If State Senator Michael Nozzolio’s manifesto about Upstate becoming “the 51st state” was anything more than bottom-feeder political posturing, it would be something more than a simple repetition of the canard that New York City sucks Upstate dry and gives nothing back. It would honestly lay out the nuances of the real situation — not denying that Upstate is reliant on New York City for subsidies of various kinds, but rather being bold enough to list those subsidies (and the equivalent of subsidies, such as prison jobs).
It would be brutally honest about the weaknesses of New York City’s Wall Street-driven economy and cautionary about how long that particular economic engine can continue to support an entire state.
And then it would speak equally honestly about how this numb overreliance on New York City has damaged the bedrock of our economy, stunted its growth and sense of purpose as a (however loose) community, and ultimately has contributed to the diaspora of our well-educated young people, many of whom would really rather remain here near their families and friends than in the sticky, ant-infested South.
It would ask, “Do Upstate people really want to continue existing like this under this system? Can we do better with a different system?” And then it might suggest some achievable near-term goals for more Upstate autonomy within the current political system we have in Albany.
Don’t look to Michael Nozzolio for a real manifesto on Upstate independence, as he’s clearly not politically capable of it. (Never send a boy to do a man’s job.) Look for new candidates who are politically capable of saying these things.