In my morning e-mail today comes this headline:
Joel Seligman, Danny Wegman React to Economic Development Funding
Two things about such an announcement stand out. First, the article is summarizing comments made by our college President and Danny Wegman (yes, of Wegman’s fame), who are co-chairs of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council, in response to New York State “awarding” our region with $60 million in economic development funds. Wholly aside from the question of whether an economic development council should exist in the first place, or asking for any evidence as to whether they’ve been successful on net in the past, comes this quote:
We are deeply grateful to the Governor for his support.
Which is not only entirely inaccurate, but indeed deeply offensive. In case it’s not obvious to you, it’s not Mr. Cuomo’s money. To suggest that he deserves thanks for his “generosity” is quite akin to, well, I don’t have a good analogy. But it’s not his support. At best we are kissing his ring. I look forward to the parents of my students sending me a note of deep gratitude when I decide to take some of my academic research budget and buy books for my students. It’s “my” money, right? And I’m the paragon of generosity when I graciously use those funds to buy students books?
I found this quote, from an entirely unrelated morning reading, to be, somehow, appropriate:
Politicians might give the permits, but the people give the permission. And the people are saying ‘no.’
I’d love to ask such protesters if that sentiment applies only to evil fossil fuels?
Second, do people have to put out statements about everything? Nary a day goes by where our President or some other such leader just tosses in commentary about some topic. Is it possible that they have something interesting to say about everything? Shouldn’t our leaders be quite more selective in what they choose to weigh in on? After all, don’t they want us to pay attention to what they say? When our leaders chime in on everything, all the time, it not only desensitizes us to anything that they might be saying, but it makes it nearly impossible for us to discriminate among what is and is not most important to pay attention to. Were I not busy and in need of short pithy blog topics, I’d pay absolutely no attention to what comes out of those e-mails.
PSA: Posting will be light in the coming days, hope to pick up again soon.