To the Editor:
By now everyone is aware of the several hundred thousand eggs that are being removed from stores and homes due to contamination by Salmonella bacteria. Apparently, there were a number of previous violations issued to the producers or the distributors of the affected eggs.
Now there are no less than 8 federal inspectors sifting through company records to decipher the cause and reasons for the spread of the disease-causing pathogen and why it wasn’t halted. What is also being considered is greater federal oversight of the poultry and egg agricultural business. Why does our government automatically revert to more government as the solution to every problem? Where were those 8 federal inspectors when the violations were originally written?
Who investigated and followed through to correct those problems? Why weren’t they enforcing the existing rules and regulations? We don’t need more government employees watching the fewer and fewer businesspeople still left in our country. We need federal agencies to be accountable.
Another example is the statement this week by Senator Charles Schumer that the state parks should not suffer because New York State cannot pass a budget (on time or otherwise). If you recall earlier this year, Gov. Paterson threatened to not open 55 parks and historic sites in order to save that money in the state budget. On the Friday before Memorial Day, the legislature and the governor reached a compromise and the parks opened at the 11th hour. Sen. Schumer is now proposing to use the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund to provide an independent source of money to ensure that the parks are not held hostage again in another budget crisis. As with the egg industry oversight, the first instinct of government officials is for government to provide the solution to every issue, not private industry.
That attitude is dead wrong and has to change. We, the citizens of the State of New York, are very capable of running businesses successfully and operating in the black without government intervention. Just stand aside and watch us!
As I proposed on May 23, put the operation of the state parks out to bid by private individuals and businesses. Not only will we save the state that $11 million dollars, we’ll make a profit and pay income taxes to the state.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund money will still be available for the purposes for which it was intended, not subsidizing state budgets.
As for the egg inspectors, I’m sure there are reputable, private firms out there (maybe even in New York!) that are well qualified to inspect poultry and egg producers. And they’ll be accountable when they write notices of violation. We don’t need more government to accomplish that. And we won’t have egg on our face.
Dan Parker, candidate, District 11
St. Lawrence County Legislature
Parker is running for the seat currently held by Charles House, Jr., a Democrat.