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Oh, SmAlbany!

Daily posts and occasional longer essays about politics, culture, and life in the Capital Region...updated M-F, midmorning


"I write this not as a booster of Albany, which I am, nor an apologist for the city, which I sometimes am, but rather as a person whose imagination has become fused with a single place, and in that place finds all the elements that a man ever needs..." -W. Kennedy, from O Albany!

Back to the Future!

The governor announced today a plan to help bring the upstate economy into the new century. Unfortunately, he seems to think it's the 19th century:
Governor Pataki unveiled a plan today to boost the economies along the Erie Canal, a region that's been hard hit by the loss of manufacturing jobs.

The governor wants to link the corridor along the canal with the Niagara Greenway and Hudson Valley Greenway to create one of the largest Greenways in the nation. Greenways are regions that preserve natural landscapes and historical sites and offer recreational opportunities along a waterway. In 2002, Pataki announced a 50 million dollar canal revitalization program to complete the 348-mile Erie Canalway Trail.
Good gosh. Maybe David Rusk was right last week, when he declared that our economy was so backward upstate that we were living in a different century.

But seriously. I'm all for spending public money to help revitalize the upstate economy. But who thinks that that the best way to do it is to start with the canal? Come on. Now, I know they don't want to use the canal for transport. That would be rediculous, but at least it would show that they understand the basic factors that produce a good economy.

No, their plan is to build an extended "greenway," which apparently is the main driving force behind the humming economy of the hudson valley and the niagara region. What? Just read the last two sentences again. I'm no economist, but all you need is a degree in common sense to see through this nonsense. This has "special interests" written all over it.

Although I suppose this beats a lot of other ways to waste 50 million dollars (see post directly below.)
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