You are definitely correct when you suggest that the decline of journalism is a boon for corrupt politicians. Of course, to ignore the writing on the wall--which is that journalism has been in decline BECAUSE of corrupt journalism--belies an incomplete understanding of the forces at work. Read the following, which was censored by politicians investigating the Iran Contra affair to learn about one aspect of the CIA-run propaganda system:
Iran-Contra's 'Lost Chapter' By Robert Parry (A Special Report) June 30, 2008 - http://www.consortiumnews.com/2008/062908.html
And consider this:
In 1977, famed Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein revealed that over 400 US journalists had been employed by the CIA. These ranged from freelancers who were paid for regular debriefings, to actual CIA officers who worked under deep cover. Nearly every major US news organization has had spooks on the payroll, usually with the cooperation of top management. (Original source: The book "The CIAs Greatest Hits" by Mark Zepezauer Online Source: http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/CIA%20Hits/Wurlitzer_CIAHits.html )
Raritan Valley line -- all new GORGEOUS trains, same 2 hours delays at least once a week...
Now can't NJT management figure out how to get kickbacks from *fixing* tracks and resolving conflicts with Amtrak, who NJTransit absurdly blames for every (daily) delay?
Well-running trains on the beautiful, Victorian towns along Raritan Valley Line, 20 miles and less from midtown -- would double property values overnight (and solve so many social problems currently bandaided with taxpayer funds!) if the commute was attractive.
Even simply improving or eliminating the Newark transfer would be a huge improvement.
This is nuts. The U.S. taxpayer has guaranteed the wealth and happiness, upwards of $10 trillion, for the richest and most powerful entities and individuals on earth.
And you folks are complaining about benefits which go to working people whose pension plans have been raided by the aforementioned interests.
In my town, they still issue receipts in triplicate and file index cards. It's ridiculous. There are computers this year but no one knows how to use them. Last week I took my cat for the free rabies shot. One vet, three administrators. One competent administrative assistant and a laptop could replace the five women who chat while you stand at the counter waiting. They should have been injecting micro chips so they can simply scan the cats and leave the admins out of it.
Revenue: RAISE GAS TAXES It is ridiculous how low NJ gas taxes are. We were paying $4 per gallon once before. We can move up to the regional price for gas and raise lots of money. And, help the environment as well.
evreything you're saying about new jersey is mirrored on long island where we have the highest paid cops in the country drawing more than 100K after five years on a force that accepts a GDP as evidence of sufficient education for the job.
Great discussion on the multiple layers of local government in Bergen County. The City of New York and the entire State of NJ contain roughly 8 million people. NYC has one school chancellor, one police commissioner and one fire commissioner. New Jersey has 566 police chiefs, 600 school superintendents, not to mention the armies of deputy chiefs and assistant superintendents, all making $100k plus and being able to retire with payouts sometime in excess of $200,000 for unpaid sick and vacation days.There are too many powerful connected people in local government in NJ to ever allow meaningful consolidation.
That idea is a betrayal of people who have spent decades paying into a pension plan! Those workers do not have SS benefits so if the government hijacks and/or squanders their pension, they will have no options.
And, yes, 1 in 3 cars that I see heading down to the Jersey shore are NY plates and 1 in 3 are at NJ malls on Saturday. Why shouldn't they pay a toll to enter NJ?
the unions have screwed us once again
Another thing that is strangling New Jersey homeowners is EDUCATION. Talk about another set of public employees (like the police) who don't want to tighten their belts like the rest of us. Also, the state government imposes mandates (expensive ones too!) but then don't fund them. The wealthier towns send lots of tax $$ to Trenton and get nothing back!
Now it's 10:18 and there is just one comment posted.
I am guessing there are more than one that have been submitted.
Most of your commenters want their statements to be associated w your present not previous segment but w this problem that's not happening. Hope this helps.
New Jersey is not alone as a state. The federal government's inability to tax multinational's earnings and offshore assets of the uberwealthy and then block grant it back to the states produces this fiscal nightmare for the states. Universal Health care now. Tax equity now. (make the wealthy Multinationals and Individuals pay their fair share - stop making the middle class and down pay all taxes via state and local taxes)
Come on guys! Can we please frame this issue more accurately? The crisis is in medical care, not in public workers. Our country needs health care reform and universal health care or everyone's medical expenses will careen out of control. This is a national crisis that affects everyone.
NJ house prices rose by up to 300% in last 10 years. ALL competent towns reassessed property tax values in order to capture their owed revenues. In the last couple years prices have dropped by 10-40%. If governments are already broke -- does this imply that government spending over last ten years higher than 200%??
Some thoughts on NJ's revenue shortfall:
1. Is New Jersey seeing a drop in revenue via personal income taxes? If so, an obvious explanation would be the chronic (and intentional) understatement of real unemployment.
It's all very well to pretend that the national unemployment rate is 8.5 or 8.8%, but the real numbers of people who are seeing drastic declines in income is far far higher. If the federal and state governments believe their own propaganda, it is no surprise that they are repeatedly surprised by 'revelations' of revenue shortfalls.
Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm
your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the
right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the
Comment Guidelines before
By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's
It's your neighborhood, your city, your country, your world, and now your website. Brian Lehrer delves into the issues and links them to real life.