By ROCCO ARTESIAN
Politicos statewide in New York lament job creation and job growth. This is an old tune, not just in New York, but throughout the country. The elected officials’ wailing and moaning, allegedly on behalf of the working American, is on the local, state, and federal levels. Every so often, a dude like Donald Trump comes along and is earnest about making a difference. To be fair, there are political leaders, from the smallest of municipalities to the largest of states, who also are genuine in their concern for the plight of those U.S. citizens who desire to not only work, but to attain the American dream.
In furtherance of truly seeking to create and maintain jobs for the residents of the State of New York, State Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb issued a press release, stating:
“The state’s efforts to create jobs are not working as well as they should. In order to improve New York’s economy, especially Upstate, we must commit to a focused, robust job-creation agenda. Upstate New York’s job growth lags well behind the rest of the nation, and without a thriving job market we risk a sluggish economy and a continually dwindling population.
“The Assembly Minority Conference has advocated for programs that provide cost-effective solutions to New York’s job problem but have been ignored year after year. The state’s corrupt and wasteful economic development programs have failed to deliver for taxpayers and the time for change is overdue. It’s time to rethink our strategy and move toward jobs programs that offer value for taxpayers shelling out huge parts of their paychecks each month.
“According to a recent report, New York spent $8 billion in 2015 on economic incentives. That amounts to as much as the next three biggest states combined. In return, we have seen essentially insignificant results. Under this governor, upstate job growth has increased by a paltry 2.7 percent. The national average is 11 percent. We must seriously question the motivation for handing out such enormous sums of money with such a disappointing return on investment.
“In addition to reforming the broken economic development programs that have plagued the state, we must also alleviate the crushing taxes and regulations that inhibit the backbone of our state— small businesses. The Assembly Minority Conference has offered a number of solutions aimed at creating quality jobs.
“The Small Business Full Employment Act would broadly cut taxes and create a review panel to find ways to reduce unnecessary and burdensome regulations. It would also prohibit the state from passing on expensive costs to small businesses, schools and local governments (A.5423, Kolb). We have seen too many questionable economic-development gimmicks. It’s time for permanent solutions.
“Our Conference has proposed a Learning for Work Program designed to provide a more direct path from high school to the workforce, including a youth apprenticeship program, Enhanced Regents Professional Degree and youth apprenticeship tax credit (A.4333, Lupinacci). Combined, these will give young men and women the tools they need to begin filling important jobs and providing businesses with a strong, capable workforce. By ensuring New York has trained and motivated workers, we can help businesses grow.
New York cannot sustain its shrinking tax base and weak job market much longer. Florida has already surpassed New York in population and our ineffective economic development programs have done nothing to reverse that trend. We must make drastic changes now, and get New York’s economy trending in the right direction. The hard-working people of our state deserve nothing less.”
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