Reinvent Albany, a nonprofit that advocates for transparent, accountable, effective New York government, recently celebrated a major victory when the State Assembly voted to decouple from federal Opportunity Zone tax breaks. Policy Analyst Tom Speaker talked to Good Jobs First about why this is such a big deal.
Getting paid wages so low an individual or family must rely on public assistance to make up the difference - even when they work is full time - is bad enough. But a new report shows low-wage workers are also far more likely to encounter dangerous or illegal conditions, like wage theft. So write the authors of a new study, "Wage Inequality and Labor Rights Violations," a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper. I asked one of the report's authors to talk more about the report, which in part relied in part on Violation Tracker to show the linkage between bad pay and poor working conditions, and how little power workers have in these situations.
Going on 23 years, Good Jobs First has pushed nonstop to lift the veil of secrecy that surrounds economic development “incentives”: think tax breaks of all kinds, low-cost land, cash grants, expedited planning processes, low-interest municipal bonds. And since 2015, it’s been painstakingly compiling every fine and penalty assessed against corporations, to draw attention to repeated workplace misconduct that harms workers and imperils our planet.
Jane Vancil is CEO and founder of IncentiLock LLC, an automated tool that tracks how economic development incentives are performing. Yup, there’s really a tool for that – software that lets government agencies measure whether the money they give away in the name of economic development is doing what it’s supposed to do. And it lets companies do the same thing, so if their subsidies are tied to benchmarks (i.e., performance-based), they know when they can collect.
5 things to think about when Amazon comes to town, a conversation with Dick Lavine about Texas' oversized and "perverse" corporate subsidy program and more on why the CARES Act 2.0 does little to help struggling workers. Use our data to tell the story in your community.