August 31, 2007

A growth shortage?

This morning's Journal reports that the Business Council of New York State's Public Policy Institute gave Tompkins County an "F" for not growing fast enough. We didn't beat the national averages in growth in the total number of jobs, average annual wages per job, total personal income, per capita personal income, or population growth. Most of upstate outside of the Hudson Valley did similarly poorly by the Business Council's standards, as growth concentrated in the New York City area.

I like a lot of Jay Gallagher's reporting on state politics, but in this article he seems content to parrot the Business Council's claims, without even asking other sources what they think.

Remember, these are the same people who publish, now apparently renamed "Knickerbocker Blog". It's basically an endless torrent of newspaper cuttings and links with commentary designed to make readers think that all we need to do is cut government, taxes, and regulation, and New York State will burst into productive flame, making everyone rich. I'm sure it's chicken soup for some people's souls, but it hardly makes me trust the Business Council.

Upstate needs to find a path that works better than the one we're on. I think - for reasons that I'll explain this weekend - that the Business Council is looking at the wrong criteria to promote the wrong agenda for Upstate New York, however. For Exhibit A in that case, I'd note that Arizona got a A+ and Vermont got a D, giving rootless and sprawling Phoenix a gold star while finding Vermont's communities just not good enough by their numbers.

The Journal adds a little bit of explanation for Tompkins County not looking as good as perhaps it should, around the issue of people who commute in for work not being counted. I'm guessing that from the Business Council's perspective it might be the difference between a D and an F, and probably not really worth arguing.

In late-breaking updates, one lane of the Ringwood Road bridge will be opening this afternoon, which should make getting home a lot easier for some people.

Posted by simon at August 31, 2007 5:09 PM in , ,
Note on photos


Robinia said:

Simon-- for a much more information-based assessment of economic conditions in NY, I like the Fiscal Policy Institute's work. The 2007 version of "The State of Working NY" just came out-- you might want to compare and contrast. It is at: