Commentary

Adding to the pressure created by rising Medicaid and other costs, local governments and school districts all over New York are being hammered by massive increases in pension costs for public employees. Read More

Reinforcing New York City's improved policing strategies in the 1990s were tougher sentencing laws and a significant expansion of the city and state correctional systems. Would-be criminals came to realize that they were not only more likely to get caught, but more likely to end up serving hard time. Read More

During the recent uproar over the Thruway Authority's questionable handling of a proposed Erie Canal land development deal, far too little attention was paid to the more fundamental question of why the Thruway Authority had anything to do with the canal in the first place. Read More

Arnold Schwarzenegger just proposed it for California. Michigan has had it since 1997. Florida has had an optional version since 2000. It's time for New York to join the revolution and adopt the same kind of 401(k) retirement plan that is almost universal in the private sector for its future civil servants. Read More

The fundamental challenge facing New York as Gov. Pataki gave his 11th State of the State Address yesterday was essentially the same one he confronted when he first took office a decade ago. Read More

Two decades of abysmal failure is enough to embarrass even the New York State Legislature. And so, earlier this year, Senate and Assembly leaders agreed on a set of measures - a proposed constitutional amendment and an enabling statute - supposedly designed to guarantee an on-time budget every year. Read More

The saga of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) court challenge to New York state school-financing formula continues to unfold in depressingly predictable fashion. Read More

When independent "dollar van" operators began to proliferate in Queens and Brooklyn in the wake of the 1980 transit strike, local politicians moved quickly to protect New York's inefficient public (and union) transit monopoly. Read More

The largest privately run ferry service be tween New Jersey and Manhattan is seeking a financial bailout for at least some of its operations from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which already controls most of the bridge, tunnel and rail network that ferry riders are paying a premium to avoid. Read More

Perception has a way of trumping reality in politics. Just ask former president George H.W. Bush, who was denied re-election in November 1992 largely because he was perceived as doing too little to end a relatively mild national recession that actually had been over for a year-and-a-half. Read More

It's no secret that Republicans will be venturing into enemy territory next week when they gather in the heart of the Big Apple to renominate President Bush. Yet residents of New York — state and city — have been huge winners under the Republican president's economic policies. By the same token, New Yorkers would be big losers under the tax proposals of the Democratic candidate, Sen. John Kerry. Read More

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About

The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.