrowded, offer $4,000, and so on. For each parent who accepts the offer, the taxpayer saves $12,000 or $13,000 per year, parents get to choose exactly the schooling that suits their child best, and the child gets a better education. Everyone wins except bureaucrats, ideologues, and union bosses.
As a descendent of real slaves, I am deeply offended by Alan Slater dismissing the real horror of slavery by referring to restroom attendants as slaves (“Bathroom Slavery,” Letters, Flatbush Life, Dec.6). These restroom attendants were not torn from their families, transported to a strange land in unspeakable conditions, held against their will, forced to work, beaten, and raped. There are many higher-paying jobs available to people of little skills they could have taken, such as nanny or house cleaning, but I guess those are too much like real work compared to sitting quietly in an elegant restroom all day.
My prediction? These jobs will disappear now that restaurants have to pay for services they were previously getting for free. Many people don’t like restroom attendants anyway and would rather do their business in private.
On top of it, Mr. Slater is guilty of very serious literary malfeasance, since his so-called letter first appeared as an editorial in the New York Daily News on Oct. 10, 2004, under the title “The Slaves of New York.” The editorial can be viewed in part free of charge on nydailynews.com, and the full editorial can be purchased. Search on “bathroom slaves”. Even if Mr. Slater works for the Daily News and wrote the editorial, he should not have submitted it as a letter.
Erik Engquist should not be surprised that Latino members of the City Council did not introduce the sort of candy ban now proposed by Lew Fidler (“Brooklyn Politics,” Flatbush Life, Oct. 11). This proposed prohibition on the sale of certain candies that Latinos prefer is an attack on Latino parents, Latino culture, and Latino bodegas and delis. Latino parents should be outraged that Lew Fidler would dare to tell them that he knows better than they how to take care of their children.
Lew considers these candies too dangerous for children to eat. I suggest that the City Council ban the sale of gefilte fish as too salty to be eaten safely.
It’s bad enough on philosophical grounds alone that Assemblyman McEneny plans to help a tiny coterie of fanatics restrict what we can eat (“Is Luxury Cruel? The Foie Gras Divide,” Oct. 6). On economic grounds, the stupidity of it is breathtaking. By forbidding the manufacture or use of foie gras in New York State, the assemblyman would wipe out the state’s entire foie gras industry and half the national foie gras industry, drive some of New York City’s finest chefs to distraction and possibly to New Jersey, and strike another blow against the high-end restaurant industry, which plays so large a role in New York City’s tourist economy. Let the customers decide: restaurants can, if they like, advertise, “No foie gras used in any of our recipes.” If the assemblyman succeeds, in a few years we will hear politicians calling upon Americans to reduce their dependency on foreign foie gras.