This article is about the major challenges that face Long Island and the various issues that accompany these challenges. The author of the article is Martin R. Cantor a director at the Long Island Economic and Social Policy Institute at Dowling College. The article focuses on transport, taxation, education, poverty, land and immigration challenges in Long Island and how they affect economic growth. The author shows that these issues are interrelated.For example; the problems of transport and environmental conservation are interrelated. The author explains that each of these challenges is complex and is affected by social, economic and political factors and their solutions need to take these factors into account. He also discusses each problem, provides possible solutions and gives the justification for these solutions. For example, the author supports the proposed Brentwood transportation hub because it would result in a reduction of the amount of traffic by about 7,000 cars from the Long Island Exchange daily. The author also challenges Long Islanders to embrace change and to understand the challenges that face them in order to choose the best solutions for them.
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All these issues need resources for them to be solved. The major economic claim still applies; human wants are infinite while the resources available for satisfying these needs are limited. On the transportation issue there is traffic congestion and the roads are not expandable. A possible solution is the construction of the Brentwood transportation hub. This would require capital investment by the government. The money invested in this could be used instead in Education. Environmental conservation would require setting apart more land from human settlement. This in turn will reduce the supply of land for housing resulting in higher housing costs. There will also be less land for business activities. Allocating more resources on tackling illegal immigration may cut spending on government purchases of land for preservation. Investment of resources in one area means less or no investment in another. Finally all these needs compete with each other and various groups will lobby for their problem to be solved first. There is a need to best prioritization, proper planning and prudent spending in order to maximize the available economic resources (land, manpower and capital) and maximize economic growth.
The Transportation industry plays a crucial role in economic growth and development. Transportation infrastructure not only creates employment but also facilitates growth by reducing transport and communications costs, facilitating trade and wealth creation and population integration. Investing in more roads would be advisable to help reduce traffic congestion. However the amount of road construction should be the minimum possible in order to conserve the environment and maintain the natural scenery. Policies that help in decongestion should be formulated. For example, the authorities could designate special lanes for cars with multiple passengers to encourage car pooling. Sustainable mobility will reduce wastage of working hours, reduce the consumption of oil in Long Island and improve the balance of payments (the difference between the value of imports exports and value of exports).
Immigration is still a contentious issue in America. It touches on social economic issues like employment opportunities, human rights, government expenditure, and exploitation of migrant workers and so on. Surveys indicate that the American public is very concerned about the illegal immigration situation. There are many ways in which people can immigrate legally into the country such as, being sponsored by a relative who is a citizen, applying for refugee or asylum status, employment based preference, through diversity legislative policies and more. These avenues should remain open. In contrast, illegal immigration should be reduced as much as possible. The government should also use immigration policies to encourage immigration by individuals who possess job skills which are in demand by the Long Island economy.
About 47 percent of people worldwide live in urban areas and according to the United Nations Population Division; this figure is predicted to increase to over 50% by the year 2015. The accumulation of people, their consumption patterns, travel behavior and their urban economic activities have a large impact on the environment in terms of resource consumption and waste disposal. There should be laws that protect the environment from degradation as a result of human activities. Zoning policies should be put in place to keep areas of Long Island from human encroachment.
This article is quite well written and covers each of the problems concisely. The author also backs up its claims with reasons and facts. However in some areas insufficient analysis was done and more information should have been provided. For instance, the issue of environmental preservation was discussed sparingly. The issues of taxation, education, immigration, transport, taxation, and environmental pollution are crucial and face every government and local authority. It is the responsibility of the government and local authorities to establish the optimal policies to tackle these problems with the limited resources available.