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GREECE AND PUERTO RICO: FORESHADOWING PITTSFIELD’s FATE? … plus … THE COMMENT LINE IS OPEN

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By DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Here is the YouTube link for Dan Valenti’s feature film, KENTUCKY FRIED PITTSFIELD … or … WHERE HAVE YOU GONE, COL. SANDERS? You’ll laugh! You’ll cry! You’ll will be in wonder! Click here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzflpEb_zQQ .

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(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEEKEND EDITION, JULY 31-AUG. 2, 2015) — The following lead to a recent Reuters story provides the comforting illusion of geographical distance, having occurred 4,813.6 miles from Pitstfield:

ATHENS (Reuters) – Stunned Greeks faced shuttered banks, long supermarket lines and overwhelming uncertainty on Monday as a breakdown in talks with international lenders plunged their country deep into crisis.

Nonetheless, this is a local story. The financial chaos that followed brings home the danger of unlimited spending in the face of a declining tax base and taking on unsustainable debt. It sunk Greece. It sunk Detroit, Mich, Sacramento, Calif., and a number of other U.S. cities. What makes the mayor think Pittsfield is an exception to that surefire formula for economic disaster?

$5 Trillion, Before You Blink

Keep thinking large for a moment longer. The networked nature of every aspect of civilized life, especially the economy, should give you pause. A quick look at just one example — foreign exchange rates. Each 24 hours, traders in chatrooms move $5 trillion dollars in an effort to take advantage of the most minute rate shifts.

Computers deal in microseconds and make gargantuan movements in the same time as it does to add 5+2 “the old way” (the answer, by the way, used to be “7”). The ability to rapidly move voluminous amounts of national currencies to hop on the tiniest of movements has given traders license to manipulate rates almost at will. Making $10 million in 10 seconds gives you an idea of the temptation involved.

Once you move beyond the personal piggy bank, finances bear little relation to day-to-day life. The preponderance of debt only exacerbates the unreal situation. Enter Pittsfield, aka, Podunk, Mass. The city has a combined pension and OPEB debt of around $400 million. A corrupt coalition recently approved $121 million in new borrowing for a school building project made unnecessary by a declining school population and the existence of two large campuses, each half empty (not half full). The city still owes $23 million from the most previous round of school renovations.

The ever-clueless mayor proposed (and the council passed) a bloated $145+ million city budget. On top of that, they added $11 million in borrowing for capital expenses. When you add up the debt, you get $555 million obligation facing taxpayers.

Under Mayor TES, The Special Interest Special keeps moving down the line. Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski need not apply for a ticket.

Unless there are significant electoral changes in the corner office, council, and school committee, Pittsfield will be in the Greece within five years. It it might pull a Puerto Rico sooner.

Pulling a ‘Puerto Rico’

The governor of the U.S. island recently told the international community that the protectorate can’t pay its $72 billion public debt.

THE PLANET played an interesting little game. Play with us. Think “Pittsfield” for the quotes in an AP story about Puerto Rican debt:

Quote 1. “There is no other option. I would love to have an easier option. This is not politics. This is math.”

2. “The last four administrations have kicked the can down the road. At this point, there is no more can to kick. So we’re going to take some very strict measures and some very profound measures. It’s going to hurt, but there’s no way out.”

3. “This is a daunting agenda politically, legally, and organizationally. It is also an urgent one: The government’s cash balances can evaporate in the face of delays, reducing the room for maneuver and intensifying the crisis.”

4. “I think it’s irresponsible.”

Doesn’t each apply nicely?

Deficit and Defeat

With Apathy turning away voters, cynical, selfish politicians have plundered the treasury, awarded lucrative contracts to the “connected,” and feathered their own nests. Falling population, an influx of a bottom-feeding class of leeches, gangs, a drug epidemic, escalating violence, and a diminishing tax base make it certain: Unless there’s a swift reversal of course in November, Pittsfield’s default (and defeat) is certain. Never has change been more the order of the day.

We leave you with one last quote: “The challenge for the incumbent is to let people know what you’re doing such as attracting market rate housing and making Pittsfield a destination.” — Dan Bianchi.

We can hardly wait.

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The Comment Line is Open

With that, THE PLANET opens The Comment Line. We solicit any and all comments, any and all topics. Move the discussion forward and write to the best of your ability, wit, and intelligence.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

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“I thought the only lonely face was on the moon.”Paul McCartney and Wings, “Jet,” from the Band on the Run album, (1973).

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

The views expressed in any comment section are not those of PLANET VALENTI or endorsed in any way by PLANET VALENTI; this website reserves the right to remove any comment which violates its Rules of Conduct, and it is not liable for the consequences of any posted comment as provided in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and PLANET VALENTI’s terms of service.

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Pummelin Pam
Pummelin Pam
7 years ago

Anyone see the Mayor on channel 9 talking about the shooting?

He was angry at the public. Praised the police, DA, and state police. Blamed the public why the guy hadn’t been caught.

It’s our fault.

craig
craig
7 years ago

SOUTHEAST–LENOX MY PROJECT–ALAN SYKES MY ETERNAL FRIEND –HE HELPED ME BUILD THE FIRST SANDFLOAT ON LENOX MOUNTAIN–HIS WIDDOW LIVES ON WEST DIGWAY RD. GO ASK HER IF HE WAS MY FRIEND LIE NUMBER 1—-GERRY DOYLE SR–I HAD THE WATER AND SEWER RESPONSOBILITY TAKEN AWAY FROM HIM And I also had Metcalf and eddy engineers fired. I WORKED DAILY WITH THEN MAJOR COLIN POWELL FOR OVER 13 MONTHS. IF YOU WATCHED MY TV SHOW I READ A LETTER I RECIEVED FROM HIM–THIS IS LIE NUMBER TWO. I HAVE INTRODUCED MYSELF TO EVERY CITY WORKER WHO WORKS IN CITY HALL. I HAVE FOUND 99% OF THEM VERY GRACIUOS AND TOLD THEM THEY COULD CALL ME AT ANY TIME AND THAT MY OFFICE WILL ALWAYS BE OPEN TO THEM–GET OFF YOUR FANNY AND GO TALK TO THESE PEOPLE AND SEE WHAT THEY THINK OF ME–LIE NUMBER 3—YOU BETTER SELL YOUR HOUSE RIGHT NOW BECAUSE WE DO NOT NEED LIARS LIKE YOURSELF IN OUR BELOVED CITY–THE SOONER YOU LEAVE THE BETTER—–YOU ARE A CONFIRMED LIAR AND I HOPE THE PEOPLE ON THIS SITE SEE IT. ANY MORE LIES SOUTHEAST?- FOR SOMEONE WHO HAS NEVER WORKED A DAY IN YOUR LIFE AND WHO HAS MARRIED MONEY. YOU REALLY ARE A DISGRACE TO THE CITY AND WERE ONLY A FIGURE HEAD IN YOUR APPT TO YOUR MINOR POSITION I LOVE THE POP CORN TITLE. EACH KERENEL IS MARKER GOR ANYONE WHO DISRESPECTS A TAXPAYER THE TRUE OWNER OF THE CITY –MY MAIN GOALAS MAYOR ID\S TO RETURN TO THEM WHAT HAS BEEN LOST FOR MANY YEARS.SIX MONTHS AND THE TAX PAYER WILL BE THE BOSS AGAIN FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 40 YEARS–CRAIG

Paul
Paul
7 years ago

More death in lovely Pittsfield. Pluunkett St now apparently. Let the good times roll! :))