Illustrating the Income Divide

dollar2

Knowing that the dollar has been strengthening against many of the world’s currencies, I was googling to see what places would be cheap to visit.  I often pause to see the google suggestions as they are often interesting, and this was no exception.

We hear a lot on the news about how there is a widening income divide, but this kind of brought it home.  Though the first result was “strongest”, the next 6 results are about dollar stores and discount movie theaters.

Advertisements

The water towers of NYC

So I was in meetings all day in a skyscraper near Times Square, and while admiring the view, I noticed the plethora of water towers that dot the skyline.

Capture
(See all those cylinders on the rooftops?)

It turns out, that the reason they are on top of all these buildings is because the water pressure doesn’t reach above 6 stories on it’s own.  So they have pumps pump the water to the tower(s) on the roof, and it is distributed throughout the building from there.

They are mostly made of wood, and apparently there are only 2 companies that make them.  That’s a good business to be in!

source

New Yorkers aren’t that Bad

Before I moved here I thought that anyone who was from here would epitomize all the caricatures we see on TV and film about New Yorkers.  Turns out, those characters are the exception, not the norm.  I have found the following about native NYC persons:

Manhattanites:
These folks are rare, and come in two forms.  One is the lucky rent control type, where they grew up in their grandparents rent controlled apartment, and pay like $600 a month.  The rent controlled ones are in my experience really nice people!  They don’t have a strong accent either.  The other kind are the privileged sort you would generally expect to have been born and raised in Manhattan.  These can range from blue bloods, that really do seem like they live on a higher plane and kind of won’t talk to you, to people who are so friendly and generous and make you love NYC.  I went to bible study last night in what I suspect was a couple on the good end of that latter category.  Beautiful place in Tribecca that the open up for college kids to have Bible study in.  They sometimes seem to have an accent that is distinct, but not one I really would have been able to place in New York had I heard it.

Long Islanders:
These folks can be down right … rural almost.  The ones that are really from here have kept moving further and further out it seems like, and they are used to a suburban semi rural kind of life.  Some of them have more in common with someone who lives in a suburb of Atlanta than a Manhattanite.  A lot of blue collar types, but a mix of everyone else too.

Brooklynites:
They keep getting pushed further and further out by gentrification at this point (meaning further from Manhattan).  Most of the natives I’ve met are African American, Italian, or Latino, and generally not very happy about Brooklyn being taken over by the new crowd, unless they bought property.  Still friendly and kind people.  They have a strong accent, probably the strongest I’ve heard.

Bronx:
There seem to be a TON of people born and raised here, but I think some of it is that there are so many projects here.  If you’ve ever wondered why Brooklyn is gentrifying and the Bronx isn’t, that’s why.

Queens:
Tons of people born and raised here, and they are all over the map.  Queens is huge and diverse.

 

NYT: Don’t worry about mass shootings!

I just read this NYT article,

which argues that gun legislation should not focus on keeping guns out of the hands of mentally ill persons who are prone to violence.  The reason, they say, is that “mass shootings represent a small percentage of all gun violence”.

I have a problem with that, because while everybody who thinks for a moment knows mass shootings are rare, that is all anyone is concerned with!  Be honest with yourself; how concerned are you about the largest segment of gun murder:  Criminal on criminal crime?

How about we stop the ignorant rhetoric vs over-protection and talk some common sense.  These are the changes that would lower the risk of mass shooting events.

Stuff we should do

  • Increase liability for gun owners:  People who own guns should be responsible for storing them safely, and liable when they don’t.
  • Support “gun haven” behavior:  Responsible gun owners should take the initiative to remove guns from the environment when there is an unstable co-habitant.
  • Include mental health records in background checks:  They aren’t currently.  A doctor should be able to flag a person if they are emotionally unstable and violent, or are at risk of self harm.

Stuff we should stop doing

  • Creating victim zones:  Stop creating perfect shooting zones for bad guys such as arenas, schools, and churches.
  • Issuing rubber stamp concealed carry permits:  These programs should be a lot more strenuous, especially in western states.  I think a person permitted for concealed carry should be qualifying with the arm they plan to carry, and further, should require re-certification on a regular basis.  You should also be first aid qualified, for obvious reasons.
  • Creating barriers to lawful gun ownership: New York City charges people hundreds of dollars just to be able to keep a shotgun in their home.
  • Restricting magazine sizes:  When I shoot back, an attacker ducks regardless of the size of his magazine.

I am fed up with ridiculous claims by the gun lobby and the equally ridiculous claims by the anti-gunners.  It is time for common sense to prevail.  If you know of any like minded politicians, other than Rand Paul obviously, please let me know.