APRIL 5, 1951
HYDE PARK, Wednesday—When I arose yesterday morning it was snowing heavily and I immediately thought of the near blizzard we had in the early days of April a few years ago. This storm shortly faded away, however, and we had a continuation of the heavy rains that have been swelling our streams and giving us floods everywhere.
One of the joys of living in the country is that you know pretty well what to expect with the recurring springtime weather. For instance, I know that my cellar is going to be flooded, for as the brook rises the water invariably comes into the cellar faster than the pump will take it out. Nevertheless these little difficulties do not dim the joy of seeing the first little green sprouts coming up. They withstood the brief snowfall very bravely and seemed none the worse for their soaking.
I wonder how New York City citizens will react to the statements made by Michael Quill, president of the Transport Workers Union, and Police Commissioner Thomas Murphy on the subject of whether the policemen should be organized into a union.
This brings up the whole question of whether people who work for government—soldiers, sailors, policemen, law enforcement officers of all kinds—should protect themselves as do workers in private employment when they join unions or should these people be protected by law and therefore not find it necessary to join a union.
It seems to me that people employed by the government should have their jobs most carefully safeguarded by law. Once this is done, the need that makes a union necessary to protect an employee in private industry is removed. Then it would be unnecessary to unionize or think of unionizing any of our public servants.
I do not legally reside in New York City. I go there only when I have work to do, but that takes me there a number of days in almost every week. So, as a steady visitor I have an interest in the city's budget and the taxes imposed. And, as nearly everyone knows, a large amount of taxes is assumed by visitors.
It seems to me that as time goes on it is going to be less and less attractive to spend any length of time in New York City. Visitors are going to have to pay more for meals in restaurants, more for entertainment and for anything you buy.
Many markets are apt to suffer because of added tax charges.
I very much fear that Mayor Impellitteri is going to find that instead of raising his revenue he will have lowered it.
No one wants essential city services to be reduced nor does anyone feel that bonuses given to meet the cost of living should be reduced where city employees are concerned. There is no doubt in my mind, however, that a really careful check of every city department will show places where large economies could be made and the service could still be improved. That is really what is in order—or the mayor is going to find that visitors to the city will be fewer and with less time to spend.