Chris Christie and Amazon – You’ve Got a Friend in New Jersey!

Poor Chris Christie, soon-to-be former Governor of New Jersey. He didn’t get to be Vice-President after Trump picked Pence, but you never know? There do still seem be a large number of vacancies in the Trump administration in Washington, and he will be looking for a new job after January 16th. But he still seems to be trying to build a political legacy for himself in the Garden State. How about if he gets Amazon to build its second headquarters in New Jersey. What’s not to like?

Here’s the latest on the Amazon legislation package under consideration by the NJ legislature. It would expand the tax credits available from the state Economic Development Authority to entice large companies to bring their corporate headquarters to New Jersey. To be eligible, a business would need to make a minimum $3 billion capital investment in its headquarters and create a minimum of 30,000 jobs that would create a net benefit for the state over 50 years. His administration has endorsed Newark as a headquarters location, but other New Jersey cities, including Camden, have submitted bids.

Newark is a “ferry boat” ride from Manhattan. There’s a building there called the Trump tower. How convenient this all would be. And the so-called President does like to play golf in northern New Jersey. Hmmmmm!

Ray Myers


High Rollin’ Online and Presidential Profits

I just made a quick visit to the Garden State (that’s New Jersey for the uninitiated) and I can happily report that the casinos and online gambling sites are alive and well.   So how come Donald Trump’s casinos and hotels have gone bankrupt and are shutting down, i.e., his Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, NJ?  Maybe it was just more profitable for HIM since he has a better deal now as the president.  And he and his entire family are on the government payroll and don’t pay a nickel for anything they may need.  He just sends the bills to Uncle Sam (that’s you and me).  

FYI.  New Jersey is now joining Nevada and Delaware in an online poker pact.  Figures released last Thursday by the New Jersey Division of GamingEnforcement showed Atlantic City’s seven casinos and online gambling outlets won $235.8 million in September, an increase of 4.1 percent compared with September 2016.  That included $20.4 million last month from online gambling, up 25 percent over last year.

Maybe we will eventually see how the president is faring financially when he finally releases his tax returns, whenever or whether that will ever be?

Ray Myers

Online Degrees and Virtual College Connections

Going to college has certainly taken on many different connotations these days.  Back in the last century, I had the good fortune of being able to attend a small Jesuit college in Kansas City, Missouri, because I was geographically diverse, having attended a regional Catholic high school in southern New Jersey.  I was not the highest achieving student in my class, but was offered scholarship assistance and a welcoming atmosphere from supportive classmates living away from home for the first time as well.  Most of them were from the Midwest and I owe much to their generosity and friendship.  They were very intrigued to be meeting someone from New Jersey for the first time!  And vice versa for me.

Now you can “go to college” in a many different variety of ways.  Online is certainly a more convenient and assuredly a less expensive way for many.  MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are available to anyone in the world with an Internet connection.  But what kind of degree or certification of mastery do you receive at the completion of the online course requirements alone?  Some universities offer a “Statement of Accomplishment,” or other documentation of course/program completion online.  The “treasured” diploma still seems reserved for those who pay tuition (receive scholarships, take out loans, etc.), and attend four years on a college campus.

There may be many other variations on this theme of higher education now being made available to many more students through online learning.  Because of our technological connectivity, we are obviously expanding opportunities for many more learners of all ages anywhere they may be.  This is a new day, presenting many more educational opportunities for citizens of the twenty-first century.  They will not have to take a Greyhound bus half-way across the country and learn to live in a new place and make new “connections.”  I was lucky.

Ray Myers