The cost of delivering electricity is exorbitant and increasingly unreliable in Connecticut. On August 4 Tropical Storm Isaias arrived here, leaving over 800,000 customers powerless for ten days. Utilities’ failure to respond, poor planning and lack of information to customers and municipalities, and crews standing idle without direction, enraged ratepayers.
Everyone has prejudices. There is a natural tendency to gravitate to groups with the same traits, ethnicity, and values. We often pre-judge or discriminate when characteristics differ from our own. This can lead one to label those outside their group as superior or inferior and thereby creating personal biases.
How will consumers and companies react when restrictions are lifted? How fast will demand for goods and services return? Will they take a cautious wait-and-see approach or jump right back in? When will they feel like going to a movie, attending a concert or booking a flight? Their response will affect the speed at which our economy will recover.
Education is everything. It is the way of out poverty and the path to freedom. My father repeated this message every day. He was right. It did pull us out of poverty and, it took us up the economic ladder. Like millions of other immigrants, a publicly funded education and hard work allowed us to attain the American Dream.
Those that follow my Facebook posts know that I like nothing better than to put on an apron and cook up a storm in the wee hours of the evening. It is relaxing, non-political and deeply gratifying. Thanksgiving meals are especially memorable. But, the one Thanksgiving meal I will never forget took place 80 feet underground.
As the collective shock and horror of continued mass shooting of innocents ripple across the country, Connecticut is once again reminded of its own horrific event on December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness… …This 4th of July, we reflect on the strength of America– its people. My story is like millions of others. I was born on a small farm in Italy. My brother and I were supervised by a sheep dog as we played alone while the adults tended the fields dreaming of a better life in America.
Democratic leaders were convinced they would finally bring tolls to Connecticut. They staked their reputation on it. After all, they have total control of the process and the votes. The governor, the speaker of the house and president of the senate were certain that tolls would pass by June 5. Yet, the end of the session came without passing the bill.
Businesses and high wage earners are leaving the state, and there are increased taxes on the middle class. No wonder people at all levels of the economic ladder have lost faith in their government. With such an anti-business climate, and so many broken promises, GE may not be the only company headquarters to leave.
The first rule of public office: Your word is your bond. If you break it, you lose the people’s trust. It is sad to see how far some have strayed from this principle. When promises are broken people feel betrayed. No wonder so many people are losing faith in Connecticut.
Connecticut has a serious problem. As America’s economy booms, Connecticut continues to suffer. Its financial woes have become cannon fodder for national news media and have legislatures around the country warning their members: “Don’t become like Connecticut. It had it all and is now losing it all.”
Taxes are a necessary evil. They are the cost of running our government. However, raising taxes too much ultimately reduces the total value received. Many economists believe the paradox that the more you tax, after a certain point, the less total revenue you collect, thus reaching a tipping point. Legislators should consider “How many taxes are too many; have we reached a tipping point; when do more taxes create diminishing returns and result in lower total tax revenues? ”
Some observers wonder why people in Connecticut are making such a fuss over proposals to install tolls. After all, most of us pass through tolls regularly. They are part of everyday life in surrounding states, so what is the big deal? Why are protests popping up all over? The opposition has become so contentious that one state representative suggests that towns protesting tolls should be denied state transportation aid.
Connecticut was once the envy of the country for its low costs (no state income tax), its top education and best quality of life. We have since lost our low-cost status and top leaders are now putting our educational system at risk. There is growing outrage that Hartford could remove local control over Connecticut’s schools. Parents are swiftly mobilizing, organizing and taking action to send a strong message to legislators: Hands off our schools! Don’t mess with our kids’ education!”
Over the last few years, our politics have become polarized in a way that I’ve never seen and never would have expected. Civility, kind gestures or words seem to be in short supply. Too many people in our country have developed an “us against them” mentality and believe that our government institutions no longer work for them.