The recent announcement that Dick’s Sporting Goods will build a 650,000-square-foot distribution center in Binghamton has been cited by Gov. Andrew Cuomo as further evidence of an economic resurgence in the region.
“Five years ago, we had a 7.9 percent unemployment rate in the Southern Tier,” Cuomo said. “Today, 4.6 percent. The arrows are headed in the right direction.”
In fact, as shown in the state Labor Department’s household survey data, the unemployment rate dropped only because fewer residents of the region are available and looking for work. If the labor force were still at its 2010 level, the unemployment rate would be 13 percent. [Read_more]
The latest Affordable Care Act enrollment figures for New York reveal a troubling trend: Free and nearly free government-funded programs are crowding out private-sector plans in the state’s health insurance marketplace. [Read_more]
Proponents of a single-payer health plan for New York pitch it as a cure-all — one fix that would achieve universal coverage, let people to go to any doctor or hospital, abolish copays and deductibles, cut down on paperwork, and save billions in the bargain.
Forty-five billion dollars, to be precise — or so said Assembly Health Chairman Richard Gottfried of Manhattan, as the Democrat-controlled lower house passed his New York Health Act on June 1.
It sounds too good to be true because it is. My analysis for the Empire Center shows that his $45 billion savings estimate relies on tendentious assumptions, debatable methods and a heavy dose of wishful thinking. [Read_more]
During the first few years after Wall Street prices bottomed out in 2009, public-pension funds across the country reaped double-digit returns. They were riding a bull market pumped up by ultra-low interest rates, and it wouldn’t last.
Now pension managers have been struggling to break even — the predictable outcome of a funding strategy that continues to expose taxpayers to unreasonable long-term risks. [Read_more]
One of the key promises behind President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act is that it would "bend the curve" of increasing health care costs. The fact that the nation's overall health spending has been growing at the relatively slow rate of 4 percent annually is a hopeful sign.
But all is not so calm in the part of the insurance industry most directly affected by the ACA — the individual and small-group markets. [Read_more]
New York's new state budget includes the biggest permanent "middle class" income tax cut in 20 years. Gov. Cuomo and the Legislature can pay for it by restraining spending and enacting more tax reform. [Read_more]