Thursday, April 14, 2011

L is for Leverage

Leverage is the thing you have that you can hold over another persons head to get what you want. 

It could be the better snack at the lunch room table. It could be skills that you can offer to a prospective employer.  It could be sex.  Almost anything can be used for leverage if the other person wants it bad enough. 

It's something politicians use all the time.  

Now before I get into this, please understand I am not a very political person, but I am going to touch on the subject today because of something going on in my town. 

First let me tell you about our Governor Chris Christie.  Like him or hate him, you have to appreciate his straight-forward attitude.  Like it or not, you know where he stands.   Do you have that person in your life that before you even open your mouth to say something, you know they're going to respond, because they never change.  That's the way Chris Christie is.  I don't always like what he has to say or what he believes in.  But I know that he's going to speak his mind.  While he is a politician, he almost seems genuine.  That's a lot to say for a politician, especially one from NJ.

So why am I talking about Chris Christie?  Well he told the towns in NJ that they can not raise the property taxes more then 2% without approval from the residents.  

New Jersey has the highest property taxes in the country.  I know people that have modest homes on modest to small pieces of property that pay over $10,000 a year in taxes.  That is NOT a typo. TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS! So let's say you're paying $12,000 a year in taxes for easier math purposes, on top of your mortgage payment, you're paying $1,000 a month for taxes. 

So now let's look at those that have paid off their mortgages and have lived in their homes for 30 years, they still have to come up with $1,000 a month.  I don't know how I'm ever going to be able to retire, seriously. 

So back to leverage.  There's a vote coming up asking the residents if it's OK to raise our taxes 12% instead of the of cap of 2%.  "They" say it's going to average out to about $30 a month more.  The leverage they're using is our garbage collection. 

"If it doesn't get passed, you're going to have to pay a private collector and there will be different garbage trucks driving up and down your road every day of the week."  Was one of the comments I've heard.  

I lived in Piscataway for a good portion of my life before moving here to Brick.  We had private garbage collection at least part of the time, and I don't remember seeing garbage trucks every day.  It was the same as it is down here.  They came by one day each week.  Actually now that I think about it, it was twice a week to pick up our garbage.  

But that is their main leverage. That and they're going to lay off 29 cops.  Well I learned recently at least 14 are retiring, so that number is bound to change.  

Side note - cops & firefighters deserve the best we can give them.  Do you have a job that you risk your life every day you go in?  I don't, but they do.  So I feel they deserve high pay and a great retirement package. 

Ok back to the topic.  I think what they're leverage is bullshit.  Plain and simple. 
People aren't working. NJ has one of the highest unemployment rates.  People aren't getting raises and businesses are closing down left and right.  Ocean Spray is considering moving their factory out of NJ because of the taxes. 


My husband and I are making less then we've ever made since we got married.  I love my day job, but because of the economy, I have not had a raise in almost 5 years.  That's why I started my custom beach writing business.  Like I said, I love my day job and I get to work from home which has benefits that can't be beat, especially when there is bad weather or kids are sick.  My husband was out of full time work for almost 2 years because of the economy.  I don't even want to know what our credit scores are because we had to cut back on EVERYTHING and some people didn't get paid. 

We didn't demand that people pay us more for getting less.  Either we figured out another way to make money (my beach writing, husband does work with a company called WFG) or we stopped spending money on things we didn't really need. 

Is that such a rare concept?  
"Stop spending money on things we don't need."

I don't think so.  It's common sense. There are plenty of things in town that can be cut out, or the prices can be raised.  Perfect example, a senior citizen in town doesn't need to have a part of his taxes go toward the day camps our town offers.  So the raise the price of registering your kids for that.  If you can't afford it, don't send your kids or I don't know, cut back somewhere else.  Give up your nail appointment each week or eat at home more often. 

Everyone has to tighten their belts.  This means towns as well. No more can we Jerseyians afford astronomical property taxes.  

So I can tell you right now that I'm voting No on this ballot.  Figure out another way to make the budget work.  We people have to do it and so does our government. 

I've told my husband several times that I'd move to Delaware in a heartbeat. I'd rent a small house and buy an RV so we can come back to visit relatives during the holidays but have our own place to stay LOL.  But then I'd have to change my business name to NamesontheDelawareShore and I don't think it has the same ring as NamesontheJerseyShore.


  1. Since my husband can't get to my blog from work, I emailed him the text from today's blog. Here is his response:

    "Wow. Politics from my wife? WTF????

    I never thought I'd see the day. Good for you, great vent, and if I find a job in delaware I'll move, but it's hard when there isn't much out there.

    Love You!"

  2. "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable.”

    John F. Kennedy

    Revolt is the only possible solution that this point as every generation needs a revolution.

    Love the Hubbs response!

  3. It's moments like this that I always say educate yourself and know what you believe in...then stand firm in your beliefs. Politicians can twist words, use threats and make everything sound like it is a good thing but we the people are responsible for knowing the facts so that we can call them out on their sneeky greedy plans!

  4. We pay separate for our trash collection and it is No Big Deal.

  5. We're dealing with some very similar issues here in California. At least you have a governor that's looking out for you.

  6. Just an update. The brainiacs of our town voted for the 12% increase, but voted down the school budget increase... a-fricken-mazing