Wednesday, June 20, 2007

What do we want?

What do Long Islanders want?

Like most folks, I would imagine it is "maximum liberty with minimal governmental intrusion." This is not a plug for the libertarians out there or any other ideology, it is just a simple observation of how most folks live their lives.

The issue then remains what "liberty" and "governmental intrusion" mean to the individual. Is it an intrusion on my liberty not to have health care provided to me for the taxes I pay? Is it an intrusion on my liberty to pay taxes for health care I do not want? The liberty-intrusion formula is a complicated and ever shifting dynamic.

I would say that most Long Islanders want and expect safe neighborhoods, a clean environment, opportunity for good paying jobs, reasonable services at a fair tax rate, you know, all the perennial favorites.

I would also say that most people on Long Island are fair-minded, clear thinking individuals who care a great deal about their communities. The same can be said for the multitude of organizations that abound on Long Island.

Diversity and individuality must be part of the Long Island psyche. Does this mean Long Islanders won't cooperate? Not at all.

What has been missing from the "Long Island equation" is the ability of organizations and individuals to communicate clearly and rationally with one another. Thankfully we live in age where the communication revolution is in full swing. What is needed now is to take a step back, take a deep breath, assess where we are and devise a flexible plan to move us forward as a region while maintaining the individuality and diversity that still make Long Island a place many folks want to call home.

Hopefully our Long Island Congress and Long Island 3.0 concepts will play a small part in the "new" Long Island model.

I think we all know what we want.

Now it is time to get it done.

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