Unions

By Chris Kirkham, Tiffany Hsu April 14, 2015

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is the latest out-of-state politician on a job-stealing tour of California, bashing the state's taxes and business regulation.

Subsidizing Union Avoidance at Wal-Mart and Nissan

walmart-strike-300x168Most Americans have been made to believe that they have no stake in private sector labor issues.

Striking Chicago Teachers Highlight TIF

This past week, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) strike has been making national headlines.

Public Employees and the Public Interest

[caption id="attachment_1526" align="alignright" width="270" caption="Chicago Tribune, January 29, 1900"][/caption]

Right questions, wrong decisions on subsidies for big firms in NYC

[caption id="attachment_1338" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Deloitte has an office in the city's municipal building on the same floor as the City Comptroller"][/caption]

At the New York City Industrial Development Agency’s public hearing last week, two proposals generated notable controversy: one to bestow millions in tax breaks on Big Four accounting firm Deloitte LLP, and another to revive a subsidy agreement from 1998, still worth millions in unused credits, for information services giant Thomson Reuters. This past Tuesday, the IDA board approved both projects, but not before a handful of board members engaged in a robust dialogue with IDA staffers, especially on the Thomson Reuters proposal.

The Deloitte proposal could have benefited from an even more vigorous discussion. For one thing, it smells like the same old game in which companies pit states and regions against each other in bidding wars for investment. As an IDA staffer explained, the agency “took seriously” a “threat” that Deloitte would leave the city for “other opportunities,” namely New Jersey. (Deloitte LLP plans to use the subsidy to help pay for moving its headquarters from one highly prized Manhattan office location—midtown—to another—Lower Manhattan.) And yet IDA staff also reassured the board that the proposal wasn’t about retention, but about growth. As EDC President Seth Pinsky stated, Deloitte will get no benefits until it increases its employment numbers within NYC.

NYC Considers Big Subsidy Packages for Thriving Firms While Cutting Vital Services for Poorest Residents

Later this month, the New York City Industrial Development Agency will consider lucrative subsidy packages for two of the world’s largest corporations: “big four” accounting firm Deloitte, LLP, and

Standing Strong at the Kingsbridge Armory

esnuestroIn a move rarely seen in The Bronx lately, an elected official is standing up for the creation

Cooper Tire’s Novel Approach to Subsidy Competition: Pay to Survive

In a grim variation of the subsidy game that may become more common in a tanking economy, Cooper Tire last month successfully squeezed over $66 million in subsidies for plants in three states, pushed down union wages and benefits, and eliminated one plant altogether.

State and Local Ballot Initiative Round-Up

democracy in actionThe following is a quick review of selected important ballot initiatives pertaining to state and local economi