The use of the term “stakeholder” to describe representatives of labor unions, businesses and advocacy groups with an obvious vested interest in the outcome state policy deliberations seems to have soared under Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has appointed quite a few of them to his advisory task forces (which he calls “redesign teams”).

george-orwell-220_782943f-6566048
Not the “stakeholder” sort

Kausfiles, commenting on a White House announcement of President Obama’s meeting with “stakeholders” in the immigration issue, has this general take:

If you were going to compile a lexicon of corporatism, “stakeholders” would be a key entry. In a normal open market economy you have businesses, and customers, and competitors, and unions, and government regulators, and citizens. Businesses negotiate with unions and then compete for customers on the playing field created by the elected government. Those customers exercise their market power. Some businesses survive. Others don’t. Transparent and relatively simple.  In a corporatist economy you have “stakeholders,” which roughly translates into “interest groups we leaders may want to protect even if their claims are rejected by both customers in the market and voters in democratic elections .” …

As the Times put it in this headline on a related story last month: “One Person’s ‘Special Interest’ Is Another’s ‘Stakeholder'”  But the Governor is a sworn enemy of “special interests” — and so “stakeholders” it is.

(A possible sign of progress, if not “stakeholder” exhaustion: the word was not used this week in the press release announcing the governor’s appointees to his Spending and Government Efficiency team.)

Tags:

About the Author

E.J. McMahon

Edmund J. McMahon is Empire Center's founder and a senior fellow.

Read more by E.J. McMahon

You may also like

A Closer Look at $4 Billion in State Capital Grants to Health Providers

The state has awarded $4.3 billion in health-care capital grants over the past decade, with a disproportionate share flowing to upstate providers, Health Department records show. Th Read More

Hochul’s Pandemic Study Is a $4.3 Million Flop

The newly released study of New York's coronavirus pandemic response falls far short of what Governor Hochul promised – and the state urgently needs – in the aftermath of its worst natural disaster in modern history. Read More

82 Questions Hochul’s Pandemic Report Should Answer

This is the month when New Yorkers are due to finally receive an official report on the state's response to the Covid-19 pandemic, one of the deadliest disasters in state history. T Read More

New Jersey’s Pandemic Report Shines Harsh Light on a New York Scandal

A recently published independent review of New Jersey's pandemic response holds lessons for New York on at least two levels. First, it marked the only serious attempt by any state t Read More

Hochul’s ‘Straight Talk’ on Medicaid Isn’t Straight Enough

Arguably the biggest Medicaid news in Governor Hochul's budget presentation was about the current fiscal year, not the next one: The state-run health plan is running substantially over budget. Read More

DeRosa Is Still Hiding the Truth About Cuomo’s Pandemic Response

As the long-time top aide to former Governor Andrew Cuomo, Melissa DeRosa ought to have useful information to share about the state's pandemic response – especially about what went wrong and how the state could be better Read More

One Brooklyn Health’s Money Troubles Raise a Billion-Dollar Question

A brewing fiscal crisis at One Brooklyn Health, which has received more than $1 billion in turnaround funding from the state, raises the question of whether that money has been well spent. Read More

Beware of Medicaid’s Spending Swings

The state's Medicaid spending is becoming increasingly volatile from month to mo Read More