All posts by Peter Minde

TED: Part of the Solution or Part of the Problem?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you’ve heard of TED.  On their About page, TED present themselves as a “nonprofit devoted to ideas worth spreading.”

I’ve watched a few TED presentations and gotten value out of them.  Mind you, one may not always agree with the presenter.  But the speakers are always eloquent and present their ideas clearly.  Along with @WFMU, who tweeted the following link, I’m wondering why TED initially declined to make public Nick Hanauer’s iconoclastic presentation on income inequality.

You might expect Nick Hanauer, venture capitalist and one of the first non-family investors in Amazon, to toe the line about the rich being job creators, but he goes in an entirely different direction.  Here’s the video, finally released due to public criticism of TED:

The phrase “job creator” is already over.  It’s simply a shrill sound bite that invites one to put the subject on a pedestal and bow down in awe.  No need to think too hard.  We need to look behind the curtain to see what’s really going on.

 

Adirondack Club and Resort: Savior or White Elephant?

David Gibson and Dan Plumley wrote a piercing essay on the Adirondack Park Agency and how it resisted real estate developers 24 years ago.  As he notes, it’s particularly relevant in the debate of the recently approved Adirondack Club and Resort in Tupper Lake.

My biggest issue with the development is its financing.  If this is such a great project, why aren’t banks falling over themselves to offer financing?  The developer hopes to finance the project through bonds sold by the Franklin County Industrial Development Agency.  And instead of property taxes, the developer hopes that the “Town of Tupper Lake will approve a Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) for the first ten years to alleviate the property tax burdens on the developer and buyers.”  Yet the municipality will be expected to provide services to the new homeowners.

While I reside in New Jersey, I have roots in northern New York.  My grandfather’s family maintained a great camp on Racquette Lake and my grandfather raised his own family in Warrensburg.  It’s bucolic up there, but it’s not necessarily an idyllic life.  Plenty of families are challenged making ends meet.  Yet after the houses are built, I’m wondering what jobs will be left for Tupper Lake residents.