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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

More brilliance from the anti-library crowd -- hysterical...

...Except the second one is running for Troy City Council - Oy!
When cities move from red to blue, all quality of city life and service declines. The new tax of $70 per year brings the total to $570 per household for the library. Like the post office, this is a service moving to extinction. You can buy a magnitude of amazononlinekindlegoogle for $570 per year and never irritate the eco-liberals for driving your SUV to the library.
Duh... What kind of math is that? It's just not true and it doesn't make sense. Where'd he get the extra $500?
And then our resident scholar DH writes this:
You can't even compare the library to the post office. I wonder how much the losses would amount to if you added up the cost of all libraries nation wide Vs how much revenue they bring in. They are revenue drains. Thinking outside the box, how much would it cost us to supply every home in Troy with a kindle, and start looking for ways to electronically check out books to the public? No bricks and mortar required, the book expires after 14 days, no collection of fines, very few employees etc., the times they are a changing.
Um, what library brings in revenue? Um, libraries let us have books for free. Um, they already give us free ebooks. Um, how are my kids going to study at a Kindle. I have a Kindle, so I actually know that many books, especially older, expensive books (the kind you can only get at a library) are not available. And finally, 1 Kindle for 1 person to use (I have four people in my house) costs $120, nearly double what one year of the library will cost my whole family.

And how would one do research on a Kindle? Dave don't you remember in college when you might need 15 books just to write a... oh, sorry, never mind.

Oh, and he keeps going!

Just for grins I googled library online, and came up with several sites that provide free books, no kindle required. Pretty easy to search by title, author or subject, no Dewey decimal system. All that's required is a wifi connection which you can get sitting in front of any star bucks, panera and these days mcdonalds. It is o.k. To hold onto the past, nostalgia is good, but to quote Henry ford... "if I asked them what they wanted, they'd have told me faster horses". A library is a good thing, but don't kid yourself by thinking it is a solid necessity for the masses.
Brilliant. By the way, those free books? Mostly from the 1800s.


  1. Like I said yesterday - you can lead a man to books (or a library), but you can't make him learn.

  2. Oh Dave's a genius alright. With that certificate from Mo Tech and a year or two of business classes from OCC. I'm sure his senior thesis was a masterpiece. And I bet he didn't need a library back then either. He's a real thinker he is!

  3. The most stunning thing that continues to frustrate me to no end about this man is that no matter how many times he's told he's wrong...he continues to repeat his incredibly ignorant rhetoric.

    Dave Henderson will not only be wrong for Troy...he's DANGEROUS with that mouth. Do not vote for Dave Henderson. Tell you friends not to vote for Dave Henderson.

  4. These comments are obviously badly stated, but there is a point in there somewhere.

    For instance, I'm unhappy with the library renewal, because it's going to result in my paying a not-insignificant amount to subsidize the use of a service I will never use.

    I recently purchased a house in Troy with the current tax rate in mind. This millage will result in my taxes increasing by $100's, and $200+ does buy an awful lot of books from Amazon.

    As someone who will likely never visit, and certainly never frequent, the Troy library, It doesn't make sense to me that my taxes should be increasing in order to pay for that service. I'm not getting any value out of that money and I would much rather spend it elsewhere, or at least see those tax $$ go to something that will benefit me in some way.

    I have never seen an explanation as to why that is fair addressed by any of the "save the library" contingent. A better solution, (in my eyes) would have been to generate that revenue via membership fees. Force those who want/use the library pay for it.

  5. So, anon, you bought a $600,000 house? That's how much it would have to be worth for you to $200 a year! Wow, you have lots of money!
    Anyway, what you're saying is that you do not value the concept of a public library? You want Troy to become the first city in America that charges users? (But anyway, that is against the law, so a moot point.)
    You have come into this debate very late, my friend, and have a lot to learn. But the key two points are:
    1. Don't worry, your property values will continue to go down, so you won't even notice the few bucks. And if you could afford a 600k house, I'm sure you'll be fine.
    2. There is something called society. Look it up.

  6. First off, anon, your post betrays the fact that you don't buy books very often. $200 does not buy very many books at Amazon or any other bookstore for that matter. But mostly, I love it when people like anon argue that they shouldn't have to pay taxes towards something that they likely will never use. As ludicrous as that viewpoint is, let's have some fun and take it to it's logical conclusion.

    1. I never ever drive down the majority of roads in Troy that I pay taxes to maintain. I want the City to send me a form that I can fill out each year to list the roads that I have driven on so I'm only charged taxes on those roads.

    2. Moreover, I certainly don't want to pay for snow removal or street lights on those roads so I want to be exempted from that portion of my taxes too. I'll only pay for the city to plow the streets on my way to work or to the stores that I frequent.

    3. My kids are in college (which I pay dearly for), so I don't want to pay taxes to educate other people's children anymore either.

    4. I have never once used Troy's fire department. I have no idea why I should pay a bunch of firemen to stand around for years just waiting for the off chance that my house may burn down. So I think that the fire departments budget should be divided up and billed to the people who actually use their services during that fiscal year. That seems much more equitable to me.

    I mean really people. Why should I pay for something that I personally don't use. It's just sooooooooooooo unfair.

  7. Anonymous, if you have never seen an explanation for your concern, you must not have been paying attention. It's been said time and again: just because you don't use the library doesn't mean everyone else chooses not to use it too. Imagine if people said "I don't want to pay for road maintenance because I only use one road on my commute to work". What if that was okay? The roads would SUCK. The whole point of a community is that everybody pitches in their fair share to make life better for everyone else. There are other services that your tax dollars are paying for that you may never use; the library is not alone in that sense.

  8. I've never used the fire department. Why do I have to pay for it?

    We've never called the police. How come I have to bankroll them?

    Golf courses? Never go there. Why should I have added to their existence over the years?

    Senior Center? Are you kidding me? I'm not old! Abolish it!

    Oh...wait...I'm part of a COMMUNITY? That's right...I pay for all of that to build COMMUNITY.

    That's why, anon. That's why.

    (And by the way...public libraries are the right of a free society available only via your taxes. You can't charge a user fee for them.)

  9. Anon,

    I will never use the majority of the streets in Troy. Why should my tax dollars be used to pay for their continued maintenance? Same with the schools. I'm all done with them so shut 'em down!

    Oh, and you kids need to get off my lawn!

  10. Some of the tone of these responses is needlessly condescending and snarky. I'm not attacking anyone here, just expressing a different take. I would appreciate the same consideration.

    The problem with BOTH sides in this debate that is neither of you are tolerant of anyone else's viewpoint. Just because people disagree, doesn't mean that their thoughts are invalid, stupid and wrong. There are very few absolutes in life.

    A few responses:
    1) $200 will easily buy me over 20 books a year as long as you're not buying new release hardcovers. And I do buy books from Amazon regularly... spinning the argument into "well then you must not buy books!" is strawman and not constructive.
    2) The community argument does of course make sense. And contrary to what's been said, I have heard it before and I am smart enough to grasp the concept. I certainly am not buying the myriad of slippery slope arguments that resulted here (it's a logical fallacy for a reason)... Obviously there are things that are of benefit to the public that must be funded by the public treasury. The trick is figuring out what ones... everyone is going to have different opinions on what those are. Most people (myself included) consider roads, municipal upkeep, police/fire, and many other things to be among those. But some people disagree about some of the exact services that belong in that category, that doesn't make them WRONG it makes them holders of different opinions. Personally, I don't feel that a library is among those things that is important enough to the community at large, or is used by a large enough segment of the public to justify a dedicated tax increase. That's my take. Your take is obviously different. That's fine, we disagree. But I'm well within my rights to cringe a little when I see money I would rather spend other places be forcibly voted out of my hands.
    3) The argument of "your property values will go down, so you're not really losing that money" is just... I don't want to be insulting here, so I'll just describe it as a silly. The minute my property values (and thus taxes) go down, that money belongs to me, it *is* mine. When I turn around and have it taken right back out of my pocket to pay for the library, I *am* losing that money and I *will* miss it. Also, what happens if (likely when, these things are cyclical) property values begin to rise? That tax could go increase fairly quickly.
    4) Did someone describe a library as a "right"? Really?
    5) I was not aware that charging for a library is illegal. But it makes sense now that I've considered it.
    6) Yes, my house is valued quite a bit higher than the average house in Troy. Which means that not only will I be paying for a service for which I receive no benefit, but I'll be paying well above average for it. Just because I am able to afford a more expensive house, doesn't mean I won't miss the tax revenue. I probably have more money than the average Troy household, but I'm also spending more more money than the average Troy household.

    Again, the fundamental disagreement is that you all see value in the library and are willing to pay for it and think it is worthwhile to the community to force others to subsadize it as well. I know there isn't any direct value to me, and I don't see enough value for the majority of the community to be willing to spend MY money to fund it. That doesn't make me evil, stupid, uneducated or wrong. (nor does it make you any of those things either)

  11. Some additional thoughts:

    I don't have any issue with you championing the library and wanting to see it funded. Those opinions are well within your rights and you have many good arguments and points along those lines.

    What I do take issue with the tendency I've seen on this blog (and elsewhere) to throw up your hands in exasperation, express wonderment that anyone could be stupid enough to disagree and immediately take the position that anyone who does disagree with your opinions is hellbent on "destroying" Troy.

    I have not seen anyone on either side of this debate who's true and honest goal was to destroy Troy and had the library been voted down, Troy would not be "destroyed". Also, just because the library millage was approved, does not mean Troy will be "saved" (whatever that means)

    In fact, the library being shut down, or remaining open will have a negligible effect on the City of Troy as a municipal construct.

  12. I am not an employee of Gallup or RH Polk or another highly rated polling company. I am a somewhat creative individual and upon reading this post I see a random sampling of opinions that one could extrapolate and draw a conclusion. This would be DH, the professed resident scholar, probably would not get elected based on these opinions. This momentum of opinion should continue and prevail.

  13. Anon, one thing I beg your forgiveness on is this -- the leaders of TCU have been disinforming the public in Troy for years, so a lot of us have a lot of pent up anger.
    I have a Kindle too, but I also have elementary kids who don't like reading beautiful color books on a small black and white screen. I also no well that plenty of books'descriptions say, "Tell the publisher you want to read this on your Kindle." There are whole publishing houses that refuse to publish ebooks, so trust me, they can't replace the space and databases and hundreds of thousands of books available at a library.
    -So you really do have a $600,000 house?
    -I understand your point that a library is not considered by all to be a necessary city service. And the TCU folks keep saying that it's the city council that decided to shut the library. Do you know that? They decided police and roads WERE more important and that if the people wanted a library they would have to vote on it. This was the FIRST city-originated library millage, as last November's election was initiated by a citizen's group.
    3) That's all fine and good that your tax savings belong to you. I have had people tell me that their taxes pay for a library. Yeah, well, that's not true anymore. Your cost savings mean fewer services. That's all. Then we decide if we want to restore some services and that is what we did on Tuesday.

  14. 4. I didn't call it a right. I guess I think that's what Thomas Jefferson thought, or at least that it is wise to educate all people in a democracy, not just the ones who can afford to buy books. Libraries are key to a democracy/republic.
    5. And we shouldn't jump down people's throats for not knowing it. It's just that people have been saying that to me since May of 2010. It's a little frustrating when people who don't know the facts tell you you are wrong over and over and over. And the leaders of the group that I don't like much (and you may be one of them, since you are hiding your name) promote such misinformation.
    6. Well, that's nice for you.
    Your view doesn't make you evil, but I think it is unusual for American people to be that selfish. Did you hear about the town that decided to charge a fee for the fire department. One guy "forgot" to pay his fee and the town fire dept stood and watched his house burn to the ground. Is that what you want?

  15. Anon, your comment: "What I do take issue with the tendency I've seen on this blog (and elsewhere) to throw up your hands in exasperation, express wonderment that anyone could be stupid enough to disagree and immediately take the position that anyone who does disagree with your opinions is hellbent on "destroying" Troy."

    Perhaps I am much more aware of what this story means. Troy nearly closing its library was an international story. As I said, I do think it's very unusual for people to be so strangely ambivalent about a library. Especially, sadly, in the city I moved to just 5.5 years ago because of its reputation as a pro-family, pro-education city. It is not living up to that promise.

    But please understand too that I have been arguing with DH for months. It is really the organization TCU that I am against, not you. They promote a lot of untruths to confuse and anger voters. They are anti-government, anti-taxes and thus anti-services. I am a mom with little kids and I care more about services than most, perhaps.
    So far enough.
    I don't dislike anyone for their individual views, but I do dislike the organization that promotes ignorance to get what they want.

  16. And one last question, anon, I take it you do not argue with me over using the word "selfish?" That at least you must admit is true.

  17. I said public libraries are the right of a free society.

    I stand by it.

    Knowledge should be at the fingertips of every citizen. Libraries facilitate that. :)

  18. Apparently this new selfishness is spreading to England, too. I was listening to a podcast of a British Comedy show and they were joking about it (who knew, I can like podcasts, own a Kindle and still appreciate the library!).
    One line was, "Soon people will be complaining, 'I don't need to pay for streetlamp electricity! I'm indoors right now." The comedian said soon we'll have coin slots on street lamps so you can light the way only when you are walking under it.

  19. Anon said, "Yes, my house is valued quite a bit higher than the average house in Troy. Which means that not only will I be paying for a service for which I receive no benefit, but I'll be paying well above average for it. Just because I am able to afford a more expensive house, doesn't mean I won't miss the tax revenue. I probably have more money than the average Troy household, but I'm also spending more more money than the average Troy household."

    Believe it or not Anon, I know the feeling. For example, several years ago, during what some would label a mid-life crisis, I went out a purchased a nice new Corvette Z06. An expensive car yes, but I could afford the purchase price so why not? But I also knew that everything about that car, insurance, repairs, etc. was going to cost me more than what other people were paying for their vehicles. I also continue to pay considerably more for my annual license tabs tab then most people sharing the road with me simply because the car is worth more. Why? I drive the car on those roads much less than the average person. The car is nice and light so it's not breaking the road up like heavy SUVs and trucks. I pay more because the cost of a license tab is based on the value of the vehicle. Now is that "fair" that I'm paying more for something that I probably use less than someone else simply because my car is worth more? Probably not. But I knew going into it that those were the game rules and I know that even though I may not like it, I'm not going to receive a lot of sympathy from people if I complain about why I have to pay 10X more for a license tab because I have an expensive car. If it gets too expensive, I can always sell it and get a car that's more affordable, just like a guy who owns a half a million dollar house could downsize to something more affordable if a couple hundred dollars out of his pocket for a library millage becomes a hardship. I guess what I'm saying is when I hear obviously well off people complain about missing $200 at the end of the year, I have no other recourse than to chalk it up to pure selfishness.

  20. Wow, you guys are tough on an "uneducated" guy that hasn't done a bad job of providing for and raising a family with good moral values, and a desire to get out and work for themselves without expectations of government freebies. Isn't it Carlton Sheets that didn't graduate from High School but now is a self made millionaire. And if I'm not mistaken, Lincoln himself ran a pretty good administration freeing slaves and all without much of a formal education. And that "certificate" from MOTECH is something one can be proud of, I even learned what phosgene gas was, which is just about all that is published here. But all you'll take from this is the fact that I'm comparing myself to Lincoln. You are a sorry lot, and I pray someday you'll develop a desire to logically fight the fight without flexing your superior minds by belittling someone elses life.

    Dave Henderson

  21. Nice try, Dave. I wrote this about you complaining that libraries bring in no revenue (that is their very definition, so it doesn't really make sense) and that Kindles can replace libraries (I have a Kindle and therefore know it isn't true).
    When YOU hold yourself up as an expert and worthy of city council office, you had better the hell have SOME simple concept of what these things are, or you should just be quiet, lest you get people like me to make fun of you for being not entirely bright.
    You are certain you know everything about Troy.
    I am certain you rarely know what you are talking about. I don't care where you went to school and how much you studied in the 80s. I just want you to study the city situation TODAY and not rely on the propaganda that you repeat endlessly. Go look at the city website.
    You were saying a WEEK before the library election that there was enough money in the transit center for 3 libraries. Is that because you were lying or really didn't know. The fact is, Dave, either option is not good enough.

  22. My whole point for mentioning the transit center goes back to just weeks before the 1.9 mil question. The city was bent on jamming that project through at the same exact time they were telling us the sky was falling in Troy, and at the time, there was no promise of Obama bucks to fund it. They lucked out on the timing and availability of the funding, but the fact remains, that center is a waste of tax payer dollars whether it comes from the Troy tax bucket or the federal tax bucket... It comes out of our pockets. But let's just raise the debt ceiling, and raise taxes on a public that can't afford it, seems to be the responsible thing to do. Im way more in touch with realities than the debt raiders and tax boosters. We simply can't afford all this stuff, and it's irresponsible to keep piling on the tax payer. As for a kindle in every pot scenario, that was merely an example used to illustrate what millions of dollars a year can do for the public. It is a ridiculous example of what the government should do for the people. Read back about a year or so on the tcu facebook page for more opinion about that. I don't truly believe the city should provide every household a kindle anymore than I believe the city needed to extract the library from the city budget. Just fighting ridiculous with ridiculous. And I have a kindle app on my iPad, with several books downloaded. And my point about libraries being money makers for the city... They aren't, never have been and never will be. That's why you don't see any entrepreneurs building private libraries. They don't have a business model that would support one. Obviously that's why the government funds them. My entire complaint regarding this is the city managers selection of the library as a polarizing issue to get a tax increase. He should have chopped 10% across the board, all departments. Nothing more nothing less. We would have had a library with no new taxes... All the rest of the noise was just that, noise.


  23. OK, so Dave's first goal is to write checks to give money back to the fed and state for 9.2 million so they can give it to other states. Check.

  24. Federal taxes are the lowest they have been since 1952. So our infrastructure is crumbling and everything is falling to shit and what is the answer of folk like you? Cut taxes! Starve government! Why be a good country when you can be third world and save a few pennies?

  25. As for your Kindle argument, oh NOW it's a ridiculous suggestion? But it was your argument, not mine. So you're one of those people like Sue described -- you make up fake numbers, facts and arguments and then say don't listen to what I say, listen to what I believe.

  26. Your library argument: Apparently (judging by what you say which is all I have to go on) libraries are only to be judged by their income? It's like saying air is breathable. Doesn't mean anything. Do you see any other value in things besides money? I assume not, or you would have something else to say about libraries. And yes, there are private libraries. Do they make money? No. Nor should they. It's like saying, Ronald McDonald houses don't make any income, ipso facto - no value. Whatever. GGreed greed greed, money money money that's all that matters to you people.

  27. None of that is what I mean... It's what you think I mean. All I've ever expressed through this whole tax debate (because it truly wasn't a library debate to begin with) is that the fox is guarding the hen house in Troy. We have council members that don't trust the numbers the city manager has given them (I have emails saved from a Mayoral wannabe that state exactly that) yet they still jammed a tax increase in the dark of night on a ballot that failed... then they pulled the library scam on the people to get their tax increase passed... not once, but two more times after the initial no vote. I don't care how they framed that argument, they still used the library to get a tax increase. Did you notice how the city manager at last council meeting tried to put off the quarterly revew of the budget now until after November 8th? His desire to dupe the public is so thinly veiled, there are only a few that can't see through it... and guess who's blog they read... There's truly only one way around this mess... vote for people that will actually hold the manager accountable to the council...the council that is supposed to actually try to hold him accountable.


  28. Dave:
    1) How come if it wasn't a library debate you said Kindles could replace libraries?
    2) What you need to know about the mayoral wannbe? I think she wrote that for your sake and to make it possible to run for mayor.
    3) While your friends have taken a good man (city mgr) and turned him into the enemy, I contend you are nuts and have smeared him and it is completely unfair. You have shown time and again how little you know about the city,so you are not qualified to judge. And the fact that you use the TCU-copyrighted expression "fox guarding the henhouse" I know who you get your info from -- people who simply make crap up, like saying said city manager makes more than the governor which is the biggest, most effective lie you jerks have fronted. Congrats.
    4) If you guys get elected and hire Gosseling as city manager we will all be screwed.

  29. I'm not from Troy but I've read the comments/arguments from another anonymous asking why he should fund libraries if he doesn't use them and referring to libraries as revenue drains. I thought he and others might be interested in the multitude of studies that have been done on the economic impact of libraries in local communities. From a strictly practical argument libraries make good monetary sense whether you use them or not.

  30. And that's the irony! They all think it's GOOD POLICY to let the city go to shambles, that we will BENEFIT from a crumbling infrastructure and no city services. These alleged "fiscal conservatives" are destroying my hometown and murdering my property values.