'Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former," Albert Einstein once remarked.
I didn't realize the good professor had visited the New York City Council. If only he could see it now.
In a single week, two fantastically idiotic ideas have moved forward in the council. One would swell the city's ranks to around 50 million before bankrupting it. The other would force mass evacuation first.
Let's start with the more direct path to ruin. It comes courtesy of Public Advocate Letitia James, who recently announced at a business breakfast her idea to create a private pension system for every city resident without one. Her utopian scheme would be ushered in by a seven-member "private pension advisory board" created to study the possibility of a private-sector pension fund. The council is expected to review her proposal.
James, who holds a law degree, is suggesting that NYC create its own social security system by taxing the very businesses that axed pensions years ago in favor of 401(k)-type programs to save money. Anyone think they would stay? Anyone? James also fails to consider the possibility that a free pension might provide an incentive for, say, everyone on the planet to move to NYC. And, oh, James is a leading advocate for providing full city benefits to noncitizens.
The second measure, sponsored by Councilman Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria), passed the council and Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign it into law.
It's one of those bills that sounds great over cocktails, but usually pales in the light of day. But not to this council. The measure requires NYC to cut greenhouse emissions 80 percent by 2050. Eighty percent. When you consider that a majority of all carbon emissions are naturally occurring, that leaves the city with quite a task.
But presuming the council is really targeting only anthropogenic emissions, it's still going to have to do something about all these people and their infuriating propensity to breathe and flatulate. I'm no scientist, but I'll guess we'd have to pare the population by around 80 percent, and then start in on the pets.