Op eds, columns and letters

Capitol Pressroom: Subsidies and sluggish Upstate job growth

March 28, 2017. By Alyssa Plock

A collaboration of reporting from Investigative Post, ProPublica, and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism shows that despite billions in subsidies, upstate job growth remains sluggish. Today three guests join Susan Arbetter to analyze the subsidy issue: Jim Heaney, Founder, Editor and Executive Director of Investigative Post, Ron Deutsch, Executive Director of the Fiscal Policy Institute, and EJ McMahon, Founder and Research Director of the Empire Center for Public Policy.

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Times Union Opinion: Expand tax credit for low-income workers in New York

By Ron Deutsch and Reg Foster, Commentary

Published, Albany Times Union 5:25 pm, Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A young woman juggling an entry-level administrative job and classes at a community college; a divorced dad working 40 hours a week as a custodian to help support his two kids; a veteran trying to make a living back home after serving our country overseas: They, and millions of other hard-working Americans, struggle to make ends meet because their jobs pay low wages.… (read more)

GUEST VIEW: Refugees Good for Utica’s Economic Development

March 8, 2017. In an op-ed, FPI’s David Dyssegaard Kallick and executive director of the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees, Shelly Callahan, argue that refugee resettlement is good for Utica’s economic revitalization.

Immigrants and refugees are already reversing population loss. Over the past 15 years, Utica finally turned around its population decline, stabilizing and even squeaking out a little bit of population growth, according to Census Bureau estimates. Look a little deeper, though, and you’ll see a story about … (read more)

Extending tax credit will help low-wage workers

January 10, 2017. The following op-ed by Ron Deutsch appeared in the Buffalo News.

Poverty. While it may not be the glitz and glamour of a flashy news story, it is a very real and pervasive issue for millions of Americans, particularly in New York State. As such, and especially in the aftermath of the 2016 election, it should be clear to members of both political parties that struggling workers face real challenges and need real solutions.

The need in … (read more)

What’s the future for fiscal federalism in New York?

December 28, 2016. The following op-ed by James Parrott appeared in City & State New York on December 28, 2016.

With President-elect Donald Trump and a newly empowered, Republican-dominated Congress soon taking control of the federal budget, the potential for substantial cuts in domestic spending poses gargantuan challenges for New York state and city budgets.

Roughly $57 billion in federal dollars flow into our city and state budgets annually. Medicaid accounts for approximately $35 billion, with another $14 billion in

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Minimum-wage bump is good for all; Even businesses in low-paying industries will benefit

December 11, 2016. This op-ed by Lorelei Salas and James Parrott appeared on crainsnewyork.com and in the December 12, 2016 print edition of Crain’s New York Business.

When the state’s minimum wage rises to $11 an hour from $9 on Dec. 31, workers at New York City businesses with more than 10 employees will see the largest percentage minimum-wage increase in 60 years. It will be a welcome and much-needed addition to paychecks for more than 800,000 low-wage workers struggling … (read more)

Heights of Privilege

June 2, 2016. The following article by James Parrott appeared in the Spring 2016 issue of The American Prospect magazine.

If you want to learn about the latest manifestations of inequality in urban America, read the real-estate sections of newspapers and magazines and check out the photo spreads on luxury condos in new residential skyscrapers. The palatial size, lavish finishes, and breathtaking price tags of these properties are advertisements of our new Gilded Age. In the area immediately south of … (read more)

New York Economists Support a Statewide $15 Minimum Wage; Recent academic research shows it’s good for workers, businesses and the economy

March 14, 2016. More than 75 economists from throughout New York State joined together this week to send a message to Albany: a phased-in increase in the minimum wage to $15 by 2019 in New York City and by mid-2021 in the rest of the state is a prudent and much needed policy that would raise the incomes of struggling low-wage workers and boost their spending power without hurting the state’s economy.

The economists’ statement cites a number of academic … (read more)

Instead of a New York City property tax cap, why not reform?

February 10, 2016. An op-ed by James Parrott, City & State.

The New York state Senate approved legislation on January 26 that would cap the growth in New York City property taxes at the lesser of inflation or 2 percent a year. The 45-16 vote occurred while Mayor Bill de Blasio was testifying nearby at a Joint Legislative Budget hearing.

State senators in favor of this bill made a three-pronged argument: property taxes have become too burdensome for middle-class … (read more)

Extend Tax Credits to the Poor

October 12, 2015. The following op-ed by Ron Deutsch appeared in the Times-Union.

Millions of Americans go to work each day, sometimes balancing multiple low-wage jobs, and yet they still struggle to make ends meet for themselves and their families. The fact is, far too many hardworking Americans slip into poverty each year. I see this firsthand in my role at the Fiscal Policy Institute.

We do, however, have two powerful and effective tools that encourage work and help … (read more)