Fight: NYC and New York State Should Get Divorced
By Joe Jarvis - July 23, 2017

Conflicts are inevitable when a city wide government is also beholden to a larger state. In the United States, it is even worse. Local, state, and federal governments claim control of the same land–not to mention individual land owners.

Sometimes the smaller governments want to be left alone and fight for control over their own affairs. But other times they think the larger government should pay for things which only benefit the small locality. They seem to argue, well if we are subjects of their government we might as well get some benefit out of it.

The other day I wrote about how city governments are primed to compete for residents.

China ruins the opportunity for cities under its control to compete for foreign residents. The country implements draconian internet laws across the board, which individual cities or districts cannot nix. The larger government ruins the opportunity for smaller governments to improve.

But what about when the opposite happens?

Cities Control the State

New York State runs the MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority) which includes the subways in New York City. New York City leases the subways from the MTA and must fund improvements and repairs.

With two sentences of information, anyone can see that there would be no problems if the City and State were not involved in this “partnership.” But since they are, NYC thinks the State should pay for repairs to its crumbling subway infrastructure. The State, you guessed it, thinks the city should pay for it.

Lately, subways have been leaving passengers stranded, getting stuck, breaking down, and arriving late. This is due to a combination of old equipment that breaks, and the highest number of people ever trying to use the subway system.

Each side bolsters their argument by pointing to different pieces of legislation implemented before either Mayor Di Blasio or Governor Cuomo were born.

New York City is home to over 40% of the residents of New York State. On the one hand, 8.5 million city dwellers want 11.25 million other New Yorkers to help pay to fix a public transportation system that they may never use.

On the other hand, those residents of NYC contribute to the state budget as well. The state spending to benefit 40% of the population certainly not the most ridiculous proposition.

You could spend countless hours debating who should pay for what. Then you could listen to an equal number of complaints about which people were exploited in the end, and who walked away fat and happy.

The conflict would never have existed if New York City were independent of New York State. There would be no issue if two different governments did not claim the same jurisdiction, tax the same citizens, and have overlapping and unclear responsibilities for government functions.

Why Are They Grouped Together?

If you include Long Island as part of New York City, then it contains 60% of New York’s population. This means the greater New York City area controls the state government in every election.

If you live outside of New York City of Long Island, you basically have no say in any state wide election. Your local representatives will likewise always be the minority in the state house.

I can’t imagine how terrible it must be to live on a 20-acre farm in upstate New York. Citizens of NYC are voting from the perspective of living with 27,000 people within a square mile. Cities will naturally have more restrictive laws simply based on the high number of people attempting to live in concert.

And if you live in Hamilton County New York, you might have three neighbors within a mile from your home. You live 230 miles from New York City.

Drive over four hours, if you are lucky enough to not hit traffic, and arrive in NYC. 60% of the people who decide the laws you live by dwell here and on Long Island.

Who exactly does this relationship work out for? It doesn’t make any sense for the people of New York City, nor for the people of the rest of New York. You could debate who comes out on top based on where the money flows, or who has a true say in governing. But at the end of the debate, you will have a lot of angry, bitter citizens.

If government is to improve, the future will be marked by decentralization of government. Unifying ever larger territories will only cause disagreements and strife.

You don’t have to play by the rules of the corrupt politicians, manipulative media, and brainwashed peers.

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  • Bill Ross

    It is a fact of life that you must respect the wishes of those you depend upon, else they will refuse to trade. States depend upon the productive, who, globally are shunning those who consider them slaves.

    Everything is upside down, Orwellian backwards, decreed “reality” compared to real, provable “reality”.

    Those who war upon reality (refuse to adapt) are, must and will become extinct, for the same reasons that ALL past states (most recently “evil empire”, USSR) forsaking fully informed consent of the governed were shunned by the productive (those who pay the bills).

    Reality IS and, will continue to WIN, since those who oppose it are complete and utter idiots, equally dangerous to themselves as they are to us:


    And, it is NOT “consent of the governed” (appeased, terrorized, manipulated) that determines whether civilizations live or die. It is consent of the productive (those who voluntarily to pay the bills for themselves and infrastructure of civilization):


    NYC WILL become an independent city state, home of sovereign individuals, an inevitability as human beings AGAIN reject servitude and the internet reformation, enlightening ALL of us completes the global epiphany that ad-hoc, voluntary social / economic organization is the ONLY path to peace, prosperity and mankind’s evolution to excellence (adapting to provable reality).

    THEY can KILL me and the hordes of me who seek freedom (not bullied), but, they cannot kill an idea: Freedom, the bad penny that always opposes tyranny, as it must, since tyranny is a collective survival threat, interfering with the prime directive of life and mankind: To survive.

    • RED

      Hi Bill.
      Haven’t seen you on this “forum” in a while. I also find that I review but do not contribute as much as I did with the prior “forum”.
      Good to hear from you!

    • Thanks Bill, we agree that it is inevitable and the ease of communication probably accelerated it.

  • Tony Nobaloney

    MTA is the Metropolitan Transportation Authority run by Andrew “Evil Eyes” Cuomo’s political hack pals.

    In addition it extorts the public with outrageous bridge and tunnel tolls such as $17 bucks to cross the Verrazano Bridge to get to the borough of Staten Island. It also has a cell phone tax on the phone bill.

    This is a feud between two of the biggest political Dirtbags in NYC and NY State history. One a pandering to minorities POS socialist Governor (Cuomo) and the other a pandering to minorities POS communist (comrade Mayor Bill DiBlasio.

  • maxparrish

    I lived in Syracuse, upstate, in the ’70’s when the ‘City’ went bankrupt. I wasn’t too happy at bailing NYC out of their problems then, either. I recall sales tax was the highest in the nation.

    • And now NYC has a surplus, did they pay you back? lol

  • Doc

    DB: “If government is to improve, the future will be marked by decentralization of government.”

    I’d say that “If government is to improve, the future will be marked by de-monopolization of government.”

    Let people have the government they want, while still living in the same spot. This was the case everywhere in the past, can easily be implemented again.

    • Quite so and we in the UK have come to the same conclusion:
      I am convinced that our present system of global, debt-based financial controls will inevitably collapse within the next few years and we will yet again see a crisis but much bigger than 2008. This will be an opportunity for a sustainable alternative economic model to emerge so long as the people recognise that major changes are required if our planet and humankind are to survive: http://harrogateagenda.org.uk/
      I monitor the trends and track them on twitter @austrianpeter thus providing a log as the system creaks and breaks. Brexit here in the UK is an example of how people are mobilising in their fight against dysfunctional big government and the depravity of our leaders: http://eureferendum.com/

      • Doc

        Hi Peter, but why do you not advocate non-monopolistic type of parallell governments instead of one type of government to encompass everyone?

        • I think it needs to be done in stages but agree with your premise as a final objective.

          • Doc

            You know just as well as anybody how hard it is to get people to agree with you. People want different things.

            So from a strategic perspective it seems to me to be a better idea to help everyone have it their way, than to try to first get everyone to a agree.

            Just a thought. See http://www.panarchy.org for more in case that makes sense.

          • It does make sense, Interesting site Doc, thanks. I will make a study of it asap.

          • Doc

            You’re welcome. I know the site editor and am a contributor so let me know if I can help.

  • georgesilver

    Have I missed something? Has the Daily Bell transferred its HQ to the USA?

  • davidnrobyn

    My wife and I owned a house in Jamestown, NY (415 miles from the city). Property values were very depressed there for a variety of reasons–basically, the high-tax environment driving industry and jobs away. How depressed? We paid only $29K for the house in 2004–a livable but not perfect older house! Our tax bill was about $1600/yr, or over 5% of the market value of the house per annum. Rents were astonishingly high for market value–we got $600/mo or $7200/yr on that 29k house. That’s four years of rent for the market value. Part of the reason rents are so (relatively) high was that NYC was using Jamestown and other upstate cities as sources of cheap section 8 housing. If you’re not paying your own rent, you don’t care what the monthly is! The city would send its section 8 recipients upstate where rents were much, much cheaper than in the city. Most of the section 8s weren’t working anyway and mostly living on welfare, so the local lack of employment wasn’t a real obstacle. It was just much cheaper for NYC to locate their welfare/section 8 people where the cost of living was much, much lower than in the city.
    NYC is a unique place. It can bear the very high costs of doing business, etc. because of its uniqueness and world reach. Upstate New York, on the other hand, is much like many other states. The comparison has been made with Virginia in terms of area, population, and general environment. Upstate must compete with places like Virginia (and PA, OH, MI, IN, etc.) which are mostly much lower-tax and lower-regulation jurisdictions for industry and jobs. It’s a tough battle. The dog (upstate) is growing very weary of being dictated to by the tail (NYC). This article is publicizing internationally a controversy which has been going on locally for years and years.

  • akagaga

    As a lifelong resident of upstate New York, I can state that this divorce has been desired for generations. In fact, my father used to suggest that NYC and LI get cut off and shoved out to sea. Then again, he was in the navy.

  • New York City should break away and become it’s own city state, then the rural north could rule itself more freely. There are state split movements all over, but the one going though federal court right now is the State of Jefferson. Northern Californians are tired of being ruled by SF and LA. Time for the state of Jefferson. http://soj51.org