Saturday, November 8, 2008

On Cutting Off Your Nose...

I was going to include this one earlier, but it just got too unwieldy.

I've spent the few days after the election walking around in shock, mentally demanding of the dimwits around me "What have you done!" Surprisingly, it isn't about my candidate losing, or even my fears of Obama's leanings. The way I figure it, the people have spoken, and too many of us are watching. It's the economy, stupid.

I confess I had not thought the economic ramifications would be so dramatic. For days after the election, the market kept tanking. One corporation after another announced lay-offs and closings. Coincidental, you say, perhaps. It is possible, however, that it was a no confidence vote, a signal of what is to come from the corporations who see a whole ream of taxes and other charges ahead and investors who see a lot more risk for a lot less reward.

In any case, those suffering most in this situation: California and New York. Apparently, these liberal bastions, epicenters of hope and change, depend on those evil, selfish corporations and investors. New York City in particular has been hard hit. As an expat, I feel their pain. In addition to losing the 400 dollar rebate from the inordinate property taxes they pay on their astronomically priced homes and possibly gaining a 15 percent tax increase, New Yorkers may now be paying tolls on bridges that have been free for decades, proceeds to go to subsidize mass transit which costs near 2 dollars a ride. To give you an idea how punishing the costs are.... Tolls presently on inner bridges range from 5 to 10 (round trip) dollars a crossing. In the late nineties, a 40 thousand a year income with two dependents necessitated paying roughly a 25 percent of that amount in federal, state, and local taxes. Those are just the basics. For some California info visit the Bookworm Room.

It's a timely reminder, although a day too late and a dollar short, that there is a symbiosis of sorts between the very places that lean so liberally and the villains of the piece. It is expensive to run these enlightened places with a myriad of services. Scrooge aside, sometimes it's not a good idea to sit down to a repast of cooked goose.

As for me, I fervently hope that the Obama show on Friday helped calm the markets and that acceptance of the inevitable is well on the way. There is something to be said for the law of unintended consequences.

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