Sunday, June 20, 2010

Depopulation of the Town of Olive

I am a Town committee-person for the GOP and so carry petitions.  I had called twenty people in the tiny district of Olivebridge, which isn't really a village.  Olivebridge was gutted when New York City built the Ashokan Reservoir about 100 years ago and now it is dispersed streets and roads which are extremely rural.  Moreover, many of the residents are transplanted New York City people, often who have second homes there.  Thus, it is about 35%-25% Democratic-Republican. As a result, it is difficult to find people to sign the petitions.

Judiciously I saved the names I collected last year.  Of the twenty, so far I have found that at least five or six have moved away, at least 25% (the majority have not been at home when I called).  I spoke to a retired IBM worker who told me that his daughter, who had lived next door (she and her husband had signed my petition last year), had moved to Virginia for job reasons.  He also mentioned that in 35 years his son in law had not been able to live at home also for job reasons. They can now live together in Virginia.   IBM, of course, had closed its Kingston plant where Steve worked in the early 1990s.  Steve mentioned that his daughter's children could not stay in Olive because of lack of job opportunity.

This was not the only instance of petition-disappearance as there were numerous "dead" phone lines.  New York State's destruction of its economy is mirrored in miniature here. The people of Olivebridge continue to vote for policies that destroy their neighbors' lives. 

The retired IBMer enjoys the upside of depopulation as well.  As families have fled New York's crippled economy, the beneficiaries of Federal Reserve Bank monetary expansion, business owners, Wall Street bankers and government employees, have bought the houses vacated by former Olive residents. His neighbor is a now a multi-millionaire.  His neighbor and his wife took a shine to him and now they fly him to Germany and Florida for vacations.  That's a nice bonus, but it probably doesn't really make up for his daughter's being forced to move hundreds of miles away because of lack of jobs.

1 comment:

Cindy said...

I have to wonder if his 'good neighbors' will also pay his taxes when he can no longer afford them?