Economic Development Hype = No Jobs or Decent Pay

Broome County is one depressed area. For more than a decade the population has been in decline while the poverty rate has been rising. Just about every politician during this decade has promised, if elected, to create jobs and improve the economy for the average folks. Now we are being bombarded with a new regional development gimmick. If we hand over millions of our NYS taxes, along with the promise of local incentives to wealthy corporations, we will be saved.

To insure that the promise of economic salvation is just not more of the same old con game of giving public money to those who need it least, there needs to be some new ground rules.

  1. All money awarded in job development schemes must result in the number of jobs promised. Otherwise there must be provisions for a return of all, or the proper proportion of the funds given with in a three year period.
  2. Jobs to be created must pay a wage of at least $12 an hour and include health care and retirement.

If the purpose of the “Economic Development” programs are to improve lives of the residents then they should be guarantees that the resident families come out ahead, not just the developers and bankers. The list of broken promises would fill many pages. One recent example of no payoff is the EIT promise to maintain 2000 former IBM jobs in Endicott. There are now about 300 jobs. The developers pocketed the taxpayer funds and the taxpayers got a few, low paying jobs.

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