We just returned from walking our dog. Five minutes in one direction is a marina, and five minutes in the other direction is the Great South Bay. In a local Christmas tradition, a fire engine with a Santa Claus on top loudly played "Jingle Bells" to waving children. We live in a wonderful neighborhood of well-tended large lawns and seasonal lights on my amazing Long Island.
I also just learned that the most expensive homes in the country are in Los Altos, California. Sure enough, in real estate listings online I found that comparable houses on smaller lots, nowhere near the shore, were priced five times what my home seems to be worth. But the real estate taxes were one-fourth of mine. California, the most over-governed state in the union, has local governments and schools that can scrape by on 25 percent of what is extorted from me every year.
Both Bayport and Los Altos are close to big cities. Both have strong technical economies. Why don't our vibrant organizations drive the same billionaire-creating wealth?
But more puzzling is why the best and brightest of venture capital firms and of entrepreneurs don't bring that magic here to a place where they could get an even better home in an even prettier neighborhood, and have enough left over to park four Ferrari station wagons in the long driveway. Or the next logical query: Why don't our local startup acorns grow into oaks with the same regularity? Yeah, it happens, but why not more often?
Tom Mariner, Bayport