Never Ending Public Support for the Rich

In 1960, when many middle class city dwellers were moving to the suburbs, the federal government decided to help those people living in the inner city. The Urban Renewal program was begun. While in name UR funds were to improve lives of low income people, the program was hijacked by the banks and developers. Read the rest of this entry »


The Cost of “Economic Development”: Temporary or Long-Term Job Creation?

 By: Hernando del Pueblo

The much anticipated but still imaginary SUNY 2020 Challenge Grant states: “this [project] will enable… cutting-edge research and economic development initiatives to jump-start a new era of powerful and productive returns to the local community and New York state”. Read the rest of this entry »

A Mechanism of/for Economic Opportunism or Temporary Socio-Economic Stability: IDAs in New York State’s History

By: Hernando del Pueblo

A sign stands in front of the former Binghamton Public Library downtown on 78 Exchange Street announcing that it is another redevelopment project of the Broome County Industrial Development Agency (BCIDA).  Most passerby’s will be puzzled by what the latter really is and what it means for the community. Read the rest of this entry »

BCIDA: Where Are the JOBS?!?!

By Emma Pulaski

Perhaps the BCIDA’s most important task is job creation in Broome County. The BCIDA, like all other IDAs, use their tax exempt status to unilaterally give companies tax abatements (i.e. tax breaks) in exchange for the economic benefit these companies provide the area, mostly through job creation and increasing (at the end of their payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) agreement, which last at minimum 10 years) the net property values. Read the rest of this entry »

                        Dishing Out WelfareIn Broome County

                        Dishing Out Welfare

In Broome County we have an organization, the Industrial
Development Agency (IDA), a County Executive, Debbie Preston, and a Town of Union Board that insists on providing welfare for the National Pipe &Plastic Co. Read the rest of this entry »

Selected Shorts

If the Republicans Don’t Get You the Democrats Will

 During the 2008 presidential campaign, candidate Barack Obama made two specific promises when it came to Social Security.

“John McCain’s campaign has gone even further, suggesting that the best answer for the growing pressures on Social Security might be to cut cost-of-living adjustments or raise the retirement age. Let me be clear: I will not do either,” Obama said in a rarely viewed video that was posted online. In April 2013, he proposed cutting the cost-of-living adjustment.

The Myth of Big, Private Corporate Efficiency

 Fisker Automotive of California spent six times as much U.S. taxpayer and investor money to produce each plug-in luxury car than it received from customers that bought them. The cars sold for $103,000. Fisker spent $660,000 in taxpayer and venture capital for each car that it sold. Fisker got Federal Dept. of Energy loan guarantees when they promised to create 2,500 jobs in Vice President Biden’s home state of Delaware.  The plant closed a year ago without producing any cars.

As a Worker You Already Know This

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage for American workers is 8% lower than it was in 2000. The median pay for jobs created during this “recovery” is less than the median pay of the jobs lost in the downturn. The profits for the taxpayer bailed out banks have reached new highs. Some win, some lose.

Binghamton Moving to Foreclose on Midtown Mall

The Midtown Mall in Binghamton was purchased in August of 2008 by Lawrence and Stephen Gladstone, operating under the corporate name Stellar 83 Court LLC. The purchase price was $695,000. The building was assessed for tax purposes at $125,000.  According to public papers, Congdon Associates, the real estate appraisal company states that “the assessment is far below the recent sale price of the property, and is well below the “as is” value contained herein.”  The owners will obtain a payment in lieu of taxes agreement with the Industrial Development Agency. This public subsidy will permit students to rent the smaller bedroom apartments for $650 a month while the larger ones will rent for $750. This project is being subsidized by taxpayers who can only afford an average rent in Broome County of $540 per month.  The renovation of the building has been delayed because of a fire.  Presently the City is trying to foreclose on the property for non-payment of taxes.  Will a deal be reached on the taxes due? How are assessments figured?



BEING POOR by John Scalzi

This is a published poem which was reprinted in part in “The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto”, a book by Tavis Smiley and Cornel West      

Being poor is knowing exactly how much everything costs.
Being poor is getting angry at your kids for asking for all the crap
they see on TV.
Being poor is having to keep buying $800 cars because they’re what you can afford, and then having the cars break down on you, because there’s not an $800 car in America that’s worth a damn. Read the rest of this entry »