How’s New York’s economy doing?

Private trash collectors (who pick up from stores and the like) are reportedly seeing an “unprecedented” loss in business over the past quarter, as customers have not only closed their doors but closed up so suddenly that they often still owe vendors (including the trash collector) money.

And, six months ago, private recyclers were getting $120/ton for cardboard resales. Today, they’ve got to pay to get rid of it, because the global market for this commodity — from China, but not only China — has collapsed.

Plus, the newspapers tell us that the small-business community is suffering as financing either dries up or becomes more expensive and slower to get.

Mayor Bloomberg should remind himself: New York’s small-scale industry is likely just as fragile as Wall Street right now. Many businesses likely cannot withstand even marginal fee and tax increases, never mind the big ones on the table. Some people argue that there’s no alternative to raising taxes in this environment, but in this environment, there may be no alternative to not raising taxes.

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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.

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