Recent Posts

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  • Rochester’s Broken School System - Kent Gardner argues forcefully in the Rochester Beacon that Rochester’s school system is broken and in need of radical change. Gardner’s post highlights the efforts of a local organization, ROC the Future, to bring about reform of the city’s school system. Gardner is correct – students in the city’s schools…
  • New York’s Local Revenue Sharing Aid Program is Broken:  How to Fix It - Most New Yorkers are aware that the state has a cap on local property taxes that has effectively slowed their growth.  But few know that residents of a few large cities benefit from a multi-million-dollar infusion of state dollars that limits property taxes, while residents of smaller cities, towns and…
  • Times Union Op-Ed: State’s Unfair City Aid Formula Needs Revising - I've been looking at how well the State's local revenue sharing works.  It doesn't work well.  I wrote an Op-Ed that appears in the Albany Times-Union this weekend:  It may be found here:  https://www.timesunion.com/opinion/article/State-s-unfair-city-aid-formula-needs-revising-13709884.php I'll have a longer piece that takes a closer look at this on my blog next…
  • New York’s Amazon Debacle – Some Lessons - Predictably, Amazon's decision to abandon its HQ2 project with 25,000+ future jobs in New York City  led to acrimony with opposing politicians and some commentators blaming the company for abandoning its effort.   Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, an early project opponent tried to re-frame her stance saying, "We do not have to…
  • How the State Senate Gerrymander Ultimately Hurt Upstate Residents - The November election brought a marked change in the composition of the New York State Senate that will have significant implications for upstate New York residents.  Tom Precious in the Buffalo News noted, “Majority party rules and minority party lawmakers are left with table scraps when it comes to funding…
  • Misconceptions About People in Poverty: Are Work Requirements Effective? - This is an expanded version of the essay, "False Stereotypes Harm People in Poverty" that appeared in the Rochester Beacon, containing additional information relating to the five largest upstate metropolitan areas. __________________________________________________ Misconceptions about people in poverty appear to drive proposed changes in social welfare policy, particularly the work requirements…
  • Misconceptions About People in Poverty: The Push for Work Requirements - Misconceptions about people in poverty appear to drive proposed changes in social welfare policy, particularly the work requirements either being promoted by the Trump Administration and discussed or implemented in several states. A fuller understanding of factors underlying the problem of poverty suggests that these policies will be counterproductive, neither…
  • How Amazon Could Help Upstate New York - One of the Thanksgiving meal discussions at my house involved Amazon's new HQ2 and why Governor Cuomo didn't get the company to locate its new facility in upstate New York.  And, though my argument that upstate metropolitan areas lacked technology focused labor pools of sufficient size to be seriously considered…
  • Amazon HQ2 – A Good Deal for New York? - It is not surprising that the decision by Governor Cuomo to give Amazon $1.8 billion in grants and refundable tax credits to come to New York City for half of their second headquarters generated controversy.  Some have questioned the need to subsidize Amazon given New York’s labor pool advantages[1], and…
  • The Finger Lakes – Economic Challenges and Strategic Response: An Assessment - This research is a case study of employment challenges facing the Rochester Metropolitan area and the Finger Lakes region, and an analysis of the region’s strategic economic development plans and reports, developed in response to Governor Cuomo’s challenge to regions seeking economic development funding.  While the report finds reasons why…
  • Reconsidering “Lost Manufacturing Jobs – The Effects of Imports and Increased Productivity” - In a post examining the causes of the decline in manufacturing employment over the past fifty years, I concluded, like other analysts, that although increases in imported manufactured products had caused part of the decrease, most of the drop resulted from productivity increases from automation and process improvements.  See for…
  • Upstate’s Uneven Metropolitan Economies – Implications for Policy Makers - The story of New York’s job market since the 1990's has been a tale of two regions.  The New York City metropolitan area, where two-thirds of the state’s population lives, has seen private sector employment growth (42.4%) that is near the national rate (48.3%). Albany-Schenectady-Troy’s employment growth – 27.5% - is higher…
  • Traded Employment Losses Since 2001 in Upstate New York - Metropolitan areas in Central and Western New York, like others in the Rust Belt that had high concentrations of manufacturing employment, have been hit hard by the loss of manufacturing jobs.  Ninety-one thousand net manufacturing jobs were lost in the 2001-2010 decade in five upstate metropolitan areas – Utica-Rome, Syracuse,…
  • Nexgen in Syracuse – Throwing Good Money after Bad? - Update:  Note that the Syracuse Post Standard carried the following article on January 4th:  http://www.syracuse.com/business-news/index.ssf/2018/01/ny_taxpayers_built_90m_factory_in_dewitt_for_firm_that_walked_away_didnt_create.html The article quotes ESD spokesman Jason Conwell.  "Conwall said the grant will be contingent on the company meeting its job commitments. Details of the grant's terms will not be available until the grant disbursement agreement is executed…
  • Data, Key Punches, Blogging and the Upstate Economy - Fifty years ago, as a research assistant in graduate school at Syracuse University, I did some quantitative research for a professor on the effect of various factors on state policy outputs. Doing the work required me find data in books in the university library and to go to a room in…