Actions Speak Louder
I just read Katha Pollitt’s column “Cuomo’s Words—and Deeds,” [Jan. 26] regarding the late Mario Cuomo. I agree with her completely.
As I listened to the last ten minutes of Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State address on January 21, I was, at first, struck by the powerful rhetoric. But as one who has closely followed Mr. Cuomo’s actions, I was left feeling cynical. As with his father, I feel that it’s not the speeches or the delivery, but the actions that matter to me. And each has been found wanting. Pollitt pointed out the prison debacle in which the late Governor Cuomo spent $7 billion of taxpayer money on unneeded, privatized upstate prisons (and increased Ulster County property taxes incredibly).
New York State’s poor, then and now, need emotional, educational and financial help to live their lives to the fullest. I feel that the Cuomos’ legacy is about their own political success, while their lack of action leaves our poor to live lives of suffering.
The sad thing about Mario Cuomo is that he declined the one post in which he could have done the most good: associate justice of the Supreme Court. With his legal talent and his progressive outlook, he would have been a significant factor on the Court. Yet he could not bring himself to accept the position, even though he had lobbied President Clinton for the nomination. His passing reminds me of how disappointed I was when he turned down this opportunity.
Progress and Poverty
I was delighted to see Henry George acknowledged in Jesse A. Myerson and Mychal Denzel Smith’s “An Economic Program for #BlackLivesMatter” [Jan. 26]. We Georgists have been struggling to spread his message for 100 years, because the wealthy who fund economics chairs for universities want to keep George a secret. He not only advocated for a just and equitable society, but also realized that it would not happen until the female half of the population could vote. The man was a menace to the status quo.