In his remarkable Democracy in America, published in an English translation in 1840, Alexis de Tocqueville famously wrote about the importance of popular participation in private associations and local authorities in encouraging “habits of the heart” through performing civic tasks such as serving on school boards. These intermediary institutions between a central government and its citizens, he wrote, were essential to maintaining individual liberty.
What’s the ticket to upward mobility for America’s lowest-paid workers without much of an education? Economists have compiled a list of “opportunity occupations” that are attainable to persons without a college degree. Most of the upward moves are modest.
Even as their businesses are benefitting from a solid economy, Hudson Valley manufacturers have been having a hard time recruiting talent, especially young talent. Young people growing up in a gig economy don’t take easily to long training periods for what they perceive as repetitive and unchallenging work.
In case you didn’t know it, Tannersville on Greene County’s Mountaintop region now calls itself The Painted Village in the Sky. The transformation from an all-cash business locale which left Main Street a wreck every Sunday morning to a place where family businesses served the whole community was neither fast nor easy. It’s still not complete. But many locals, some of whom were once skeptical, are convinced the achievement is now within grasp.
With more than 12,000 employees, the resulting health system, expected to become a done deal some time next year, will create an entity of approximately of a similar magnitude to the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMC), which two years ago added Kingston-based HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley to its system.
Even as farming has disappeared from our wallets, it remains strong in our hearts. Very few residents would disagree with the nostalgic role of agriculture found on the Ulster County government’s website. “Abundant farmlands provide Ulster communities with access to fresh local food and economic diversity, preserve the county’s heritage, and offer a beautiful landscape for the enjoyment of residents and visitors alike,” the website says. “Orchards, vineyards, cornfields and pastures of grazing livestock help define Ulster County’s unique sense of place.” Indeed.
Can we make American manufacturing great again? The conflicting experts in the field rarely have the food and beverage industries in mind when they conduct their endless debates on the question. Maybe they should.
Norwegian Air’s cheap flights from Newburgh to Europe were exciting and convenient for locals, but not great for the company’s balance sheet. This year the carrier has some new plans.
The impact of uncollected tax on ecommerce transactions.
If I were to assemble a list of creative technology-minded characters who have settled in Ulster County in recent years, Aaron Quint’s name would be one of the first to come to mind. His skills are multiple. Not only is he a bright guy, a dedicated web developer and manager, and a good writer and teacher, but he also bakes a mean loaf of bread.