I Love NJY
Another State Takeover, This Time of Another State
By JIM TOSONE
Published in the Sunday New York Times on July 23, 2000
Merger mania continues, with the recent announcements by Phillip Morris/Nabisco and Vivendi/Seagram. Good mergers benefit customers and owners alike, and not only in the private sector. We recently received this press release.
Trenton - New Jersey announced today it was acquiring New York, creating the nation’s first megastate. To be named NJY (pronounced New Jersey), its combined population will be more than 25 million and its tax revenue will be more than $100 billion. The megastate will be a leader in business, entertainment and tailgating drivers.
Under the terms of the offer, New Jersey will fund the acquisition with its favorite financial instrument of choice—debt—in part to ensure that current budget surpluses are not inadvertently returned to the taxpayers. The transaction will be subject to certain closing conditions, including regulatory approvals and the assurance that NJY will have only two United States, thereby sparing the nation a Clinton-Lazio campaign.
Christine Todd Whitman, governor of New Jersey, will become governor of the new megastate. George Pataki, New York’s governor, will become NJY’s lieutenant governor. As governor, Ms. Whitman will assume responsibility for combining the transportation systems of both states into the largest and most dysfunctional commuter network since the creation of Amtrak. As lieutenant governor, Mr. Pataki will be responsible for telling local professional sports teams looking for public financing of new stadiums to go swindle Connecticut. And with 22 players on the field, the combined Giants/Jets team may have an outside chance of a championship season. Rudolph Giuliani, Mayor of New York City, has been named NJY’s arts director.
A New Monolith for a New Millennium
Mrs. Whitman said: “This is a historic moment in which New Jersey and New York can put aside our differences over issues like casino gambling in the Catskills and the nonresident tax on out-of-state commuters. By joining forces, NJY will kick off the new century with the unparalleled ability to tax all of its citizens into a lower-middle class lifestyle.”
Mr. Pataki added: “We have tremendous respect for Christie Whitman and the New Jersey Legislature, who have been leaders in taking over failing local school districts and transforming them into failing state-run school districts. By mobilizing the combined creative energies of the educational bureaucracies in both states, we will ensure that one day all of our children will be able to pass difficult, standardized tests of no practical value whatsoever.”
New Mental Health and Location Agreements
Related to the acquisition, New York and New Jersey also announced several new agreements. These include:
Residents of the Upper West Side of Manhattan will be provided with crisis counselors to help them through the process of learning to say, “I’m from New Jersey.”
The capital of the combined state will be New York City. This decision was reached after furious lobbying, mainly by lobbyists currently forced to live in Trenton or Albany.
A Full Range of Growth Opportunities
In addition to today's announcements, New Jersey and New York will have many other opportunities to combine their assets and create unlimited growth—in government, that is. These opportunities include:
Music: The New York Philharmonic and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra will be merged, so it can render the entire populace deaf without the need for them to ever set foot in the planned LaGuardia Airport Symphony Hall.
News: NJY Nightly News will replace all of New York’s 7- and 11-o’clock local news programs, so New Jersey will have a role in local news broadcasting beyond serving as a parking space for traffic helicopters.
Ms. Whitman has said there are no plans to take over Pennsylvania at this time.