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More Federal “Stimulus” Money for the Ferry Terminal

By   /  December 1, 2014  /  1 Comment

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Here’s a letter to the editors of Newsday. I’ve written a couple of letters into the paper, namely one was a response to the Editorial Board’s assertion that a plan to reduce the tax and regulatory burden “wouldn’t create jobs”, and the following.

Here’s the news this writer felt compelled to respond to:

“The ferry has been a polarizing issue for many years in the past because there was a failure,” said Mayor Reginald Spinello Thursday, referring to a Glen Cove ferry service that ran for 18 months to Manhattan before stopping in 2002 because of low ridership.

StoryBoard advances major waterfront projectSee alsoMore Glen Cove news

“At this particular juncture, if you look at the successes of other waterfront communities . . . they have grown their municipalities quite a bit based on ferry and marine activity. We’re hoping to do the same here.”

The city is responsible for $793,000 of the $3,465,995 project, Spinello said.

To the Editors,

The news that Glen Cove’s City Council unanimously approved more taxpayer dollars on the Ferry Terminal is merely a continuation of the status quo in this city. It also signals more suppression by government of wealth-creating activity at the Waterfront and beyond. 

Economic logic dictates that resources are scarce and have alternative uses. Governments have no resources of their own, which means everything it spends was taken from people who created or earned it in the first place. The Ferry, sponsored by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 has so far created “0.64 jobs” according to the federal government. The waste also represents a proportionate loss of $11 million in private, wealth-creating activities.

The service that ran from Glen Cove in the early 2000s charged riders over $30 round-trip. If it gets off the ground, this try will fail, as commuters will logically go for the LIRR or buses at half the price. 

I could bring up Einstein’s definition of insanity, but let this be a reminder that most politicians simply don’t understand or choose to ignore basic economics (it doesn’t get much more complicated than this letter). But at the very least, they should learn from history.

Mike Bruschini

Glen Cove, NY

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About the author

Founder, Executive Editor

Before founding the Beacon, Mike worked at AOL Patch, Anton News, and most recently at Reason Magazine.

1 Comment

  1. Robert Panzenbeck says:

    I think the conditions for the ferry are worse than they were the first time the ferry failed. Wall Street isn’t necessarily on Wall Street anymore. Many firms moved uptown or across the river in the wake of September 11th. Trading isn’t what it was.

    It’s true that the LIRR is prohibitively expensive now, but the idea that a ferry that exists without demand will somehow grow a community is so much wishful thinking. Let’s talk about a ferry when service on the Oyster Bay line continues to suffer and commuter demand grows and begs for an alternative.

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